October 24, 2016
What must it be like to be the first woman to be a major party’s nominee for President of the United States?
This role is not for the light-hearted or the weak-willed. Regardless of gender, running a campaign for President is not an easy endeavor. It is grueling and arduous in ways most of us can’t even imagine.
Being the first woman in this role is bound to highlight gender issues in the country. The comments automatically, mindlessly, and routinely thrown her way reveal our deep divide on gender in this country. The way we speak inherently highlights our deeper, ingrained subconscious ideas on gender roles.
- How many male candidates have their hair styles talked about and examined (with the sole exception of Donald Trump)?
- How many male candidates have their wardrobe critiqued? This becomes increasingly interesting when you consider men are always wearing the same thing, just varying the color of their ties. In 2014, an Australian TV anchor wore the same suit for a year as a way to highlight the double-standard we hold.
- How many male candidates are told to smile more and exude more warmth, but then not too much or that they’ll seem weak?
- For how many male candidates are do we consider “likability” an issue?
- Consider the video below from The Daily Show when during the coverage of Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition and coming out. How quickly the talk changes to “Who’s hotter?” is inherently representative of how we treat women.
Akin to the intensity of running for President, choosing to be the soul who will step into that role which will so clearly highlight gender inequality is no small undertaking. It speaks volumes about us as a culture that Hillary still has a relatively small lead despite being the most qualified candidate to have ever sought the office, especially when compared to the others who will appear on the ballot.
It is impossible for anyone to assume the nature of her personal Soul Contracts, as we are not her, nor are we in her inner circle and can see her personal growth over the course of her life. But this post is not about her. This is about the effect that she is having on the country as a whole.
Love her or hate her, as a Soul she is having a tremendous impact on the greater collective. For kids it will not be an issue to have the most powerful position in the world to be something other than a man. That alone does not erase centuries of racism and sexism, but it does add an indelible marker in all the minds of a generation of kids.
For all the Bernie Sanders’ supporters who would have rather him be running against Trump, I want to offer what a different impact it makes on the minds of all of us to have two old white men discussing pussy-grabbing compared to having a woman stand up and speak about the verbal (and much worse) abuse that almost all women have encountered at some point in their life.
Many of my clients are independent, strong women. They routinely speak on the challenges they face when dating, or in business, for example, given their nature of being confident, skilled, and independent. I often find myself describing them as having the “Hillary Clinton syndrome” – be soft and be considered a pushover and/or settle for what you feel is less than who you are, or be strong and offend people and be considered a “bitch.”
They have little room to operate within the lines of “acceptable” behavior for a woman based on the ideas of others. Fortunately there’s a turn in the tide of late, and as a society we are waking up to the presence and gifts that these strong, independent women have to offer the world.
The Women’s Movement that began in the mid-20th century and picked up speed in the 70s and 80s continues today. And with women gaining greater power and independence in our culture, there will be inherent resistance to the change to the status quo, which was in place for centuries.
Now it comes a time when we as a culture, mainly us men, to adjust our position. We need a generation of men to awaken to a new definition of power. We must learn how to be in our own power without that power being defined as having power OVER someone else. It will happen, and right now we are at a critical mass for that change to begin in earnest. It will not happen overnight, but as all culture advances, so shall we.
Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for choosing the Soul path to help us all awaken to a more evolved, balanced, and truly powerful place.