Yesterday over breakfast, I was describing the two Democratic candidates still standing in the primary for our state, and how daddy and I had to make a decision to vote between them. I gave the kids their history, their job experience, what they say they stand for, what people think of them, etc, etc. (It’s safe for you to assume that our kids know we would never, will never, support Donald Trump and his Republicans, because they don’t show any qualities of good leadership. They are cruel, unfair, and unwise).
My daughter, age six, ate her waffle quietly and when I was done, asked, “Where are the girls?” (When she says it, because of her little ‘r’ thing in her speech, it sounds like, ‘goy-uhls’)
Yes. Where are the “goy-uhls.”
Turns out my kids’ whole school had read “Grace for President” by Kelly DiPucchio recently about a little girl running for president on her school council, in part because she’d seen a poster of the 45 Presidents of the United States and said, “WHERE. ARE. THE GIRLS?!”
Some people say we have to be SO CAREFUL not to swing too far the other way and elect people just because they’re female! Watch out! That’s sexist, too.
Sigh. Do you know how incredibly far we are from that being a threat?! Do you know how MUCH more sane and qualified and dignified and magnificant women candidates have to be than their doofy male counterparts?!
There might be certain characteristics you can point to that would disqualify the “girls” who have run the past few presidential campaigns from earning that job; history, job experience, what they say they stand for….but there might not. Because “What people think of them” is pretty stagnant.
And even if you don’t like these particular women (Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard), what about all the OTHER women from the dawn of time?! Not ONE of them was good enough to rise through our broken system and be deemed worthy of leadership? It’s not because they haven’t tried. Are you kidding me? Women have died to get every right, every chance, every microphone, every stage they’ve ever had.
I don’t know what to tell my daughter. It’s embarrassing. It’s mortifying. It’s defeating. We have proof that women do well in leadership. At LEAST as well as men, the default leaders, if not better. We know that in corporate, surgical/medical, academic, non-profit, entertainment and STEM fields that women in leadership are very effective and the organizations as wholes thrives under them. And it’s not like other developed nations haven’t had women leaders. Even some nations we’d consider more backwards than us on womens’ issues have had women in charge.
So. Where are the“goy-uhls?”
I hung my head and thought, I don’t know, baby, but apparently YOU’RE going to have to be the one to fix it, because my generation is blowing it for everybody, too. Practice leading, practice lifting up your girl friends, especially your Black Girl friends, because you….THEY…are ready. And WE have to finally, finally, all get behind them.