“Too Pretty for Politics”

"Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." -G.D. Anderson

Senior+Arden+Schraff+registers+to+vote+for+the+2016+election.
Back to Article
Back to Article

“Too Pretty for Politics”

Senior Arden Schraff registers to vote for the 2016 election.

Senior Arden Schraff registers to vote for the 2016 election.

Tori Tanigawa '17

Senior Arden Schraff registers to vote for the 2016 election.

Tori Tanigawa '17

Tori Tanigawa '17

Senior Arden Schraff registers to vote for the 2016 election.

Abbey Alexander, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When I was young, I had a very romanticized idea of what equality was in the world I was living in. For example, I thought that sexism magically ended when women got the right to vote. Little did I know that I, along with every other female I knew, was living with it every day.

I never questioned when my elementary school P.E. teacher called them “girl push-ups”, or when I’d see a boy from my class relentlessly tease one of my friends, and our teacher would dismiss it, saying “Don’t worry, it’s just boys being boys.” It never occurred to me that these things were sexist; to me they were just words.

But there was one thing that I did notice from a very young age: why wasn’t I allowed to have an opinion? Or more importantly, why wasn’t I allowed to have an opinion on politics?

I remember very clearly first learning about politics in 2nd grade. It was 2008, and the election was going on. My parents hadn’t told me much about the election, just who each candidate was and what they stood for. They left me to decide who I agreed with the most. Granted, I was in 2nd grade, so it wasn’t like I was forming incredibly intelligent opinions about world policies or anything. Still, I had an opinion and I was, like any 7 year old, excited to share it.

And so I did. I shared it with anyone who’d listen. Adults, kids, teachers, parents, everyone. At first, people just shook it off as a little girl who didn’t really know what she was talking about, but it was cute that she thought she did. So they smiled, laughed a little, and that was it. But as time went on, I grew. As I matured, so did my thoughts and opinions. And suddenly it wasn’t very cute to people anymore. Now I was “too opinionated,” and “too political”.

Not only did I not understand why I couldn’t talk about the way I felt, I didn’t understand why other boys my age could. No one told them that talking about politics in social settings was impolite. No one hushed them or laughed it off when they talked about whether they did or did not support the president at that time.

Why was it that when a girl in my class said she wanted to be president when she was older, she was thought to be overly-ambitious, but when a boy said it he was deemed a hard worker?

Why was it that when a girl wanted to take charge of the group project, she was bossy, but when a boy wanted to, he had “leadership skills?”

Why is it that there’s nothing wrong with a group of men gathering to talk casually about politics, but if a woman says even the smallest thing about it, she’s impolite and looking to start an argument?

In times like this, when it all seems impossibly difficult to have a voice, especially as a woman, and especially about politics, we must turn to history.

We turn to Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman ever appointed as Supreme Court Judge. To Janet Reno, the first woman U.S. Attorney General. To Condoleezza Rice, 66th Secretary Of State and the first female National Security Advisor. To Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman elected governor. To Nancy Pelosi, who was the highest-ranked female in political history after being named Speaker of the House. To Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women’s right to vote and played a key role in the movement. Lastly, to Hillary Clinton, who is closer to becoming the first female president than anyone has ever been before.

How many of these names do you actually recognize? You know Hillary, Susan B. Anthony and probably even Sandra Day O’Connor. But do you know about the other senators, the mayors, the lawyers, the women who were overlooked and overshadowed by the male politicians? I’m guessing the answer is no.

When women got the right to vote, it was a huge step towards equality. But many people seemed to think that was it; that there was no more fight to be fought.

Although I wish that was the truth, it’s far from it.
We still need to keep fighting. Because somewhere, there’s a little girl being told “that’s a man’s job.” Because somewhere, a male with less qualifications than his female co-worker is getting a promotion instead of her. Because somewhere, a girl is being hushed for her opinion while her male friends talk on and on about what they think. So no, the fight is not over. The fight won’t be over for a long time. But it’s progress, and it’s persistence, and it’s fighting the good fight that will get us there.

So what is the “good fight?” It’s not fighting for women to have more rights than men, and it’s not fighting against men. It’s fighting for equality, and working alongside each other to make it happen.

So keep watching the debates, inform yourself on the candidates, know what they stand for, know what you stand for. And when someone asks for an opinion, make sure they hear your voice.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them.” -Unknown

Print Friendly, PDF & Email