It was way past due.

by Julie Graber | on 10 Nov 2020

"Make Sure to Wear Your Shoes Ladies, There’s Glass on the Floor"

That’s the quote (or some variation there of) that’s been making the rounds on social media. Lots of joy in knowing that we have finally shattered the glass ceiling that has kept women from the very top of the political ladder in the US. 

I know that many friends have found themselves in tears at the thought of a woman, and a woman of color no less, taking over as Vice President of the United States on January 20 - a heartbeat away from the US presidency.

I'm not sure I should admit this, but I keep waiting for that moment - the one where there’s a sudden hitch in my throat, an over-abundance of moisture in my eyes.

It hasn’t happened. 

Please don’t get me wrong - I know what this election means on so many levels to so many Americans. I was breathing that same sigh of relief as the winds shifted last week that so many others have described. I watched Van Jones on CNN who made it so real - easier to be a parent today, easier to say that truth and character matter. Easier to be someone who has felt unwelcome in the last four years, easier to believe that we might be able to dial down the hate and harassment that has become emboldened over the the past four years. 

A good friend suggested that my lack of response to a woman in the VP role was it wasn’t the top prize - the Presidency.

And maybe I'm just too tired from riding the roller coaster of events last week as the results kept being updated.

But I think may problem is different: I think I'm having a hard time getting excited about a woman in the VP slot because it was way past time that a woman was elected to that role.

In this, the 100th anniversary of (white) women’s suffrage in the US, it's been:

  • 59 years since President Kennedy set up the President's Commission on the Status of Women,
  • 48 years since Title IX paved the way for women to become doctors and lawyers, engineers and scientists (and athletes!).
  • 47 years since the Equal Pay Act became law.
  • 36 years since the Mondale/Ferraro ticket,
  • 25 years since the Beijing World Conference on Women. 

And in spite of all of those things women still deal with a long list of inequities in this country on a day to day basis. And many more glass ceilings to shatter.

Is Kamala Harris’s achievement is something to celebrate? Absolutely! 

But it was also way past time.