Moms On Issues Mon, 09 Feb 2009 10:00:49 +0000 en Open letter to Michelle Obama: Mama to Mama Mon, 09 Feb 2009 10:00:49 +0000 Veronica First I have to say I agree that you should be upset that Ty is trying to use your daughters for a fast buck. The fact that they are trying to convince us that the dolls aren’t your daughters is laughable. The quotes in their press release pretty much says they are the girls. But know that I’m right there with you over the exploitation and the aging of the girls into teens for the dolls. And that changing the name of those dolls doesn’t diminish what they did.

BUT…I will selfishly ask you to not shelter the girls away too much during your stay in the White House. Our kids need your girls.

In the Fall 2008 issue of the Girl Scouts LEADER magazine, I was asked how we as loving parents deal with celebrity worship. One of my suggestions that did not get in print (the interview was done in the spring) was to focus on the positive celebrity starlets out there. I was thinking of any girl celeb who hadn’t been caught drinking, clubbing, or without panties on. If asked that question today, I would say that we should point to Malia and Sasha.

You and the President have done a remarkable job raising the girls. You can tell how happy they are just by looking at them and that tells me they come from a happy & loving home. I never felt that the girls were accessories to the campaign, but rather girls trying to spend time with their busy parents. And as a busy mama myself, I found great solace in that.

My 5-year-old daughter swoons over your daughters, as I suspect many other kids are doing. My husband, daughter & I have watched the “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert at Lincoln Memorial” half a dozen times. Each time chills go up my husband & my spines as
we listen to U2 sing. I cry each time “This Land is Your Land” is sung. My daughter squeals “The girls!” each time one of your daughters is on screen. Yes, I’ve done a fairly good job shielding her from entertainment that I think is geared towards older children, but she knows the Hannah Montanas of the world. But none have elicited a squeal or the beam of pride & awe that my daughter gives your two.

I also agree that the release of dolls resembling the First Daughters is yet another progressive step in our country’s discussion about race. While my family is of Mexican descent, I am overjoyed to think that thousands of non-African American girls would be playing with dolls that aren’t blond and blue-eyed. I get teary-eyed when I think of all the African-American girls in this country who have what could be said the ultimate role models in your daughters. Then to have them in doll form? Oh my, what a moment! But of course, the dolls should be produced under the guidance of the family, especially the girls themselves. I do admit to hoping for a full First Family doll set for my squealing daughter.

Yet, as a mom of a young girl and the watcher of too many documentaries on the Drew Barrymores of the world, I know the pitfalls of early celebrity and can only imagine the weight of being role models to a nation. You have said that the girls will still make their own beds - a clear sign that you want to keep them grounded. But as I said earlier, I am being selfish.

I see the world around our daughters getting more and more toxic, pushing them to grow up far too fast, sexualizing them with music, movies, clothing and spa treatments and the demands of school. Then there are us parents having almost no control over what they are exposed to. I know where our girls are headed, they will soon have their school books and walls covered in Teen Beat posters of the latest Hollywood star just as Michael J. Fox covered my walls. The fact that my daughter took your family picture from Parade magazine and put it up on her wall, well, that moves me beyond words.

I know we are asking a lot of your family. We hope your husband cleans up eight years of mess domestically and internationally. We look to you as not just a fashion plate, but also a strong woman who is proud to be call herself a mom first. And yes, I have pointed to your daughters and told mine, “The girls have to keep their room clean too!”

I hope that you are able to find that crazy balance one needs to raise a child in today’s media spotlight. I know that you need to keep the girls from prying eyes. But I hope you also know that the world needs your girls too. Our sons & daughters who need to see two intelligent girls doing amazing things. Don’t think less of us when we cling to the glimpses you allow us to take into your family’s life. For me it’s not about celebrity, but rather about wanting to share in the beautiful love that I see when I see your family. Thanks.

Happy New Year! Mon, 05 Jan 2009 10:00:17 +0000 Veronica Ah, the Monday after New Year’s. The day when most kids are headed back to the classroom and parents head back to their offices (whether or not they are in their PJs). The holidays are past us, we’re scraping the bottom of the cookie tin, and wondering if we really are going to use that Wii Fit to lose weight (I wouldn’t know, we’re Wii-free). But let’s grab another cuppa coffee/tea/chai and head into the new year with gusto. Yes, let’s Work it, Moms!

