Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The State of the Union is: Women are Strong

I watched Bush's State of the Union address last night, regrettably after our older daughter was tucked into her bed. How I wish she could have seen it! When I looked at the screen and I saw three faces: Bush, Cheney, and Nancy Pelosi, I just kept muttering, "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it." When our daughter was just barely four, she looked down at her laminated placemat with each of the presidents of the United States and asked, "Why there aren't any women?". How do you explain patriarchy to a four-year-old? I could only tell her, "Not yet." Our daughter is now six, and after Nancy's election, I attempted to explain to her the significance of this event: "If President Bush ever died, and Dick Cheney, then Nancy Pelosi would be president. A woman has never been speaker of the House before in our country." Seeing Nancy Pelosi sitting there last night made me realize in a new way her amazing achievement for all women. Women still struggle to be leaders; indeed, I have my own struggles.

When they interviewed Hilary Clinton after the president's speech, I told my partner that she seemed, somehow, softer. He said, "Yeah, her campaign advisers are working on that with her." In order to be more appealing, she has to soften up? Her thick layers of don't-mess-with-me toughness are what got her through to being the only viable female presidential hopeful we have ever seen! Now to get the votes, she has to tone it down? I hate politics. I hate that we all fight the same battle as Hilary. However, I am filled with hope that we will soon see the first female president of the United States, and our daughter can get a new placemat.