The Wrong Article About Election Night

by Taylor Team

This is not the article I was supposed to write about the election. This is the thought currently running through my head like the endless news reels of this long campaign. It’s a sentiment I imagine the many thousands of journalists and bloggers around the globe are also feeling. Typing away furiously at their computers as they vent about the outcome of the election. When I left the Clinton campaign party at about 2am in New York on Wednesday morning, the final stragglers were mainly press and police. Everyone else had trickled home in twos and threes. Some in tears but most just with stunned looks on their faces. The final song the venue played, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, was the bleakest thing I’ve ever witnessed.

The article that I was supposed to write about the election was going to talk about Hillary’s incredible perseverance that finally paid off. About what an amazing role model she is for facing up to the harshest of criticisms and for keeping going. How she’d need this unbelievable resilience to face the tough time she was going to have in the White House. It was going to talk about what this election meant for women everywhere to have a leader of the free world, who puts equality and women’s rights at the top of her foreign policy agenda.

Why Not Hillary?

But the sad truth is America isn’t yet ready for a female President. And we probably should have seen this coming. This fact is staring us in the face in Hillary’s capricious approval ratings, which have followed a predictable pattern throughout her career. Whenever she goes for a new job her ratings plummet, and once she is in the new position they rocket back up. CNN suggests these wild fluctuations reveal widespread prejudice against women caught in the act of asking for power. This is corroborated by a Harvard study that found power seeking men to be perceived as strong and competent, whereas the same traits in women were greeted by both sexes with “moral outrage”.

Role Model

But before we all fall into an abyss of depression, it’s important to remember that, win or lose, Hillary is still a role model. She took amazing strides in the name of feminism. Hillary is a ‘nasty woman’ that gets people’s backs up because she represents something unsettling. She represents women challenging the status quo, women demanding change, and succeeding. The fact that she didn’t win in no way diminishes this. She will always be the activist fighting for change and the pragmatist content to do it in small steps. It is up to us to learn from this and take up the mantle.

For all of us privileged millennial women who enjoy such luxuries such as equal pay and readily available contraception, it is sometimes easy to forget that we don’t already live in a gender equal society. This election should be a wakeup call. It should also be a reminder that people like Hillary Clinton have made so much progress in their lives to crack that glass ceiling. Even with a bloated, orange, toupé wearing bigot temporarily occupying the White House, it is only a matter of time before it breaks.

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