Here are my hopes for all of us for 2009:

1] That we only forget to make lunch for our kids once a month rather than once a week, prompting a mad dash to the grocery store or scrounging for lunch money at the bottom of our purse;

2] That we get two nights warning before the big science fair project, book report, or historical diorama made entirely of uncooked pasta noodles is due;

3] That we remember to remind our kids to brush their hair everyday before we are four miles from home (I forgot last week);

4] That we only get one last minute report, grant, or budget to balance at a time;

5] That we manage our internet addictions to Facebook, Twitter, etc;

6] That we only continue to progress towards our career goals in this scary economic time we are living through;

7] That we only get sick when our partners are home and can make us grilled cheese with tomato soup (I guess we can’t get sick, eh?);

8] That our dogs don’t eat our favorite and new shoes;

9] That we don’t beat ourselves up too much this year;

10] That our families, friends, loved ones, and we stay healthy, safe, and near by.

What topics would you like to see explored here this year? Have any goals you want help with? Or add your own hope for all of in the comments! You know you want to avoid that to-do list for 5 more minutes.

Image credit from Fairies Illustrations

Thoughts on gift giving and saying no Mon, 08 Dec 2008 16:31:22 +0000 Veronica As a vocal feminist mom, I often get questions about what books or toys to buy for children, especially girls. Many moms are leery of all the stuff that’s available and want help navigating the pitfalls. Last year I put together a list of online gifts & non-gifts for budding feminists. But we all know that the smallest of our children are expecting Santa, Hanukkah Harry or Solstice Sabrina (yeah, I just made her up) to bring some actual toys.

While moms are hailing the possibility that this is our last holiday season with Bratz dollz, it doesn’t mean that we are free from dolls that wear stripper wear. Obviously some parents are buying these dolls for their daughters. Why don’t I like them? Well, their attire is my #1 reason. There’s a vicious cycle that I want to see us break that might mean a return to allowing our girls to reclaim their childhood. Clothing in the stores for young girls (pre-school to tween) are sometimes inappropriate. I don’t want my 5-year-old wearing the same clothes my 16-year-old niece wears. That just pushes the 16-year-old to think, “I don’t want to wear baby clothes” and she shops in the college girl section…On and on. If you want to buy a doll, a traditional Barbie is fine. Yes, this feminist says buy the Barbie, as long as she’s dressed appropriately.

While Barbie is still haunted by her tiny waistline, feet that don’t allow her to stand on her own and her anti-math slogan from years ago she looks totally innocent next to Bratz and Barbie Bratz dolls. While I don’t advocate for $100 dolls, American Dolls at least are still keeping in tune with CHILDhood.

I see far too many moms and dads strolling the toy aisles and overhearing their kids ask for this and that. The parents roll their eyes and you can see that they don’t want to buy it for them, but in the basket it goes! Parents it’s ok to just say no! Whether you can’t afford that toy, their room is already overstuffed with toys as my daughter’s is, or you object to a doll that’s wearing what we wore in high school…Just say no.

Use the economy to draw a line in the sand. Whether it is no Bratz doll or setting a budget for each kid, let’s return to some common sense and who is the parent. I know, I know, it’s hard to say no when you’re in the store and you really need to get through the check out lane. There’s no time for a meltdown. My mom had a great way to handle this during some part of the year. She firmly said that no one could buy anything for themselves after Halloween because Santa was coming. No toys, no games and certainly not a new gaming system.

Santa did deliver, not always every one of my wishes, but enough. And he never left me a toy that made me feel like I had to dress a certain way or wish I was 10 years old.

If the position doesn’t pay, does it command respect? Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:00:59 +0000 Veronica No, this isn’t another “don’t blog for free” treatise, but close. One of the electoral victories for women is that the New Hampshire Senate now has a women majority.

New Hampshire’s state Senate will carve history for the Granite State in January when the legislative body convenes with women in 13 of the 24 seats forming the country’s first female majority.

Women will also factor in key positions of leadership: the Senate is presided over by its president, Sylvia Larson, and president pro-tem, Maggie Hassan, while Martha Fuller Clark continues her role as majority whip.

This is certainly significant as New Hampshire would be the experiment we have been waiting for to see if you do put women in charge if things would end up any differently, specifically in a better place. But one thing has put this experiment in some doubt – pay.

