It likely comes as no surprise to anyone that I support Hillary Clinton for President. I can still be a little perplexed by certain assumptions about my endorsement of her candidacy. For the record, I am a “Nebraska Nice” homegrown feminist who found myself battling gender stereotypes throughout most of my adult life. I never had much success in these strategic engagements, but I am proud of my persistence and courage. I never gave up my personal political and social agenda or willingness to fight for others and causes I support. I accept that I have walked a fine line between activist leader and dilettante. I hope I have demonstrated some commitment, knowledge and intelligence avoiding the latter category. I cannot deny that I ran for 3 political offices mostly because I had a social agenda. I knew I had virtually no chance of winning these races. It was a daunting challenge. The “Year of the Woman” in politics had been declared in 1992. Not seeing much action in Nebraska by 2002 – 2003, I was willing to step up. Whether I even accomplished my personal goals is yet to be determined. For the record, my agenda was to encourage more Nebraska women to run for political office and help them win.
My personal “Herstory” reflects why I admire Secretary Clinton so much. She doesn’t give up. She fights for underdogs like me and causes I believe in. Most importantly, she is so much better at it then I ever was or could be. She truly is the champion I aspired to be. She was identified as a woman leader for my generation at her college graduation – before she even met the former American President who shares her journey!
Hillary Clinton chose to work and learn from a giant in a field I advocated for and followed for decades. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, is a accomplished women I greatly admire. Her association with Hillary spoke volumes to me when I first decided to even like the aspiring First Lady.
One of the bedrock principles I have figured out is that you cannot cherish children by disparaging or dismissing the women bearing so much responsibility for their lives. Hillary Clinton gets that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and she has spoken to this reality forcefully and tirelessly throughout the years.
For a lot of reasons, our American political landscape is depicted to emphasize differences over shared values. Hearing “Women’s Rights” unfairly translates and is reduced to a narrow reproductive focus in some circles. This was the dark alley detour of the 20th Century feminism I lived. It was unavoidable because women do have certain rights that society failed to recognize. Rights that apparently still need to be defended. The U.S. Supreme Court is often the decider of the competing interests. This process can be generational. Along the way, wedge issues erect roadblocks on the path to equality and fairness.
I see “Women’s Rights” as central to the social work and juvenile law cases I pursued. I still want to advocate against domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. These social plagues arise in family and societal settings. Hillary Clinton is my candidate because she prioritizes this policy. She doesn’t just orate on it, she has made the welfare of women and children a central focus of her life’s work. She clearly has vast knowledge and experience in other areas; i.e., foreign policy. Importantly, her policy agenda includes the global struggle for women’s rights. Now that is a revolution I can believe in.
In politics, I perceive a laundry list of unconscious motivations I project onto others. I feel guilty about this, but continue the exercise because it helps identify problems and solutions. For now, I will just remark it has been my experience that successful women are held to a higher standard of achievement. It’s unfair and totally unnecessary; discouraging and sometimes very hurtful. It takes a champion to face setback or defeat and move on. Hillary is the gold standard of resilience and fortitude. She will do everything in her power to get the work done and make our lives better.
If you seek more information or persuasion, and you probably should, I encourage you to visit this website: hillaryclinton.com
There is also a film series MAKERS: Women Who Make America (PBS 2013.) Watching any part of Season One will give you a superpower to see the political world through my eyes: pbs.org/makers/season-one