I followed the presidential election with mild amusement—until last week when I found out that I’m pregnant with a daughter. The stakes suddenly grew higher.
I had laughed at Trump along with my liberal friends from New York City and supported Clinton for her policies, experience, and competence. But the truth is that I was exponentially more invested in the outcome once I knew the gender of my unborn child.
Watching Clinton debate with Trump for the first time got my heart racing. I thought about how the next president will take office only a week before my due date and my daughter could be born during a historic moment. She could grow up in a world where the most powerful public figure in the US, and arguably the world, is a woman. My daughter will always know that her potential is limitless.
I observed how Clinton kept her cool when Trump took cheap shots at her and degraded women. She stayed calm and thoughtfully answered questions. I remembered times when boys in school, or later men at work, made sexist comments or spoke in a misogynistic way. I didn’t always have the tools to navigate those situations. I wasn’t sure what to say and how to stick up for myself. I would swell with pride if my daughter learned how to handle barbs from men the way Clinton did during the debate.
I grew up in a feminist household where I was taught that I could do anything men could do. My parents diminished the importance of being pretty and instead focused on developing my intellect. I was surrounded by strong female role models who were at the top of their professional fields. Despite all of this, I know that growing up with a female president would have had an added benefit and influence.
I understand that Clinton won’t relieve my responsibility of raising a daughter. But I am hopeful that very soon it won’t be a big deal for a woman to be president. I want my daughter to know that not only does her mom believe in her, but the majority of the country does, too. I want her to compete against men, put them in their place when they disrespect her, and be confident without caring about losing her sex appeal.
With or without Hillary, I know I have my work cut out for me.