This post was contributed by KT Speetzen as part of our Voices Amplified series.
Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election due in large part to sexism, just like the nomination she sought in 2008. Don’t believe me? Look no further than this t-shirt.
Eight years ago, back when hope abounded and a new day was dawning in America, then Senators Obama and Clinton were duking it out to be the Democratic presidential nominee. While the candidates clashed in their ideologies before the American people, some Democrats responded with unrestrained sexism. “Bros Before Hoes.” T-shirts. Posters. So to the point. Women shouldn’t seek leadership elected roles in higher government.
To imply that Senator Clinton was a “hoe,” a woman who was New York’s senator during 9/11, the former First Lady, an attorney, a human rights advocate, a mother, a human, was horrific. And I repeat: this was in 2008, and by her own party members. Before she was Secretary of State, before she gained even more experience to make her the most qualified candidate in American history. In retrospect, why did I think she had a chance?
I thought she had a chance because I believe in the hope that President Obama promised us. I believe in fundamental American values: hard work, fortitude, resilience. I also knew that if there was anyone who earned it, it was Hillary. But like that great SNL skit between Amy Poehler’s Hillary and Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin suggests, Clinton “scratched and clawed through barbed wire” to get where she is. And it still wasn’t enough.
The question on everyone’s mind is: where do we go from here? As a feminist and mother of two young daughters, I’m exhausted and I feel like the war’s just beginning. And I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic in using the word “war.” Just like those who fought in The 1960s Civil Rights movement, American women need to take a long, hard look at themselves and decide what they are worth. Are we worthy of second class citizenry with lower wages than our male counterparts? Are we worthy of higher health care premiums and job loss due to our separate but equal sexual organs assigned by biology? Are we worthy of being deemed “nasty” by the next Leader of the Free World because we have a voice and we use it? Are we worthy of a revolution that says, once and for all, we are equal?
I am worthy. My daughters are worthy. You are worthy.
The Revolution is now.
KT Speetzen is the Founder and Producer of THE MOTHER CLUCKERS, La Grange, Illinois’ premiere comedy troupe. Err… it might be La Grange’s only comedy troupe. Find them @mothercluckerscomedy on Facebook and other internet hangouts.