We are fortunate to live in a time when young girls are taught to be more than wives. Slowly, because it is a big undertaking to completely overturn the idea that women are inherently less valuable than their male counterparts, women are being appreciated for more than their relation to men. The change is gradually being made, pioneered by strong confident women all across the globe.
As a teenage girl myself, having strong female role models has completely changed my point of view. My views on what women can and can’t do differ from those of my grandparents, and that is a shift that isn’t unique to my family. Women everywhere are finally gaining representation in government, and women are even the leaders of nations such as Chile, South Korea and Germany. And while the cores of their policies often aren’t inherently different from those of the men in their respective political parties, having a woman leader can have a longstanding impact on the youth growing up under her rule.
Young girls are likely to emulate the behavior of the older women in their lives. They are a reflection of the people who raised them, and having role models such as Hillary Clinton can help raise a generation of girls who want to take action and make a difference in the world.
To a traditionally underrepresented group of people, having a woman president would be an act of validation and a crucial step in the long, meticulous process towards achieving gender equality. Clinton, in particular, supports the right to choose to have an abortion, something her rival Trump does not respect. Many working women see Clinton as the representation they’ve been denied for so long.
But objectively, electing a government official simply because of their gender is never a smart choice regardless of which way that sways you. Clinton and Obama, while both minorities in their own way, do not differ in opinions simply because of gender. Clinton is no more or less qualified than any man with a similar education and the same job experience. Countries with female presidents have not seen more success than those with male presidents. Some people may be put off by Clinton’s email scandal and see it as another example of the stereotype that women are fickle or coy and unable to handle difficult situations and assess the best solution. But as any member of a minority can attest, there is never an umbrella stereotype that fits all people, and it is unfair to pass judgments or make blanket statements.
To many, a woman president represents another step towards equality. But it is important to look at the candidates as people and not as a representation of an ideology; Clinton doesn’t represent feminism, but, as a stand-alone candidate, she can make a positive impact in the lives of many.
Anabelle is a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School. Most of her political knowledge comes from conversations with her dad in the car, but all her knowledge about being a young woman comes from real life experience.