States such as New Hampshire and New Mexico, whose elected officials receive no compensation, tend to have a higher percentage of female representatives, says Ziegler, because the sessions are less time-consuming and the expectations and compensation are such that the people who serve think of themselves as public servants rather than professional politicians.

Ziegler goes on to parallel the New Hampshire and New Mexico legislatures to PTAs because of the no pay and smaller time commitments.

The PTA? Is that a correct parallel? My daughter is in kindergarten and I haven’t been snagged by one of the many committees at her school and based on a very unpopular question I asked at a parent meeting, I doubt I will be. But I don’t see the PTA as something that is not time consuming. Yes, less time consuming than being State Senator, but still pretty darn tough when you’re working and raising a family.

But back to this no pay thing…Would you be an elected official if there wasn’t any pay associated? The debate in freelance circles are “exposure” writers versus “pay-only” writers and then a huge group of writers in the middle. Are there gigs that might “pay for itself” in exposure? Yeah, I think so. Can being a State Senator of New Hampshire pay for itself in exposure? Incoming U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen [video link] is evidence that it can.

The debate occurring on blogs and listservs is whether or not the fact that women are the majority of New Hampshire’s Senate is a direct result of the non-pay AND if this means that being a state senator is less respected than in other states. Of course in my woman-head, I think that it shows more character to be a state senator for no money than to see people wrestle over a seat that pays a lot of money – Not knowing if they are in it for the service or for the pay. Maybe New Hampshire has cultivated a culture that commands respect for service, especially volunteer service.

Loyal readers…Would you run for an office for no pay? Anyone from New Hampshire who can shed a light on this amazing piece of history?

Michelle Obama and the working mom struggle Mon, 17 Nov 2008 10:00:24 +0000 Veronica When I was a kid my parents worked weekends. My dad at his second job and my mom worked nights in a hospital. They worked their schedules out so that every other weekend my two younger sisters and I spent the weekend with my grandma. This allowed my grandmother to have a lot of influence on me. She tried to convince my younger sister and I that our beloved cousins in San Antonio never fought; unlike us who held championship matches almost every day. But the one lesson that stuck with me, even if I didn’t live it, was this – Boys can wait, education first, get a job, and then find a boyfriend.

Michelle Obama certainly lead her life with this mantra, that is until she met Barack. “Michelle was full of plans that day, on the fast track, with no time, she told me, for distractions — especially men.” He has freely admitted that Michelle is the one who put her career on a mommy-track (not that her career looks anything like the typical mommy-track, mind you, just next to Barack’s career) for the kids sake, for his career sake. And now she is to be the next First Lady.

But is that a demotion? Some think it might be. Some are just upset that Michelle’s accomplishments aren’t as widely known as Barack’s. And then there are others who slapped themselves on the forehead when Michelle uttered the phrase, “Mom in Chief.” *raising my hand in guilt*

I was expecting Michelle to take to the First Lady position with the same passion she showed on the campaign trail, with the same passion she showed earlier this year when speaking about work/life issues. I guess I was expecting Michelle to do what I think I would do if given the chance to have the world’s biggest soap box as a job.

Then reality sets in…the kids. Oh, us moms are suckers for our kids. Yes, I hope that Michelle pulls a Helen Santos and makes Barack tour the DC school system with her, but alas, it looks doubtful. Ah, Helen Santos…I wonder what you would tell Michelle. But back to the kids. Someone has to raise them and it can’t just be Grandma, who is expected to move into the White House as well.

And that’s really it, isn’t it? Who will raise the kids? Who will make the sacrifice necessary for the children to turn out normal despite being crowned as our princesses? With the celeb magazines and offers to appear on TV shows, who will keep the weeMichelles’ feet on the ground?

Back in college my husband and I made a pact to take turns being in the lead. If I had gotten into graduate school for biology, he would have followed. Since I didn’t, we essentially had a race to see who would get the “real/dream job” and settle us. He won that race and I passed on a job in DC. Since then we’ve gone back and forth between who is the breadwinner, who does the cleaning, and who stays home to take care of the sick child. It’s not quite 50/50 in our home, but we take turns. But how do you take turns while living in the White House?

