The world, the news, dinner table conversations, and my Facebook feed have all been buzzing lately about the election lately. I mostly choose to keep my political opinions to myself, employing a “live and let live” policy in order to keep my life peaceful and myself sane. But this election is so impactful that even I am tempted to talk about it.
We still haven’t made it to official nominations at the respective parties’ conventions, but we do have two “presumptive nominees”. Both are suspected criminals, currently under investigation or involved in litigation of some kind. These are the two that I am supposedly expected to choose between. This makes me feel so desperately disappointed.
But let me step away from politics for a moment to talk about little girls. I think you can see where I’m going with this… but humor me anyway.
Personally, I never felt limited by what is between my legs. It has simply never been a factor in my decision making. As a matter of fact, I never felt limited at all. I knew I was powerful. Not because I am a woman. Not in spite of being a woman. Just because I am. I am powerful, because I am.
I felt powerful because I was empowered by my parents, by my teachers, by all the cheerleaders I’ve had in my life who helped me to achieve. I was never told I couldn’t achieve. And because of that, I achieved. Everything I wanted to do, I did.
But not all girls feel this way.
If you ask a little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, the number of answers you can expect are limitless. She may want to be a teacher, a sports star, a unicorn, an astronaut, a dancer, a farmer, a dad, an engineer, a tree… or maybe she wants to be president.
As little girls get older, the list of possible answers gets shorter. “Limitless” is no longer the word. Limits are everywhere. A lot of the limits she didn’t see before are undeniable realities – She begins to understand that she can’t actually be a unicorn, a dad, or a tree. But a lot of the limits are made up. She doesn’t think she can be a sports star, an astronaut, a farmer, an engineer… or the president. But she is wrong. She can! She just doesn’t know she can, because she doesn’t have (enough) examples of people like her doing these things.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is under investigation as a suspected criminal. And her critics could probably spout off a million other reasons why she’s a terrible candidate to be the leader of the United States. But, if nothing else, she is accomplishing one very important thing – she is taking some of the manufactured limits away from our little girls. Put president back on the list, ladies.
Maybe now more little girls will feel like I did growing up. Maybe they’ll set their goals higher. Maybe they’ll believe in themselves. Maybe the only thing that will dictate their aspirations will be their likes, desires, and strengths. Because now they know that women can do whatever they want. Even become president.