No, I’ve not been watching the political conventions. It’s been hard to avoid the coverage and commentary, but for the most part I’ve succeeded. I just tune in late each evening to find out what the highlights were.
So far two moments have stood out, both from the Democratic Convention. I happened to turn on the TV Monday night just in time to catch Michelle Obama’s remark about waking up every morning in a house that slaves built. That’s going to stay with me for a long time. A simple statement that said so much. And provoked such reflection.
And then last night I happened to catch the moment in this video. And I don’t think my reaction is what the DNC hoped for. When the “glass ceiling” shattered and Hillary appeared, I cringed. The “woman card” again! It offends and insults me. As I’ve noted before, gender is not a qualification for the office of president, nor does it make you any more or less suited for the job. I will not base my vote on a candidate’s gender.
At the same time most women in the audience were bursting into tears of ecstasy, I was wondering what all the male voters in the country were thinking. Is this approach going to appeal to them? Is this continued theme of breaking the glass ceiling going to alienate male voters as much as it appeals (supposedly) to women? Democrats speak of party unity, and then risk dividing it by gender. It felt more like the Democratic Women’s Convention than the Democratic National Convention.
All I know is that when the “glass” shattered, I cringed. And not for the first time.
It’s not like I wasn’t a part of the original wave of feminists (Gloria Steinem, et al). I just wasn’t all militaristic activist about it. I could support all their goals without burning my bras (who wants droopy, bouncing boobs?) or screaming like a banshee at public demonstrations. And truth be told, I always liked and appreciated the gentlemen who opened doors for me. Still do.
But again, my point is, I cringed. And that’s not the way I wanted to feel about the candidate who will most likely get my vote.