I write not as a supporter of Elizabeth Warren or to disparage the remaining candidates in the presidential race, but as a woman who is heartbroken, angry and frustrated.
I am heartbroken that once again we are being told that the United States would elect a woman, just not this woman. Sound familiar? We were told when Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 that it was because she had too much baggage: She was not honest, she was too moderate, or too liberal; she was just not likeable. But give us the right woman, we were told, and we would absolutely elect a woman.
I’m angry that here we are in 2020, with a Democratic primary race that included the most diverse candidates ever — people of color, women, a gay man — along with our typical white men and billionaires. And we watched all but two of those candidates fail, including accomplished women like Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. Turns out none of these were the right woman either.
I’m frustrated because it is increasingly hard to believe that we are ready to elect a woman. Is Sen. Bernie Sanders the right candidate because he’s likeable? Imagine a woman who expressed her anger as he does so often. Would she be likeable, electable? Is former Vice President Joe Biden electable, despite that before this week he had never won a primary over three presidential campaigns in the last 30 years?
As I listened to Warren after she dropped out of the race, I fought back tears, suppressed my anger and reminded myself that we have no choice but to have hope, to keep moving ahead. Perhaps tomorrow I will see the light. But today I grieve. Today I am enraged. I will keep fighting, though, for my children, grandchildren and the future of our country. To paraphrase: Nevertheless, I will persist.
Karla Digirolamo is the executive director of The Women’s Institute at The Sage Colleges.