It’s Historic. And It Matters.

It didn’t take a full century from the time the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote, until a woman became the candidate of a major party for the presidency. We left four years to spare.

Forty-two countries have had a female head of government.

It matters.

Until now, we weren’t good enough to be real contenders in the United States for the highest office.

It matters.

I have had the opportunity to see many important moments in the history of women in the United States. When I was a child, only a minority of women were in the workforce, and they were excluded from many professions. There was no word for, no recognition of sexual harassment. Women had no legal means to control whether and when they had a child. On most days of the week, we had to endure obnoxious comments as we walked down the street, just because we were women. Women were excluded from juries. There was one woman in the Senate. One. We were called “coeds” and professors made a game of us. Domestic violence was just what happened. And on and on.

But I had come to doubt that in my lifetime I would see a woman be a major party candidate for the presidency, let alone the President.

Some people have dismissed supporters of Hillary Clinton who are longing to see this historical threshold crossed, suggesting they are putting supporting “just any woman” over policy. It’s not new to accuse women of not being smart enough to make the right decisions for themselves. Women who have been around a while are used to that.

It is historic.

And it matters.