As a child in the 1960s, way back last millennium, I did not notice that women leaders were lacking from political offices. By the time I was a teenager a few brave women had stepped forward. I then noticed.
Errors of omission are the most difficult ones to spot. I had a lot of difficulty spotting undiscussed problems. As a studious little girl I wanted to impress elders and teachers by having the answers to the questions they would ask of me. I think I knew a lot of things that I was not supposed to know, but I suppressed that knowledge.
As a woman in this millennium, I have now notice that women leaders are massively underrepresented in political offices.
Progress is an impossible concept to define. I can see progress in my life. My daughter has a clinical doctorate in a health care field. I have a masters degree in a social science. My mother graduated from high school and was a farm wife. My grandmother attended school in the late 1800s but I do not think she graduated from high school, and she was a house wife. Is that progress? Most people would say so, but education alone doesn’t define progress.
Politics is so visible. And so iconic.
I have held my heart back from falling for individual progressive political candidates. I have worked for them, hoped for their success, and cried for the country when people and platforms manipulated elections, and when courts ruled on elections and tipped them before counts were over. But it was not personally devastating when progressives lost elections. It is a long haul, generational, and I have known that since I was a budding progressive at my father’s knee.
I was not wild about Hillary, but I voted for her. I wanted to see a woman leader of the U.S. I was not so devastated by Hillary’s loss in the electoral college as by who won.
Today the last woman in this year’s lineup of potential presidential candidates, withdrew from the campaign. This one feels different from other losses. Will I see a woman President in my lifetime? Time is limited. I will be 63 this election. I will be 67 next election. I am not all that concerned that I will be gone in five years, but who knows?
Women will have had the vote in the U.S.for 100 years this August, and one supposedly co-equal branch of the three supposedly coequal government branches remains decidedly unequal.
How long must we wait?