Wednesday, June 04, 2008

the shattered ceiling and what it means for our children

We all know the Democratic primary is historic, watching the first woman and the first African American compete for President. This isn't news. But this morning I was reminded exactly how much it means for my child. My nearly four year old has been putting up with us for months, the back and forth on Hillary and Barack, the debates and the speeches, she's watched and learned and will tell anyone who asks that she wants Barack to win, based mostly on the Will.i.am video and the fact her mama cheers whenever he speaks. She doesn't know what winning means or what the prize is, but she knows it's between a man who is a different color than she is and yet the same color as some of her friends, and Hillary well, she's a girl after all. A girl like her. And for the record, she likes her too.

So if things go our way she'll be 12 years old before Obama is out of office. She'll live the next eight years of her life seeing pictures of him, listening to him speak, watching him lead. Seeing his girls grow up just as she's growing herself. And when it's time for the next President, she'll know a lot more about what that title means. She'll know more about how much it matters. And she'll remember last time a woman tried to win, and perhaps a woman will try and win again. And perhaps a Mexican-American or an Asian-American will run against her. And it won't be historic, it'll just be how things are done. And then she, of mixed ethnicity and female gender will grow up believing that one day too, that might be her. Because it's possible now because they were courageous enough to risk it for all of us.

And for that I will be eternally thankful to both Senators Clinton and Obama. Because you've shattered that glass and you've given our children a new dream, one that includes all of them no matter their gender or color.

Cross posted at MOMocrats.

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22 comments:

Little Monkies said...

Chills, Jen. Chills.

Gwen said...

Ooh, I like the thought that our children are going to grow up with Obama in office. Let's make it more than a dream!

Defiantmuse said...

ah, you said it so well.
I concur, my dear.
:)

crazymumma said...

Do you ever want to run from it I wonder?

bgirl said...

exactly.

Arwen said...

Yes Yes Yes!
My daughter wants a t-shirt that says 'Me and Momma for Obama'

Dorothy said...

Thank you...this is great and
we all know it...

My best,
Dorothy from grammology
remember to call your gram
grammology.com

Amy Y said...

Oh, happy day!
It's nice to have hope again, eh? I think it's gonna be a good 8 years... and dammit, we deserve it!

Bungi said...

One of the things that increased the standing of US in my eyes was my walk through the Roosevelt Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial... I understood the foundation on which they tried to build the country - that all men (humans) are worthy and all are equal... It is great seeing it alive even after the foundations seem to have been buried deep under the soil... Perhaps, it is bearing fruit now...

Hetha said...

It *is* wonderful, but isn't it amazing that it has so long?

West Coast Diva said...

I am not holding my breath -- until I see Obama take the Oath of the President of the United States with his wife Michelle next to his side looking on I am not going to believe it.

The jaded and cynical side of me doesn't think that sadly that the United States is ready for a black man in the white house, and that because of OUR FEAR the dumb old white guy is going to win.

I hope I am wrong. I hope that Obama can show us just how much like JFK he really is.

I was a baby when JFK was assasinated, however, I have grown up listening to what a wonderful man he was.

Nice blog -- great food for thought.

Peace.

wheelsonthebus said...

I have a dream that someday the sons of former slave and the sons of former slaveowners will sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

And now there are daughters and sisters there, too.

hele said...

I believe the rest of the world is also keeping there fingers crossed.

I know we are.

Bon said...

even up in Canada i've been thinking it'll be positive for my white male son to grow up with his image of the dominant world leaders not entirely shaped on people who look like him...when i was a little kid, first learning about the world, even the UN was run by Kurt Waldheim, and the Russians weren't exactly people of colour.

Jennifer said...

*clink*

Lifting my glass to and with you, sister. For us and for our children -- and theirs and theirs -- may it be so.

Madge said...

so glad this time has come.

Amanda said...

I still reflect on the rally I attended when I was not yet in the double digits as far as age went. I wore apin that said, "Jane Wyman was right," and my coat bore a badge that read, "daughter of an earth mother," I cheered as Geraldine Ferraro took the stage, embodying on that sunny afternoon in Eugene, Oregon the saying, "Anything boys can do, girls can do better." She may not have won, but she demonstrated that it was possible, not foolish to aspire.

I am so grateful my girls are growing up with similar pages in history.

carrie said...

Yup.

crazymumma said...

What a different world they are growing up in. Sometimes I just want to hide my head in the sand at the immensity of it all.

alejna said...

It is an amazing thing. I feel like we are on the edge of some amazing change for the better. If only we get to make these next difficult steps.

I love to think of the ceiling being shattered.

b*babbler said...

even though I'm Canadian, this is exactly why I cried a little when Hilary lost, and why I cried a little when Obama won. Because at the end of the day, while I was pulling for Obama, I knew that regardless of the outcome, that this was a momentous occasion. That it would change the landscape for years to come.

ewe are here said...

I was just thinking about this this weekend... the next generation may not remember a time when women and non-white men weren't in serious competition for our nation's highest office. It will all seem perfectly normal to them.

Long may it last.