The Lady Does Protest Too Much

Although the election is still two years away, some news outlets are speculating that the former Secretary of States, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, will mostly likely run for President in 2016. But if you ask the former First Lady, she’ll tell you, she has not yet decided to run. Despite that, her supporters are making plans in case she does run.  In March of this year, the DailyBeast reported that supporters of Mrs. Clinton have already formed the “Ready for Hillary Super PAC to test the water in case she does run.” One supporter said, “When Hillary decides to run, she will have a campaign in waiting, an email list that is substantial and active, a substantial field organization that is already on the ground.” According to the DailyBeast the PAC already has, “Two million people who have signed on as “Ready for Hillary supporters.””

Granted millions of Americans are ready for a Hillary run, but I question: Is America ready for its first female President? After all, this is the same America that pays women less (.70 vs. 1.00) and even lesser (.64) for African-American women for doing the same jobs as men.  According to one article by HuffPost, “[for] African-American and Hispanic women, the wage gap is worser, which means it takes even longer for their salaries to “equal” the salaries of their white male counterparts.”  Even more alarming is the fact that, even with the same educational credentials, “African-American and Hispanic women are paid less than their white and Asian-American peers.  In spite of that, People-Press reported that a New National survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY found that, “Among Democrats, an overwhelming share of liberals (87%) want to see Hillary Clinton run and nearly as many (83%) say there is a good chance they would vote for her.”  However, according to the report, “When people are asked to name in their own words the most negative thing about Clinton’s career, “Benghazi” is the most frequent response, cited by 15% of respondents. Among Republicans, 28% volunteer Benghazi as the most negative aspect of her career.”

Benghazi aside, that is not the only road block Hillary will face come 2016 if she  decides to run for President.   With that said, as a woman voter if Hillary wants my vote in 2016 I need to be convinced that she is interested in the issues that women still face today. I want to know how Hillary plans to improve the conditions of women, especially women living in poverty. Huffington Post wrote, “AAUW researchers have long said that women are more likely than men to be living in poverty in their retirement years, due in part to the gender pay gap.” Though, women have made some progress, but it’s also fair to say that there is still the issue of inequality.  I wonder if she is aware that women are still viewed, and treated as second class citizens.    When I asked around, one (woman) voter said, “She [Hillary] has nothing to offer me.”  Similarly, at a recent appearance at the Arizona State University, were more than 1,000 students attended the annual Clinton Global Initiative University conference, one student asked, “Mrs. Clinton, if you don’t represent women in politics in America as future President, who will?” My thoughts exactly.

Then, there are the naysayers like FOX’s Bill O’Reilly who is already casting doubts on a Hillary run. “Can it worked?” He asked a panel of women who appeared on his show some time ago. At one point, he referred to women as a different sort of ‘species.’  Naturally, I cringed at the comment, but my question is: Why is it that in this twenty-first century women are still fighting for equal rights? Have we not come a long way since ‘The women’s liberation movement’ of the 70’s? Women who participated in those movements marched against objectification, oppression and unfair treatment at the workplace. I read it was during that same time that Gloria Steinberg published MS magazine. She said she started the magazine, because she felt as a writer, “her voice was often stifled,” by reputable newspapers which discouraged her from writing about what was happening in the women’s movement. Since then, we still have women who feel they are objectified for their gender. Just recently in an article published by the HuffPost one writer stated, “…Jennifer Lawrence still has the body and the face and the wardrobe that conforms to dominant beauty ideals.”

Suffice it to say,  it is true that in many ways we have progressed as a society, however, it is also true that we have regressed from said progress. The real question is: Will that change once or if we have a woman President?  In any case, I think only time will tell, but then again, I think you can draw your own conclusions since America elected its very first African-American President.

 

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