Impatience Is A Virtue by Susan Whitlock

The day Hillary Clinton unofficially clinched the nomination, I nearly fired my chiropractor.

He asked, at the beginning of our visit, how I was, and I told him: "I'm pretty thrilled about the first-ever woman as a major-party nominee for president!"

In response, the chiropractor—a white man in his early 30s--launched into what was wrong with Clinton, in his mind, or what she'd have to do or change to really inspire him. He steamrolled over my enthusiasm and talked on and on through most of our visit. I interrupted him several times to offer my perspective—it seemed to have little effect. I wondered if he'd ever stop.

But here's what I noticed: it made me really, really angry. Angrier than I usually allow myself to get over everyday sexism. And I realized, almost immediately, that just the fact of Clinton getting that far, against everything she's battled since the moment she came into the public's vision, had given me hope in a place that I often go numb to the dailiness of sexism.

Since then I've talked to many, many women friends who have had similar experiences lately. We're all finding ourselves more impatient with sexism large and small, against us or other women. We are more animated, more likely to point it out or show our anger.

It's not that we never did before. But day in, day out, we have to pick our battles, and sometimes the way hopelessness settles in, we steel ourselves not to care.

But we do care. We care about the mistreatment that hits Hillary Clinton, and we care about the mistreatment—however trivialized when we mention it—that hits us all. The fact that Hillary has never let the truly appalling way she's been treated publicly take her out, never taken her eye off the ball, gives us all hope that we don't have to settle for tiny concessions.

It makes us impatient again. And that's a great gift.

I didn't fire my chiropractor. I thought about it, but that would be the easy way out. I want to challenge myself, like Clinton, to pull everyone along. And I thank her profoundly for the momentum she's giving us.

Oh, and one other thing: though I am no news hound, it seems to me that when people discuss an HRC presidency, they seldom mention that this would make her the "leader of the free world." As problematic as that phrase is, drenched in U.S. arrogance and imperialism, I recall hearing it used far more in the past, when all the contenders were men. A woman as "leader of the free world"? Sounds about right to me. And the great news? The rest of the world knows it's right.


October 2, 2016

Show Comments ()


Follow Us On


On Social