Last week was a big week. The Democratic National Convention officially nominated our very first female candidate for President, Hillary Clinton. I cheered from the comfort of my living room and raised a glass of wine in her honor as she spoke to the American people. I explained to my cat how this was a historical moment and urged her to pay attention. Another huge crack in the glass ceiling. A chance for a hopeful future in America and around the world. A chance for this country to be run by the most qualified Presidential candidate – maybe in history. I shed a couple tears.
I admit to being a Hillary fan ever since she was First Lady (I always figured she was the brains behind Bill). I remember running out and buying her memoir, Living History, when it was first published. And when she announced she was running for President, the first time, I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep that night. This time round I was intrigued by Bernie Sanders and the aspirational vision he holds, as many were, but thrilled at the possibility of Hillary becoming our next President of the United States. #iamwithher
Not everyone shares my political point of view. But what is also exciting about this election is that single women have been declared the post powerful voting group. Single women! According to a fairly recent article in New York Magazine, “In 2009, the proportion of American women who were married dropped below 50 percent. In other words, for the first time in American history, single women (including those who were never married, widowed, divorced, or separated) outnumbered married women.” And why is that? According to the very same article, “Today’s women are, for the most part, not abstaining from or delaying marriage to prove a point about equality. They are doing it because they have internalized assumptions that just a half-century ago would have seemed radical: that it’s okay for them not to be married; that they are whole people able to live full professional, economic, social, sexual, and parental lives on their own if they don’t happen to meet a person to whom they want to legally bind themselves.”
As single women, we do earn our own money. We take care of ourselves. We have a lot of freedom and also a lot of concerns about the economy. About the world. We are not looking to be rescued. Being single is a choice. And a fantastic choice at that!
And there are some political topics that are not even priorities for us. Talk of hard-working families and tax-breaks for married people and “family values” is not super relevant anymore. Family no longer has to equal a husband and a couple kids. Family can mean a single mother with a child. Family can mean a Gay or Lesbian couple with children. Family can mean having a circle of friends with whom you spend holidays and special occasions and who are there for you to support you as you do them. That is my definition of family. That is my family.
So you may be with me for Hillary. Or you may not. The important thing is to vote and understand that your vote counts. Single women do have the power and we must use it.