I think that no matter what plans you have, decisions you make, someone’s career will take off. Sometimes it is as deliberate as Barack Obama’s career. Sometimes it is more luck. And with that, someone will be trailing, following, and putting away the butter even after you’ve asked them three times to put it back. Sometimes it’s as tiny as one partner is made manager while the other enjoys staying on the line, doing their job without the added responsibility of making sure others do theirs. It’s rare for careers in a family to be at the same level all the time.

I’ve been told that the reason why women live longer is that we have to wait longer to get going on our own lives. It’s amazing how often that seems to be true.

Dads contemplate their jobs’ affect on family too Thu, 13 Nov 2008 12:00:50 +0000 Sara I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised when I hear fathers in important positions discuss openly their fears about work interfering with their family. We are so used to mothers bearing the brunt of the work-life balance decision, that we often forget that fathers share that burden as well. Two prominent fathers in the media this week publicly discussed their jobs’ potential affect on their families.

Before Rahm Emanuel accepted the position as president-elect Obama’s Chief of Staff, he seemed conflicted about whether or not to take on this demanding job.

He said, “I have a lot to weigh: the basis of public service, which I’ve given my life to, a career choice. And most importantly, what I want to do as a parent.” And added, “this is not a professional choice. This is a personal choice about what my wife and I want to do for our family, as much as what to do with my career.”

The media often publicizes mothers making those types of statements or being at the focus of such conversations. But in reality, these decisions weigh just as heavily on today’s fathers.

It was reported in People magazine this week that Eriq La Salle left the hit show “ER” “for a stable family life.” Who knew?

I don’t give my husband or other dads credit for enduring the burden of the work-life balancing act as much as moms do. We always play up the struggle of today’s mothers and their jobs, but I personally give little thought to fathers’ struggles as well.

I know in my household, my husband carries the incredible weight of supporting our family, at the expense of spending oodles of time with our son. He has little balance, and we speak of it very little. I guess the end justifies the means in our case, as it probably does with Mr. Emanuel.

But it doesn’t mean that it isn’t tough for today’s fathers. And I could use a little more news reminders now and then.

Moms, do you take your husbands for granted when it comes to work-life balance?

How did women fare in Election 2008? Mon, 10 Nov 2008 06:01:22 +0000 Veronica It’s been a week since voters spoke and rightfully so the media has been focused on what President-elect Obama will do, but how did women fare? Don’t worry, I’ll get to Sarah Palin at the end of the stats…

First of all, Obama won the Presidency with 56% of the women’s vote, including 70% of unmarried women. Ruth Rosen has more on the effect of the women’s vote.

U.S. House of Representatives: Women gained three seats to reach a record high of 74, but that still is only 16% representation. “Five women won open House races, where there were no incumbents. And five female challengers unseated incumbents.”

U.S. Senate: “17 women (13D, 4R) will serve in the US Senate – besting the previous record of 16 set in the 110th Congress. 4 of the women (3D, 1R) won their elections on November 4th, 2008 including 2 incumbents; Susan Collins R-ME and Mary Landrieu D-LA and 2 newcomers; Kay Hagan D-NC and Jeanne Shaheen D-NH.” Women didn’t just help Obama, but the gender gap (22 points) was sizeable for incoming Colorado Senator Udall in Colorado where women represented 61 percent of the electorate.

Governors: While North Carolina voted in their first woman Governor, the total number of women holding the highest office in their states remained at 8.

Ballot initiatives: Three anti-choice initiatives were defeated preserving women’s reproductive choices. Three states banned same-sex marriage. One state, Arkansas, banned unmarried couples from adopting children.

The first transgender mayor was elected in Oregon. The first time that Mayor Rasmussen was elected, she was a he. Obviously her constituents are not offended by her status and happy with the way she was running the town. Congrats!

And then there’s our BFF Sarah Palin.

Oh, Sarah…I have to give you props for trying to infuse the Republican Party with mommy politics and that sassy attitude of yours. I never harped on your for your beauty queen background, but it was apparent that the GOP wanted to play you like one. They muzzled you for so long that once you did open your mouth off stage each word was analyzed. You tried to play the game and the GOP discovered feminism by crying sexism anytime someone criticized you. But as soon as it was apparent that you & McCain were going to lose, rumors were unleashed. You don’t know the difference between a country and a continent; you answered the door in a towel, and acted like a hillbilly on your shopping spree. I have no idea what is or isn’t true and really I don’t care. What I do care about is that your party threw you under at least three buses, backed up and ran you over again. The party who was crying sexism a few weeks ago sought to turn you into a stupid-free-spending-slut. It’s disgusting and frankly not unexpected. I fear that this will do for women thinking about running for office. In the primary we saw the Democrats do nothing to defend Hillary from sexist attacks and now we see the GOP engaging in smears against their own candidate.


