Unrealistic Expectations of Perfection

By Tracee Sioux

I think Hillary Clinton should be the next president because it will change the potential of every girl in America. Changing the potential of every girl is changing the potential of half the population in America. That is not insignificant. I also happen to agree with her politics, but if she were a Republican, say Condoleeza Rice, current National Security Advisor, I would vote for her. I want to vote for a woman in 2008 because I want to empower girls.

The argument against Hillary Clinton I’ve been hearing from Republican women is upsetting me.

I would love a woman but not Hillary Clinton, she’s not a very good role model.

What really irritates me about this argument is that these exact same women are totally fine with George W. Bush as a good role model. Hello, the man did cocaine and is a recovering alcoholic. He got a DUI for heaven’s sake. And he’s a good role model?

I’m trying to figure out how exactly Hillary Clinton is a negative role model and I’m coming up empty. Yeah, there was White Water, but I’m not clear anymore whether Hillary did anything wrong there. Martha Stewart actually went to prison for her financial scandal, but everyone’s willing to let her go on with her career baking and cleaning and decorating.

Her biggest flaw, as far as I can tell, is that she’s married to Bill Clinton and stayed even though he cheated on her in a very public and humiliating way. But, she’s not the one who did anything wrong in that situation. He was the sleezeball there, all she did was not divorce him.

She had one child. Is it that she worked as a lawyer and made professional strides while mothering Chelsea? Is that the unforgivable as far as conservative women go?

Hasn’t every president been professionally ambitious? Haven’t they all been fathers with careers that often kept them away from their kids? I imagine Hillary, while being professionally ambitious, was most-likely even more pro-active about parenting Chelsea than any of the ambitious men have been about fathering their children.

Chelsea is not a child and seems to have survived her parents’ marriage. She seems to have survived having a professional mother.

Why are the choices Hillary made as a mother getting in the way of her Presidential potential?

Why are women willing to let the work vs. stay-at-home mothering argument get in the way of finally achieving some gender-wide empowerment by being represented at the highest level of government?

I challenged a smart, thinking, former professional woman with why she thought George W. Bush was a good-enough role model, even though he had been an alcoholic with a DUI conviction and had used cocaine. She said she believed in redemption and thought changing his ways was being a good example.

I just wonder why she can’t apply the same standard of good-enough to Hillary Clinton. Why can’t the forgiveness and redemption extend to a woman candidate? I think it all goes to back to the unrealistic expectations women have for ourselves and each other. If we free ourselves of that burden we might actually be represented in government and therefore be empowered as a whole.

Gender equality is good for every woman and every girl. Whether a woman counts herself as a Conservative Christian Republican Stay-At-Home Mom or she writes her definition as a Liberal Angry Lesbian Childless Activist, empowerment is a good thing. The further one of us gets politically the more options and choices all of us have.

In the end we’re all women and I think we can afford to be on the same team to further our collective empowerment. Hillary Clinton may not be the only path to empowerment, but she represents an available and achievable one right now.

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