It’s hard to escape the debate these days. Especially as a daughter of the generation of women who fought for–and won–the ERA. But, I have indeed done my darndest to avoid the discussion. How can I engage on the topic of the first woman president, when I am for the other guy?
It’s tough. I want more than anything to see a woman in the White House. I have waited my whole life for it. When my daughter was four we began the West Side Story Que Sera Sera duet–I asked my mother, what will I be? My answer was the same answer my mother gave me–anything you want, baby! Only for her, that included President of the United States.
So fast forward 10 years, and can you imagine? Womanhood is on the brink of achieving the most prized of all validations–and I can’t support the candidate. My daughter was surprised, shocked, even.
At first, I felt like I had betrayed her and all of woman kind. Traitor, I scolded myself. Judas. Aren’t I honor bound to support Hillary, like her or not? Isn’t that true solidarity? After all, she is qualified–and she has earned it. Isn’t that what we women have argued all along? Isn’t that what I have taught my daughter to demand? Don’t I owe it to my sisterhood to support her?
After much inner turmoil, I finally arrived at the only reasoning I could express–no matter how much it disappointed my daughter. So, I sat her down and decided to explain, hoping she could see my point of view, even if she didn’t agree with me. Hoping she would not continue to see me as a hypocrite.
I explained to my daughter that I desperately wished I could vote the feminine party line. And, what’s more, I truly believe that the world is ready for a woman in the White House. The divine feminine is needed, especially now. But, not just any woman–and not this woman. For, you see, the true gifts a woman brings to this highest office are the values of motherhood, sisterhood, partnership, the nurturing nature, the salve of kindness & compassion, the tenacity that comes from the instinctive need to protect those in her care, the strength that comes from knowing when to be tough and when to be tender, and the innate wisdom of the gender that has held the stewardship of the earth and human society since the beginning of time. These are the qualities I want in the first woman president, and sadly, I see none of them in her.
I finished, and waited while my daughter considered her response. Do you understand, I asked. Have I made any sense? She looked up at me, flashed a grin and said, “Geez, Mom. Duh!”
I love that kid. And I am hopeful. Everything I sought for, hoped for, but could not find in the candidtate of my generation, already exists in the next.