Gender diversity matters and never more so than in the current election for President of the United States. To those women who make light of gender’s importance, I’ll say again: Wrong. (Blog 3/23/16) Equal pay is a woman’s issue but it also plays as an economic one. When Latina women in California get paid 44 cent to the dollar, that is not only a woman’s issue, it strikes at the heart of our nation’s fiscal well-being. (“Still Fighting for Equality,” by Aviva Dove-Viebahn, Ms Magazine, Spring 2016, pg. 34) When we have 3 women dying every day from being beaten to death, and one out of 4 girls being raped on college campuses, (Ibid p34) these aren’t woman’s issues. They are social issues. When there is no Constitutional law that guarantees a woman equal rights, that is gender discrimination and a human rights violation on a grand scale.
Regrettably, we see this discrimination throughout the fabric of our society. Most painfully, we see it in our judicial system. Women who believe that Title IX and the Equal Pay Act, put gender issues behind us, should read the report from the Human Rights Project for Girls. It shows “how society criminalizes girls who have been sexually and physically abused, and how miserably served they – and we, as a society – are by a juvenile justice system that punishes victims.” (“Shameful System, by Terry O’Neill, Ms Magazine.com pg. 37.) When these girls are arrested and criminally charged with prostitution and pushed through the criminal pipeline , we forget they are the injured parties. And we should be ashamed that 60% of girls going through this pipeline are youngsters of color. (Ibid pg. 37.)
To be blunt, a woman’s presence in the White House will alter the rules of the game in a way that goes beyond political expediency Women think differently than men. Their gender shapes their reality. What a woman brings to the Presidency is a view point that goes beyond the muscular and may even challenge the definition of men and women’s issues. The time may come when women leaders are no longer caught in a double bind: expected to “man up,” while remaining feminine and likeable.
With all things being equal in this election, the moment has come to play the woman’s card. To those who say they can’t trust Hillary Clinton, who have read Republican generated headlines for years and followed investigations that fizzled, I invite you to stop thinking like ideologues. But if you can’t. If your reaction has become too visceral, then I ask you to think past Hillary Clinton. Go ahead. Hate the sinner. Vote, instead, for the poor, the minorities and the providers who serve the disenfranchised, because they are the ones who will benefit under her leadership.