" We know from research that women are by nature more relational, collaborative and resourceful than men. Women are more interested in results than in getting credit, having control or scoring a political point." - Rosemary Rocco
By Rosemary Rocco
I believe in the vision and promise of the opening lines of our Constitution.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."
But to realize that vision and make good on the promise, we must mean all people. We demonstrate that we mean all the people through fair representation of all in government.
Currently, white males dominate the seats of government. After four decades of second-wave feminism encouraging, inspiring and, supporting women to run for office - women of all colors - 51 percent of "we the people" still hold less than 25 percent of elected offices at all levels.
In the 46 years since I reached voting age in 1970, I have voted in every primary and general election, but only had the option to vote for 15 women. At the current pace it will take another 500 years for women to reach fair representation in government. Far too long and far too much waste of talent.
We know from research that women are by nature more relational, collaborative and resourceful than men. Women are more interested in results than in getting credit, having control or scoring a political point. These are qualities that I think a majority of us can agree are needed at this time in history to meet the challenges and complexities that are so disquieting and that endanger the quality of life for generations of women and men to come.
Clinton's body of work and accomplishments demonstrate those qualities, and when equal standards are applied to her resume I believe she is more prepared than each of the men who ran and were elected president in the last 200 years. By the measure of history there are many women who could have been the first. That Clinton, as a woman, is the most qualified person since the Founding Fathers is simply the proverbial icing on the cake.
The President of the United States is a role model and the presidency the most powerful platform in the world. It matters that women, leading from a feminine perspective and experience, have as much ability to attain that office as a man. Electing a woman president will encourage more women to run for all offices and increase their chances of winning.
It would be so sweet for me, as an ardent feminist, to have the choice to vote for a woman in every election for the remainder of my days. With every fiber of my being I believe electing the first woman president will quicken our collective step to that goal and to fair representation.
For all of these reasons, I believe it matters that there is a woman president, and it matters that it is Hillary Rodham Clinton, because she has navigated every barrier (and then some) that has kept women unfairly represented in government and because she is the most qualified.
Rosemary Rocco has been a feminist activist for more than 40 years and was a founding mother of Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) and co-leader of the Building for Women project in Duluth.