Angela Merkel, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Sheikh Hasina Wajed; these are just a few women leaders from around the world, and with the upcoming U.S. election, Hillary Clinton could be added to that list as well. The possibility of having a female president is an idea that many people in the United States haven’t fully wrapped their heads around. Having a female president may be just as monumental as having our first African-American president, but due to the society that we live in, many people believe Clinton is unfit to run the country. Why? Because apparently, it’s a “man’s job.” According to the White House Government website, there have only been around 30 women in the U.S. Cabinet, and that number will likely grow if Clinton is elected. If Clinton is elected to the presidency, it will have an enormous impact in the world of politics. Certainly, it might encourage women to get involved without feeling that their opinions won’t matter as much as a man’s. In addition, while the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming president might be exciting for older generations, Clinton has struggled to connect with the younger crowd, especially younger women. One of the most highlighted issues being the Monica Lewinsky scandal surrounding her husband, former president, Bill Clinton. Younger women of this generation aren’t going to vote for Hillary Clinton solely for the fact that she is a woman.
According to an article written by Carlin Becker, there are only about “49% of young millenial voters who do not favor Clinton.” Marina Monello, a senior broadcasting student, is amongst some of the young women of this generation who criticize Clinton. “I want a president who will be able to stand up for our country,” said Monello. “Going by Clinton’s track record, Bill by her side doesn’t give off that message in my opinion. Bill cheated on his wife and put her in the spotlight on so many occasions, and they are still arm in arm with smiles on their faces. We don’t know what happens behind the scenes, and I understand marriage is very important to some people, but as a woman, I do not respect other women who put themselves in the position to be humiliated by men.” Monello continued, “Being women in this country is hard enough; we don’t need a political figure that has no respect for herself to ‘fight’ for respect and rights for other women.”
However, not all younger women feel the same as Monello does. Women like Melissa Lysse, a freshman fashion merchandising student, has differing views. Lysse has a more positive outlook regarding the presidential candidate. “Hillary Clinton would be a good role model for young women because she shows strength, and is very supportive of young women,” said Lysse. “Unlike Republican candidate Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to respect women.”
Lysse believes that Clinton will help bring gender equality to our society, especially in politics. “As the first female presidential candidate, she has already inspired a lot of women to aim for higher positions simply because she proved a woman is just as capable as a man is to run this country,” said Lysse.
It seems as though many young women, like Monello and Lysse, don’t just care about feminist issues. There is a lot more at stake for the younger generation who have to live with the decisions made by voters this upcoming election. Although Clinton’s role as the first female presidential nominee of a major party is in fact revolutionary, a lot of non-supporters feel as though she is untrustworthy. So, how does she win over millennial women? We will just have to wait and see since she clearly has a lot of hard work ahead of her to win them over and get them to the voting booths next month.