Another electoral chapter closed…some bad, a lot good, and still a lot not yet written…stay tuned!

Lastly….please take a moment to vote for Work it, Mom! over at DivineCaroline! Thanks.

And now the hard work begins… Wed, 05 Nov 2008 13:05:53 +0000 Veronica women at workIn 2004 or 2005 I was sitting in my optometrist’s waiting room with my, now 5-year-old, daughter. I want to say it was 2005 because I was trying to use a Newsweek to distract her. I picked up the issue and pointed to the man on the cover, “He’s going to be our next President.” She smiled and went on flipping through the magazine. Yes, that man was Barack Obama. Last night she stayed up until just past 10 pm Chicago time to witness history. She went with one of my best friends, her aunt by love, not blood, to vote after school. She was so happy!

I’m still on a high from this and I think all Obama supporters will be for quite some time. Yet what Obama is doing and what we need to be doing is planning for the future. But first, let’s see how the rest of the ballot shook out:

U.S. Senate – Democrats gained 5 seats for a total of 56 seats, not filibuster proof, but a good majority. (at press time a few seats are still up in the air)

U.S. House of Representatives – Democrats gained a lot of seats for a total of 251 seats!

Propositions that were very women or family-centric –

• Florida appears (too close to call at press time) to have voted a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution.
• South Dakota, voters rejected an absolute ban on abortion except for cases of rape, incest and severe threat to the life of the mother. Voters in South Dakota rejected an even stricter proposal two years ago that did not include exceptions for rape and incest. [link]
• Colorado also failed in a far-reaching constitutional amendment that would have defined human life as beginning at conception. The adoption of this referendum would have made any abortion illegal and also extended human and property rights to foetuses. [link]
• California appears split on the two big propositions – No on abortion notification and yes on banning gay marriage (also too close to call at press time)
• Oregon rejects a proposition to limit ESL to two years for students.
• Arizona also passes a ban on gay marriage
• Arkansas passes a ban on same-sex couples from adopting.
• Michigan’s stem-cell measure is still up in the air, but looking like it will pass and allow for stem cell research.
• Nebraska has voted out affirmative action.

I look at our country, who and what it voted for and see a glaring area of social change that must be addressed – lesbian & gay rights. There is no denying that we need, as a country, have the conversation about how we want to deal with LGBT rights.

Same-sex marriage:: To me, it is plain and simply about love. Love between two people who want to be recognized by the state NOT by a house of worship, but the state, the government in order for them to use the thousands of benefits that come to married hetero-couples. From hospital visits to inheriting estate as a survivor, these benefits are crucial for us to have a society that treats all its citizens equally.

Allowing lesbians and gays to adopt:: This one still baffles me. Do we really think that having a child go from foster home to group home is better than settling into a loving family that just might be headed by two women or two men? Seriously? Sorry, I can’t think of much else to say about this because to me, children come first and if they don’t have a problem living with a same-sex couple, love them and want to be adopted I don’t see what the fuss is all about.

I know, I’ve heard all the stances on why we can’t have two women raise children…But most opposition to LGBT rights is based in religious texts and I respect that. What I don’t respect is others wanting all of us to live under those religious views. There is nothing about a lesbian marriage that puts my hetero marriage in danger or in need of any sort of protection.

President-elect Obama opposes marriage equality, yet marriage equality is part of the solution to many ills we suffer in this country. Marriage equality would allow for two men to be on each other’s health insurance. Obama isn’t planning on creating a national healthcare system, so we are going to need to make sure everyone can get on our partner’s insurance plan. It would alleviate a widow’s double whammy, allow her to collect survivor’s benefits and live a better life. Immigration is an issue as well. There are 1138 Federal rights afforded to married couples and not civil unions OR marriages allowed by states.

Obama espouses a message of unity and he can’t unite the country until he faces this question of inequality head on.

Please join me and other feminists tonight as we discuss what does indeed come next. The attack on LGBT rights will surely be front and center as well as the continued attack on women’s reproductive rights. What else will be on the agenda? Attend the town forum and propose an issue. That’s the problem with winning an election, you also win the problems that need to be solved. Despite being so tired, I have hope that we can do it.

