Presidential Campaign

Hillary Clinton couldn’t break ultimate glass ceiling

In the dark hours of early dawn on Wednesday Nov. 9, Donald J. Trump was announced as the 45th president of the United States of America. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton conceded following a narrow election, with 276 electoral votes confirmed for Trump and 218 for Clinton. The outcome certainly came as a shock to many Americans and political spectators around the world, as the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party lost the election to a pop culture celebrity with no political experience. 

In the following days, people will experience a feeling of befuddlement in attempting to explain how Trump was elected over Clinton, despite her consistent lead in the months preceding the election. This turn of events is especially surprising, given what her election into presidency would have symbolically meant for women across the country, who have been struggling against proverbial glass ceilings for decades. Was America not ready to accept a female president or were we just unwilling to give Clinton the honor of being the firstwoman elected into the presidency? 

{mosads}Historically, women have been excluded from politics. Before 1920, voting was perceived as a duty of men, instead of the right of all people, including women. Although the 19th Amendment changed that and granted suffrage to women nationally in the United States, the involvement of women in politics has continued to be an incremental process. For example, as of 2015, only 46 women have served in the senate, including 29 democrats and 17 republicans.

Throughout the campaign, Clinton’s platform has focused on female empowerment, demonstrated in part by using the slogan ‘I’m with her.” With the majority of the citizen, voting age population being comprised of women (51.6 percent), many may have assumed that this would have given Clinton an advantage in the election, but the voting results reveal that her gender ultimately did not help enough to get her elected. In fact, the deep-seated disdain for Clinton in combination with the potential of her becoming the first female president seems to have ultimately swung the election against her favor. 

Despite her accomplishments and advocacy during the course of her civil service career, Clinton continues to be perceived by many women and men as being undeserving of the title of “First Female President.” She is viewed as riding the coattails of her husband and overlooking his repeated infidelities to do so. Clinton is characterized as dishonest, callous, calculating, and unaccountable for her role in Benghazi, as well as in her responses to the breaches in security from her e-mails. Despite being a woman, the public views her as the quintessential, business-as-usual politician, something that Trump is definitely not. Many voters made their choice this election simply to block the other candidate from becoming president and, given the outcome, there was a greater incentive to block Clinton. 

American voters didn’t cast their ballot for Trump, they were simply voting against Clinton. One voter explains, “I’m just happy that the history and amazing title of ‘Madam President,’ doesn’t go to that lying, horrible person. It’s bittersweet.”

Ultimately, although our country is ready for a female commander-in-chief, Clinton lost the election in part because Americans refused to afford her the honor of becoming the first. And while our next president has bragged about evading taxes and using his fame to fondle women, engaged in late night Twitter wars and instigated violence at rallies, as well as praised dictators and threatened the freedoms of press and speech, he is just one more of a long list of morally-questionable white men to hold the office of the president in the United States. Mehlman-

Orozco holds a Ph.D. in criminology, law and society from George Mason University, with an expertise in human trafficking. She currently serves as a human trafficking expert witness for criminal cases and her book, “Hidden in Plain Sight: America’s Slaves of the New Millennium.” Follow her on Twitter @MehlmanOrozco     

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.





Tags Donald Trump Election Gender Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton presidential election women voters

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