By Brianna Eliza Castillo
As election polls come to an opening, our unanswered questions come to light. Who will be the next United States commander in chief? Does their stance on certain issues mesh or clash with mine? Will their gender affect the direction of our country? No matter where you sit on the social ladder, you must be aware that the possibility of having a woman sit in the position of commander in chief is very significant. Historically speaking, this is not any bigger than having an African-American as our president, but it is a significant test of the gender biases in our country.
As some may be petrified with the thought of having Donald J. Trump as our next leader, some are even more worried playing with the thought of Hilary Clinton–yes, a woman–as the next president of the United States of America. In the past, you had to be a man, white, and powerful to even qualify as a candidate. Within the last decade, boundaries were pushed and shoved more than ever, and people acknowledged that you don’t have to fit into conventional molds to achieve legendary status. Take multi-Olympic champion Bruce Jenner, now formally known as Caitlyn Jenner, for instance. Who says a woman is not as capable as a man? Structured social norms, you may call it.
As Ghandi quotes, “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
This election may not be easy on the average Joe voter, but it is one of the most important elections in our lifetime. This election cycle has been rough, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum. From public circumstances to private conversations, a few factors have been common across all situations: total chaos and confusion. Many voters have testified that in voting for their chosen candidate, they feel that they are picking “the lesser of two evils.” From a social responsibility standpoint, your vote for the future leader of this country cannot be based on such an arbitrary concept. There is far more to this year’s election than the factors that meet the eye. As a citizen of this country, you must rise above the perceived common denominator of voters and really strive to understand the issues at hand.
With minimal research, it becomes clear that women are capable of leading well and have done so throughout the ages. Historical records can attest to this statement. Equality is only a minor setback that may be faced when a woman is running for said position. “Recall that just 8 percent of the candidates for Congress are women, many of whom run against incumbents and so have little chance of winning. Recall also that in the history of the United States there have been only thirty-five women with the same political and military credentials as the men who have recently won the presidency.
These facts taken in conjunction with the statistics from lower-level races—which show that when women run they win just as often as men do—suggest that the real problem is that women don’t run for office. Such a lack of political aspiration could only be exacerbated by the way the press covers women who do run.”
I have been lucky to witness the ups and downs of a woman running for office first-handedly. All of the prejudice and biased opinions are as stigmatized as they come. It is not a matter of what of what an individual is capable of pursuing, but rather of what an individual is capable of proving. Not only proving bigots and family wrong, but the standard of what a conventional women is supposed to look and act like. As Hilary Clinton has quoted herself, “When there are no ceilings,” she declared, “the sky’s the limit.”