What if Hillary had won?

November 8, 2016 – As the country sat in front of their TVs and computer screens, we watched in real-time as Politics as Usual was turned on its head by a man promising to “Drain the swamp.” But this isn’t about him…

This is about earlier that day when a mother brought her 10-year-old daughter with her to the neighborhood church serving as the area polling station. As the mother picked up her voting ballot, she turned to her daughter and asked her to remember that moment, because in all likelihood, they would both be witnessing the first woman becoming President of the United States. While the daughter shifted her feet in boredom, the young mother smiled as she filled in the oval next to Hillary Clinton’s name. This was a defining moment for many women who were excited to being a part of history.

That was four years ago. As television anchors and news pundits reported the voting numbers rolling in as the map behind them turned red, a large segment of the female population across the nation slowly realized that they would have to wait yet another four years, if not much longer before they could show their daughters that they really can be anything they want to be, even President of the United States.

But, what if Hillary had won?

Politics aside (Yes, I know I’m reaching here), what would it have meant for the college-aged woman to be able to point to President Hillary Clinton as the reason for going into law or politics? Women have crashed through the glass ceiling in virtually every single profession. They are running companies, traveling through space, and serving on the Supreme Court. They just haven’t cracked the ceiling of the Oval Office.

Locally, we have achieved a greater balance of a diverse government, with several women having served as Mayor of Kalamazoo, and Karianne Thomas is currently Kalamazoo’s first Public Safety Chief. One only has to look at Michigan’s current governor to see that, overall, women have attained recognition for having leadership skills. These women can serve as inspiration to ALL young people wondering if they have what it takes to serve in the police force, for our city and state’s government, and beyond.

So, what if Hillary had won? The earth wouldn’t have fallen off its axis as many were predicting. No, life would have gone on as normal, but I would like to think that she would have straightened it out just a bit. Girls deserve to have a role model in every facet of life. They can be firefighters, football coaches and farmers. In 2020, there should be no shards of glass on anyone’s shoulders, yet, here we are. While she didn’t win, Hillary Clinton was a trailblazer, smoothing the road for the next generation of women daring enough to travel down it.       

Here’s a thought… let’s hold out hope that we will see a woman become President of the United States in our lifetime. Not because she’s a woman. Because she deserves to be there.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in the fall of 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Feeling Invisible isn’t a Superpower

n-OLDER-WOMAN-SITTING-ALONE-628x314A 50-year-old French author, not worth naming, recently remarked in a magazine that women older than fifty are invisible to him. “The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all,” he is quoted as saying, showing his maturity level to be closer to a pubescent boy than his actual age.

While the paper-thin insights of this one man isn’t worthy of rebuttal, the truth is, the belief that women 50+ lose their luster is shared by a disproportionate number of people in modern-day culture. A recent study revealed that more than two-thirds of women over the age of 45 have experienced a fallen lack of confidence—judged negatively because of their age from the opposite sex, and by younger women.

Technology also plays a role in the perception of older women being out of sync with social media and the digital world, which is not at all true. But perception is everything, and while the cliché is that men grow old in a dignified fashion, women just grow old. As a woman 50+ with my own domain, Twitter handle, and Facebook professional pages, my online footprint is impressive, and I look within and see anything but.

WhitmerOn the local-front, Michigan Governor Whitmer, at age 47, is just hitting her stride. Other notable West Michigan women include WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and countless other professionals, artists and creative souls finding their voice at an age that shouts from the rooftops, “I’m just getting started!”

Glenn Close - CopyLet’s follow the lead of 71-year-old actress, Glenn Close. As a 2019 Golden Globe winner for her portrayal in The Wife, she delivered this impassioned acceptance speech honoring her late mother.

“… I’m thinking of my mom who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s she said to me, “I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. …What I’ve learned from this whole experience is, women, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands if we’re lucky enough, and our partners. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, “I can do that, and I should be allowed to do that.”

The other day, as my grown son gazed at the DIY décor flowing throughout his parent’s living room, he looked at me and asked why I never displayed my artistic flair while he and his brother were still living at home—not comprehending the sacrifices a mother makes when given the choice of self-expression or simply keeping a home from imploding.

But the truth is, we need to make time for ourselves at every phase in our lives. Women in particular are far too willing to sacrifice self-worth for the sake of loved ones, and it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision.  My job is balanced with my passion for writing and my life-long goal of becoming a mediocre golfer. As a woman 50+, I’m looking forward to the second half of my own story.

Follow Heidi’s column in Women’s LifeStyle  of Greater Kalamazoo Magazine

Heidi

 

Christmas Shopping Gone Wrong

WARNING…

This Christmas season, young girls everywhere will once again be forced to drive toy cars, cook in play-kitchens, sing into play-microphones, play guitars, and read books that come in only one color… PINK.

PLEASE…

Stop buying pink toys for your girls. Contrary to what the local Target Store believes, girls have been known to grow up to play guitars that come in colors other than pink.

Young girls deserve to enjoy ALL the other beautiful colors.

Thank you.

She Means Business…

Below, is a photo of women…

She Means Biz Photo 2018 - Copy.jpg

Photo courtesy of K. Redmond Photography and Women’s LifeStyle of Gr. Kalamazoo

These women live in the Kalamazoo area and either own their own business or are part of a team that employs and appreciates what women bring to the table.

A quick glance at this group shows a wide swath of personalities, backgrounds, and lifestyles. No two are the same or even similar. Within this group of women, you’ll find a commercial real estate consultant, a banker, a therapist, a photographer, an advertising expert, a professional personal assistant, an image consultant, a magazine publisher, an artist, an event planner, and a plethora of other professionals.lego-nasa-women-set

So, saying that the photo above is “a photo of women,” is like saying these boss astronaut action-figures are simply Lego blocks.

Celebrate Women in Business by doing business with women. It’s that simple.