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Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Proves To Kids What They Already Know: Women Can Do Anything

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Hillary-Clinton-Brian-Thomas-PhotographyMany of today’s kids won’t remember the last time Hillary Clinton ran for president. Either they weren’t born yet, or they were too young to pay attention and understand what it all meant. Even if they were old enough to be aware of what was going on, we’re living in a pretty different world today, and that’s a huge part of what makes Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she’s seeking the white house so exciting.

Clinton announced her bid for the presidency yesterday in a brief YouTube video that made a big statement. In it, a diverse group of people outline their hopes for the upcoming year ahead. They include a young family moving to put their kid in a better school, a same sex couple preparing for their summer nuptials, a stay-at-home mom heading back to work, a pair of immigrants starting their own business, a recent college grad, and a woman heading into retirement.

Clinton promises to be a champion for the ‘every day’ American while making it clear that the definition of an every day American is inclusive of different lifestyles, genders, ages, and races. She’s unquestionably in support of same sex marriage. According to her campaign chairman, climate change is a major issue in her campaign, whereas in 2008 it was just a footnote. Thanks to loud activists and Obama’s outspokenness on his evolving positions on several issues, she’s now able to take the stance that these things that are often painted as “hot button” topics are, in fact, just a part of life as an average American.

I’m excited for kids to see that kind of campaign that is inclusive of themselves and people they know and makes room for everyone. I’m also, of course, excited for them to see a woman in this race. Hillary Clinton is not the first female to run for president — she wasn’t even the first female to run for president in 2008 — but similar to what I like about the inclusivity of her campaign video, I like that her womanhood is a non-issue, at least for her.

Will there be rampant sexism during this election? Yes. Of course. The same was faced by Hillary last time, as well as by Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, and pretty much any person who dares to have both a vagina and an opinion. What’s inspiring to me is how, despite the sexism, the idea of women holding powerful political positions continues to become more and more of a non-issue.

I was talking to my daughter last night, who is admittedly too young to really care about all of this, but I still want her to be aware of what’s going on in whatever capacity she’s able. I talked about what a president is and what they do. We talked about voting and what that means. And then I talked to her a little bit about the people running so far, and I was about to make a big deal about Hillary being a woman, but I stopped myself because I realized my daughter doesn’t care.

It’s never occurred to her that a woman can’t be president, or that it’s possible for a presidential campaign to be so exclusionary of anyone except heterosexual white males. Barack Obama changed the campaign game, and now subsequent candidates will be expected to continue that change, at least by progressive-minded people, and seeing Hillary take up the baton is exciting. Seeing anyone carry on in that vein is exciting. It’s another step forward towards a world where politics is for everyone and it’s so exciting for America’s youngest people to see that in action.

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(Photo: Brian Thomas / Getty)