We have only one day left before the election. It looks very much like we will have our first woman president. Some voters are elated about that. Some voters are as angry as perhaps they have ever been in their lives.
One thing is for sure, most everyone is projecting their hopes and their fears onto our first woman president. Some see her as the embodiment of all things feminist. Some see her as the absolute protector of children. Others see her as the devil incarnate.
Comedian Louis CK is looking forward to a woman president. He recently expressed, “We’ve had 240 years of fathers. Father after father. And father’s are okay. A great father can give a kid 40 percent of his needs, tops. Any mother, just a s–t mother, a not even trying mother: 200 percent.”
Now there is someone who is really projecting.
Mothers can be great. No doubt about that. But mothers can be terrible. A not even trying mother: 200 percent? Really? Tell that to Susan Smith’s boys. Come on, y'all. Let's not lose our minds with the hyperbole.
Mothers can’t be 200 percent, that’s mathematically impossible. Not all mothers can even be 100 percent. Probably most mothers don’t achieve that lofty, unrealistic goal. And some mothers can be just plain awful. Mothers run the gamut from heavenly to horrendous. Mothers are people, too.
And presidents are people, too. Hillary Clinton is none of those things absolutely. She may be a bit of all those things, as are we all. When we make her absolute, we are projecting our hopes and our fears into her. I don’t know that we have turned our male presidents into saints or Satan. It seems we’ve remembered for the most part that they are human.
So why are many of us are projecting all our baggage onto Hillary. For the first time in human history, the leader of the free world will be a woman. That is to paradigm shifts what giving birth is to a momentary inconvenience. To borrow a phrase from Clinton’s competitor, “IT”S HUGE!” Since it has never happened, we can only imagine it and our imagining it is like staring at a Rorschach ink blot. What we see in that ink blot says everything about who we are.
This election will launch a very real form of women’s liberation. To the extent we perceive what actually occurs, rather than cling to our expectations, it will melt away the Rorchache and replace it with a new reality. It will educate us in real time on a daily basis. As we watch, as we learn, we will experience what it means to have a woman in charge. And how the men deal with it.
Having a woman in the highest office of the world, possessor of the bully pulpit, chief roll model, will certainly have a profound impact on all women and most men and is likely to have a profound impact on many U.S. marriages. Marriage is often a delicate balance of roles played and expectations met (and sometimes not met). In the U.S., women officially in charge is still not routinely seen. For better or for worse, that dynamic is going to change, bigly. Whether you are a fan or a foe, Hilary Clinton’s election will empower women, empower wives. It will alter men; it will alter husbands. How could it not?
Tuesday will be the start of a formal shift in our consciousness. It may not be as much the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius as it is the conquering by Rosie the Riveter. Women empowered. It is a thing.
Fasten your seatbelts boys. It is going to be a wild, wild ride. May we deal with it well.