THE THRILL IS GONE......
Back in 1984 I was awakened by an early morning phone call. A woman friend was excitedly reciting a news bulletin: Geraldine Ferraro had just been picked by the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale to be his running mate. After the call, while I lay there in bed trying to get fully awake, a little bird began to sing in my heart. I hadn't planned on this, hadn't been looking forward to a thrilling moment about a woman candidate. I hadn't even heard of Ferraro or that she was being considered. So it was a startling thrill out of the blue! This was wonderful,for me and for all women who minded being women in "a man's world".
Sadly, in a few weeks the thrill was gone.The media discovered Ferraro hadn't filled out some financial disclosure forms correctly and that her husband allegedly had Mafia ties. The glow went. She began to weigh the ticket down.
Looking back now, how petty those charges seem as stacked against the baggage of Hillary Clinton and Bill, but those charges were enough to negate the great lift Ferraro might have given the ticket.
This time—for me, anyway—there is no glow to begin with. It's too late.
In 32 years I have moved way beyond needing a woman on some ticket or as president. America has too. It's not "a man's world" to the extent it was then, though it still tilts somewhat toward men. But we individual women did all the fixing by ourselves. We didn't need role models or heroes doing it. We don't need them now. Hillary is too late, 32 years too late.
Without her or any women being on the top of some ticket we women took a measure of inspiration from women like Shirley Chisholm, Dolores Huerta, Rose Bird and Rosa Parks. Mainly we took inspiration from our own aspiration. Mostly we moved ahead because we damn well had to. It wasn't about glass ceilings and the other stuff Hillary babbles about in her $12,495 Armani jacket. It was about feeding our kids, getting medical care, getting a credit card, and getting something as unglamorous as car insurance. Credit cards and car insurance were actually men's prerogatives in the bad old days. "No women need apply!"
If you weren't there you can't know what we women confronted right through the 1970s. Please learn. It's important to know what half the human race has been struggling with and to understand and appreciate the great strides women have made without someone doing it for them. As I called it in a column I wrote last year, it's "The Biggest New Story in The History of the World." It is, of course, an unfinished story, but at least look at its beginnings. You owe us women that much.
And by the way, a little bird did show up this election year and sat on the podium of Bernie Sanders. That sang in my heart too. A 74-year-old lefty who is adored by the young who will keep the dream alive. This world is indeed getting better!