My Boss’s Daughter, the Blue Pantsuit & Serious Double Standards

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September 26, 2016

We don’t do politics here. I really want to because I have so much to say, but we just don’t do it. OK, fine. I have my objectivity hat on. I am not going to share my thoughts on the huuuge debate tonight. I am not going to give my opinion on qualifications or experience. I am not even going to tell you that I have prepared myself to watch the debate with my daughter by recording one channel and pausing it on my DVR, so that I can catch up when we get home from her dance class.

Sad as I am, they have to start the debate without me. By my calculations, I figure that I should be caught up after a couple of commercial breaks.

It’s fine. I’m used to running and playing catch up. I am a single mother; It’s what I do. It’s really what all moms do. Sitting at work, I can sense that my boss who is a woman is a bit upset today. Her daughter is home sick. She is with her mother in law, but of course, like most children, especially sick children, they want their mommies.

Daddy won’t do.

So, she is here at work, as she has to be.

This kind of got me thinking, in a neutral sort of way, of course, about the debate tonight. As a mother of a girl, I may have the opportunity to be a part of history with her as the first woman may become President of the United States. It doesn’t matter (for the purposes of this post) who I am voting for. No matter your Party preferences, these are historic times.  As a news junkie, the presidential elections are my playground. Since the time I was old enough, I was full of opinions and unlike today, full of enough confidence to challenge everyone who wanted to talk about social and political issues. Time and life has taken that spunk from me, but like my own mother, I have a mean debate with the TV when essential.

Wanting this to be an educational experience for my daughter, we have watched a great deal of coverage together. Sadly, much of it has been disappointing. From a debate discussion of a candidate’s penis size, to the seemingly questionable role of the press as a part of the news cycle, to the integration of social media as a part of the communication process, I find myself shaking my head and looking for the educational and social lessons around us.

I keep reminding myself that these are historic times. These are the times that will cause new text books to be written.

I want my daughter to be able to tell her own daughter about this time.

So, here we are. Fewer than fifty days from history, and on the eve of this enormous debate, I have heard debates about what color pant suit Ms. Clinton will be wearing. Her opponent’s counter to inviting a business rival to sit front row at the debate, was to invite her husband’s mistress of over twenty years ago. One representative of Mr. Trump joked about not wanted to see Ms. Clinton in yoga pants, as if his candidate’s body is perfect… as if her body matters more than his does. Such shameful attack on another woman’s physique is par for the course; it is sexism, and should not be tolerated.  Like her or not, I am sure that anyone with a brain could find some other issues to challenge the elect-ability of Ms. Clinton.

I could mention Mr. Trump’s full figure, or his questionable choice of hair styles. I could question his 3 marriages each new one a result of the demise of the last one through cheating could talk about any of those things, but I won’t. It would be sexist to think that Mr. Trump gets away with these things because of money and power, right?

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I could praise Ms. Clinton for standing by her man, and making it work. I didn’t have the ability to do that when I was cheated upon.  Maybe I would be taking her side because I am a woman, or maybe there is just a good old double standard where women get paid 80% on the dollar, and no one questions how much any male official makes for a speech after they leave office because they are a man who must provide for their families. Maybe that 20% differential in pay would matter to me as a single mother.

Yes, I am sticking with my perception that there is a double standard. Her suits and the size of her ass have nothing to do with her ability to do this job, any more than the size of his butt or the color of his clothes has to do with his ability to do this job.

Fairness is fairness. This is the takeaway lesson for my daughter. I wanted it to be better. I wanted the historic significance to over-ride everything else. But sadly, it comes down to that immutable characteristic of gender which we discuss. Wishing she could vote in this election, I told her that she can help me pull the lever, so that she can tell her children that she was part of history… a history that will be written by the choices we all make, fewer than fifty days from today.

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