VOTE Mon, 03 Nov 2008 06:00:38 +0000 Veronica VOTE No punditry here today mamas. Just a simple message to remind you to vote on Tuesday. I am overwhelmed by the images of people standing in lines hours long to early vote as well as the forecast that people may have to do the same on Tuesday. This is democracy in action. I think we’ve all seen the photos and video clips from elections in other countries, where people walk from their villages miles away just to vote. Now we have similar lines.

I am hopeful that we will have record numbers of voters this year, record young people, Latinos, African-Americans, heck, everyone. I’m still trying to figure out my election night plans. But I know we’ll be watching the returns with our daughter.

If you are still unsure on who to vote for whether it is for President or your state senator, check out Project Vote Smart and they will give you a list of current elected officials and candidates.

Cookie magazine has an excellent interactive map that outlines some of the family-related ballot initiatives some of you will voice your opinion on. From expanding child insurance, banning abortions, to same-sex marriage, there are plenty of issues to consider.

Concerned about legal issues around voting? The American Bar Association has a comprehensive page on the issues. They are also encouraging lawyers to get involved on election day. Find out what to do if you are not allowed to vote or what to do if you make a mistake on your ballot.

You should also know that if you run into any problems at the polls, you should contact Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE and they will help you out. I know in Illinois you do not need an ID to vote, but most people are recommending that you do bring one just in case.

And lastly the dreaded judges…I say that because we rarely hear about judges in the news so I feel at a total loss on how to vote on their retention or just making them a judge. Luckily most state and local bars rate the judges and give you some guidance. The Illinois Bar lists evaluations by county. Now if only I’d remember to bring them to the poll! So go check your state bar! Your local newspaper’s website might also have a sample ballot too.

Good luck out there folks. Remember not to wear any candidate buttons, hats, t-shirts, etc when you go and vote. Leave them at home to be safe, ok?

Come back here on Wednesday for an election wrap-up. Hopefully we’ll know who the next President is then, but at the very least we’ll know about the status of the Congress and most of the ballot initiatives. For my feminist readers I’ll be hosting a feminist town forum at my personal blog on Wednesday night at 7 pm EST. Please join me and a host of others as we figure out what should happen next. Whether or not you can join us, please leave comments here or at my blog on what issues feminists should be focusing on during the next administration. The election might be over soon, but the real work is only just beginning!


Thank goodness for Hillary Thu, 30 Oct 2008 12:00:42 +0000 Sara Last night I attended a lecture put on by the Jewish United Fund of Chicago that focused primarily on next week’s important presidential election. After giving a brief overview of both McCain and Obama’s political stances, the speaker turned her attention to Hillary Clinton, who she said, paved the way for one of the most exciting election seasons in recent memory.

I second that motion.

The speaker, Julia Strauss of Northwestern, pointed out two key components of Hillary’s run for president that changed the campaign, and perhaps politics for years to come.

First, without Hillary would there even be Sarah Palin? I think most pundits would agree that part of the rationale for McCain’s choice of Palin as VP is to get the Hillary vote. This is not a novel concept, but as we look back at the 2008 election, are we giving Hillary enough credit for putting into our brain that a woman should be on this year’s ticket no matter the party?

As we discussed last night, everyone is so focused on the race issue this year that we’re forgetting about the sex issue. Racism becomes a political issue, but a candidate’s sex becomes a fashion and emotional issue. If we only remember one thing about Hillary getting into the mix and putting herself out there as a presidential candidate, it’s to remember that we should evaluate our candidates outside of their race AND gender. I know I’m speaking to the choir, but I’m trying to remind myself as well.

Second, without Hillary’s drive and focus, would this election have been even as remotely exciting as it was? I suppose another male candidate could have given Obama an equal run for his money, but there’s something about Hillary’s appeal as a woman to other women as well as the media’s effort to highlight this appeal (and repulsion) that I believe kept the primary season going for as long as it did. Would the media and audiences have had as much fodder or reason to perpetuate the election drama if the candidate was just another old white dude? I think not.

I’m no political pundit, but I think that if Hillary was a man, the shape of politics in 2008 would be a completely different story. And I hope her legacy as a hard-fighting woman will continue to shape election seasons for years to come.

Readers, what do you think? What did Hillary do for you this election season?