No one should earmark the anointing of a female vice-presidential candidate as anything but, well, ordinary. It’s been done before. Senator Kamala Harris is no pioneer. She missed the Civil Rights struggle by a decade, clamored her way up the political ladder after an easily accessible education, friends in high places, and being in the right place at the right time.
America saw to it to make women in politics unremarkable – without any help from Harris whatsoever – one hundred years ago. The 19th Amendment introduced to Congress in 1878 and ratified in 1920 is a story for the history books earned by women’s suffrage supporters who lectured, wrote, marched, and lobbied for equality at the ballot box. Names buried in those pages include Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul. These women bucked the system, defied husbands and fathers and elected officials, and spent days in jail cells for civil unrest.
This road is already paved. And those gals made it clear: they didn’t need any help to be equal.
Senator Harris is also not the first woman, of any color, to run for president. African American Lenora Fulani became the first woman to have her name printed on the ballots in all fifty states in the 1988 presidential showdown. The late Rep. Shirley Chisolm (D-NY) became the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for president and the first woman in the Democratic Party to seek the nomination.
The list goes on. The point to ponder is, why is this such a big deal?
Women Don’t Need Special Treatment
Most American women today have always had the same rights as men when it comes to casting a ballot. They are not into sneaking around to support radical movements or threatening to go rogue against home and hearth. The clobbering of rolling pins on pinheads is long past in America. To push the notion of breaking boundaries and glass ceilings – that one must vote for a woman because they are a woman is taking political gains back to the suffragette ages. It’s offensive.
Hillary was happily propelled into the nomination because she was a woman. She lost to the current president because she was an unpopular candidate, and folks could not stand her voice, her politics, her pantsuits, or hot sauce pandering.
Democrats have again played the woman card out of a desire to be the party with the first woman president. The Biden camp pulls a lackluster presidential candidate who failed to collect a single delegate as a running mate. A woman of color checks the identity politics box on the Democrat playlist, but Harris is about as likable as fire ants at a picnic. If Harris was capable of potentially running the country after Joe disintegrates, why did the numbers not simply flood in during the primary?
It is as though some still believe that women need a leg up to get anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
2024 – Let’s Focus On That
The hard work is done. Today’s American women vote for the candidate that best defines the vision they have for their own lives – economic wealth, healthcare, social issues, equal rights. The idea that this demographic needs any help at all sets the movement of equality back 100 years. What would Carrie Chapman Catt or Alice Paul say about election 2020? Perhaps they would ask the relevant question: Why would Harris even accept the second place on the ticket? Why did any woman bow out in 2020 when Hillary Clinton damn near nabbed the brass ring four years ago?
It’s already a woman’s world. And a woman president should be thought of as normal – not helpless to achieve the position on her own without a doddering old white man opening her door. Perhaps let us pick a real winner next go around and make more than a footnote in the history books. We have the votes to do just that.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.