From a young age, there is an immense amount of societal pressure put on young women to be attractive, to be agreeable, to be smart, to be gentle…the list goes on. In the words of Chimamanda Ngoozi Adichie, “We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man.”
Like so many other girls, these are the messages that I grew up with. I subscribed to the notion that I had to be it all without having it all. Now, with a woman as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, it is more important than ever to break down those sexist barriers that our country has held on to for generations.
Hillary Clinton is a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a philanthropist, a politician, and yes – a woman. We as women, no longer need to limit ourselves to have a family or take the back seat to our partners as they pursue their careers. We should be able to aspire to reach our full potential and take the path that we write for ourselves.
This election is not just about voting for America’s first woman president, it is about valuing the potential of all of the other women that can and will come after her because this monumental milestone was reached. Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton’s nomination does not eliminate the existence of sexism – it gives me hope that girls will now grow up with something to reach for based on their ability, rather than being held back by society’s expectations of their gender.