Today, an appetizer from my essay, “I Don’t Need Hillary Clinton to Be Perfect,” that was excerpted at US News & World Report:
I confess that in 2008 I didn’t think we were a country that was ready for a woman president. Oh, how I wanted us to be! The 1970s feminist in me – the one who was schooled about uber-conservative Phyllis Schlafly’s political efforts to keep women in the home, the possibility of an Equal Rights Amendment, and the “women’s lib” expectations that I would, of course, see a woman president in my lifetime – assumed that in the twenty-first century things finally were changing. In 2008, how could it not be time for the United States finally to join that club?
While polls showed that America was statistically on board with the idea of a woman president eight years ago, the worry in my gut knew that women like Hillary often weren’t taken seriously in the world of old (and new) boys’ networks and that there were still too many gendered ideas about how women should be that held us all back, Hillary included, from what we could be. Sadly, my gut correctly predicted that the 2008 election cycle wasn’t going to be the Year of the Woman President in America; it took me longer to figure out why.
Hillary fell short because she wasn’t perfect.