If your election anxiety has skyrocketed this morning, we’re right there with you. While obsessively keeping up with the polls and political analysis, you’ve probably seen headline after headline proclaiming that women will be the determining factor in this race. After what seems to be the most emotionally exhausting and divisive few months (though it certainly feels longer), we hope that—despite a process that has put masculinity front and center—women’s voices will finally be heard loud and clear.
It’s been a rough year for many women. But both presidential candidates have been playing up their own special brand of masculinity to appeal to voters— though one more extreme and aggressive than the other. Ironic considering we’re currently experiencing a “shecession,” women are being forced to drop out of the workforce, and are carrying the added burden of managing distance learning for children.
However, it shouldn’t be surprising that the perception of one’s masculinity is still deemed as important in the presidential race. Quite frankly, it’s one of the many reasons women struggle to break this glass ceiling. Appear too feminine, and you’re considered unfit to lead. But come off as too strong, and you’re unlikeable. Our institutions – and society as a whole – have long undervalued the feminine.
Viral stories of women casting their votes regardless of the circumstances have been a symbol of strength. A woman stopped to cast her ballot early while in labor, 102-year-old Beatrice Lumpkin donned her PPE to mail in her vote, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins used the International Space Station’s voting booth— in space. Women are voting in extraordinary situations, but it’s more than just remarkable. It’s a clear reflection of just how important this election really is.
Take Action! Use your voice and VOTE! Want to learn more about how gender affects our politics? Stream The Great American Lie on Apple TV and Amazon and continue the conversation around equity using the hashtag #ValueEquality.