I almost threw up the first time I read the History of Ideas on Women – A Source Book by Rosemary Agonito. I was so upset that I wanted to cry. Especially now as I pull my notes together to write a manifesto to women, I still want to cry. I couldn’t believe the harsh reality that women endured throughout history; and this sentiment sparked the drive behind my mission.
Upon reading the Genesis accounts of God’s creation, I felt sick to my stomach. The accounts stated that women and men were created equal, but then later he established the patriarchal nightmare that is men ruling over women. Plato established that a woman’s purpose is childbirth only to legitimate men’s heir; “an interruption on [women] domestic trivia.” Aristotle considered women to be incomplete beings. Francis Bacon called women a necessary evil and an impediment to men as distractions. David Hume insisted on having different rules for men and women simply because women are more prone to infidelity in his view.
Fast forward a century or two and the attitudes towards women improved a little, but not enough seeing as women were often referred to titles such as “useless maids.” Arthur Schopenhauer’s essay On Women led me to believe that he had no mother, sister or daughter because his condescension for women made them relatively nonexistent.
These abuses on women are still practiced in many cultures today. One does not need to drive far to find a house, community or state where women are being ruled over, disrespected, abused or disregarded. I grew up in a very patriarchal home where my father made all the decisions and my mother had no voice. Girls were groomed for marriage and boys were trained to control women. These home environments are not only a detriment to girls, but are equally damaging to boys as well. When my father scolded my brother for helping with the dishes—a job typical suited for females—he imposed his archaic ways on future generations of men proliferating “ruling vs. cooperation.”
Gender should not sway the vote that I put in ballads, but in this election, it does. Not only for me, but for the millions of people who won’t vote for Hillary just because she is a woman. I have voted for both men and women all throughout my life. I am not the only one aware of the bar that constricts the achievements of women. Because the role of women has been overlooked throughout history, I do find myself paying more attention to the latter. I have continuously found myself supporting both my female employers and coworker. I have mentored women. In my personal experience women are more prone to collaboration instead of competition. We always put the fastest runner at the front of the starting line, it’s about time we see winning as a communal effort rather than solely focusing on one singular prize.
In this respect, I am voting for Hillary. She will be the first woman, mother and daughter in the White House. Like any other mother, she will make mistakes which she will learn from. All presidents have made mistakes, and when Hillary does, I ask that all women stand behind her and support her learning curve.
Having a female president who knows how to work collaboratively is not the best thing about these times. Foremost, the greatest accomplishment would be having a mother in the White House; knowing that her daughter and our daughters will learn from her achievements. The young generation of women will know that the bar is lifting alongside a rise of equal opportunity.
There is comfort knowing that every day when Hillary wakes up in the morning and walks into the Oval Office, a bit of the erroneous DNA humanity carries from the ancient views on women will be slowly erased. That’s what a mother in the White House will create. That’s conscious evolution.