I just can’t ignore this historical event. I spent one year sharing memories of my life—some as silly as the admission that I once brushed my teeth with Bengay pain relief cream or the fact that I spent many summer days trying to catch birds with a salt shaker. I blogged for three years about my father’s very unusual childhood growing up in the Soviet Union. This week it’s time to step back and be happy for the historical moment unfolding at our feet.
My grandmother was finally able to cast a vote for president when she was twenty-five years old—in 1920—which was when my father was not yet walking.
Among my father’s newspapers I found a newspaper published when I was about to enter eighth grade. A careful look at the employment ads shows that they were separated into what someone determined to be “male/female jobs.” Those were the days when women worked as secretaries and men always ran the show.
When I went to college in 1973, my plan was to be a math teacher. Perhaps an engineering career would have been a better fit, but it just never occurred to me. No one suggested it; no one planted the idea in my mind because engineering was typically a men’s field at the time.
Now I have lived to see our first black president, and this week, I am watching as the first woman has been nominated to run for President of the United States. While I understand the dislike of Hillary Clinton by some, I do not understand why all women cannot step back and think about how far we have come since that election in 1920 when my grandmother—and all women—were finally allowed to vote. Now my granddaughters can truly grow up believing that they can be anything.
My dream is that for just a moment, all women can put aside politics and be excited for how far we have come. I would hope that if my father was alive today, as the father of three daughters, a grandfather of seven granddaughters, and a great-grandfather of a little girl born during the year a woman finally appeared on the ballot for President, he could appreciate that moment as well. Why not for a least one moment?