WHAT THIS ELECTION MEANS
IN HIS WEEKLY BROADCAST ON NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (NPR), TITLED “HIDDEN BRAIN,” SHANKER VEDANTAM EXAMINES OUR NEUROLOGICAL WIRING, INVESTIGATING THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN OUR PERCEPTIONS OF BEHAVIOR AND ACTUAL ACTIONS. LAST WEEK, HE SCRUTINIZED THE LACK OF WOMEN IN TOP LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN AMERICA, FINDING THAT THEY ARE CAUGHT IN A “DOUBLE BIND” OF ASSUMPTIONS. THESE BIASES CLASSIFY WOMEN AS EITHER NICE, BUT WEAK OR COMPETENT, BUT UNLIKEABLE. FOR MANY, THE DISCOVERY WAS EXPECTED — SCIENTIFIC DATA SUPPORTED WHAT WE HAD EXPERIENCED OR OBSERVED FIRST-HAND, WHICH IS WHY, DESPITE ITS VITRIOL, THIS ELECTION HAS SERVED A WORTHY PURPOSE: IT HAS LAID BARE THE DISCRIMINATION COUNTLESS FEMALES HAVE INTERNALIZED, AS THEY HAVE BEEN SHAMED, BLAMED OR MERELY DISMISSED INTO SILENCE.
Perhaps that's why when we asked a selection of women to answer (via any medium) the question: Why is this election important to you as a woman? A number supplemented their submissions by noting how "deeply personal" this election is to them. It's deeply personal to us, too. After all, politics determine the freedoms with which we can expect to live our daily lives.
Because not voting in this particular election is the same thing as driving along a cliff in a careening car and taking your hands off the wheel. The decisions we make now will impact the lives of everyone who comes after us. And yet, as much as we talk about voting for the future and for our children, we shouldn't hide behind them. We are voting for us, for right now. And for the past, for every person who fought for the constitutional and human rights of women and struggled to get this country as far as it's come. What progress we have made can be stopped. It can be wound back. So we are not just electing America's first female president. We are electing every activist, teacher, mother, politician, soldier, intellectual and revolutionary who came before her.
Paula Goldstein di Principe
Because the loud racist right are the final screams of an old dying rich white male patriarchy trying desperately to hold onto power by playing on people's uneducated fear of the unknown.
As a woman about to go into the unknown of having my first child, I'm not scared, but I'm ready to fight for liberty, tolerance and a better future.
"I am woman hear me roar."
"Vadis Turner, Trump Hankie, 10.5 x 10.25 inches, vintage handkerchief (belonging to artist's grandmother), and embroidery thread, 2016"
Because she is too magical for their misogyny.
Because I have a daughter. Because I am so sick of abortion being a discussion instead of simply a right. Because I am a mother. Because one candidate has fought for the rights of women and girls her entire political career. Because the other candidate has done the total opposite. Because matriarchy.
An exciting shift towards empowering a feminine approach to leadership, and an opportunity to start a long overdue and meaningful conversation about misogyny in this country.
Freedoms, such as artistic expression, are part of what makes America extraordinary and diverse. Let's continue to progress - by not only exercising these rights, but also by being a voice in this upcoming election.
A film by Godma, Prvt Work and Gloria Noto
Jennie Jieun Lee
This is a photo of me and my mother right after we moved to America from Seoul, Korea in 1976.
Since then, we have led a life affected by racism, death, uprootings, poverty and abortion. We have used the pain we experienced as a strength to reconstruct a new and better life for ourselves.
It is time to set aside the old model in this country and have a woman's experiences influence the future so that things may start to be different and really change.
Julia von Eichel
I’m hoping that Clinton wins and that it will be a better time for woman, more respect, more equality, removal of sexual harassment. America has regressed horribly and if Clinton becomes president, she’ll have more work to focus on than most presidents due to all the harm caused by Trump.
It's a short short piece on the kind of "ease" and freedom from shame that transgender children might be entitled to benefit from under Hillary. A sense of progress in that regard. Of course who knows. But this piece re-imagines the kind of evolved and nurturing acceptance that is in mothers and female leaders.
The mother saw her grown child look doubtful and pained. She asked him what the problem was. He did not want to tell and looked down in shame. I am having menstrual cramps, he said. It’s my first time, ok? The mother did not wish to question him. She got on her knees and lifted his shirt. She kissed his stomach. Each kiss on each fold, would bring the pain away, she promised. Her kisses were sweet and determined. The cramps were gone. It happened in the light of day. No shame, said the mother. No shame in having boy cramps now that a woman is president.
It means everything.