When my oldest daughter was three years old, she came home from daycare and immediately took off the blue space shuttle shirt that she had picked as a souvenir during our visit to the National Air and Space Museum in DC. She didn’t like it anymore because another little girl told her that that shirt was just for boys. I don’t know if that child’s remarks were about the color of the shirt or its scientific nature, and honestly it doesn’t matter. My three year old was told that something was “just for boys” and she believed it. And she acted on it. As a woman and mother of three daughters, little occupies my mind more than the patriarchy of society.
One of the things that struck me most about the screening of Strong Sisters, was the commentary that women should be involved in politics because they are women rather than despite that fact. Several different politicians spoke of the soft nature and different perspective that they bring to the table. They said that they have much to offer as women and I recall a couple of them stating that they felt that the gridlock in DC politics would not have existed if more women were there to offer thoughts. Women are mediators and promote compromise, they said.
The acknowledgement that women are different from men and that that should be celebrated and embraced is honestly new to me. I feel like girls and women have been told for so long we can’t do something because we’re girls, or that it doesn’t matter that we’re girls, we can still achieve our goals. The latter is seen as progressive, but the truth is that it does matter that my daughters are girls. Women should be able to embrace their femininity rather than suppress or ignore it in their pursuit of success.
Just how the colorblind ideology encourages the racism it espouses to abolish, telling girls that they can do anything even though they’re girls, only perpetuates the patriarchy that I am, and have been, fighting against.
So, while it might be ill-advised to turn towards current political ideals, I will close by saying that it does matter that there is a woman running for president. And I look forward to waking up my daughters for cake on election night.