What Does It Mean To You That A Woman Could Be President? 16 New Yorkers Respond
On Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton declared victory in obtaining the Democratic nomination for president. While Bernie Sanders still hasn't conceded, she is the party's presumptive nominee, having garnered the number of delegates necessary. The number of needed Democratic delegates was 2,383, which Clinton exceeded when she won in New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and California, sending her delegate count to 2,755.
I was curious to see how New Yorkers were feeling the morning after her victory speech, and headed to Union Square Park to ask people of all ages and backgrounds the same broad question: "How do you feel about the fact that we might have a woman president?" Interestingly, while I meant the question to be more historic in nature than asking "How do you feel that Hillary Clinton might be president?" I noticed that the latter was often how it was interpreted nonetheless. It's revealing that to ask how one feels about having a female president is to ask how one feels about Hillary Clinton — and it will be that way for a long time to come.
While of course going up to such a small sample of people in such a diverse city is far from scientific, I can tell you anecdotally that I noticed a few things. Even though this is a liberal city, people's responses were extremely varied, and I encountered far more people than I expected who said they will not be voting at all if Clinton is the nominee. Several people also refused to answer my question outright, with visible disdain as soon as the name "Hillary" was uttered.
Older women, unsurprisingly, were the most excited by the prospect of finally seeing a female president. Young women of color appeared to feel the most disillusioned about it. But my favorite people to talk to were the ones who definitely won't be voting this election: the kids. I came upon a truly awesome group of little boys who were all eager to share their political opinions (with parental permission of course). All rejected Donald Trump for his xenophobia, and were excited about the idea of having a female president. There may be hope for our future yet.
"I don't feel great about it since she's problematic. She doesn't represent me in any way. It's sad she's gona [sic] be the first female president."
She added, "I didn't vote in the primary. If it it's between her and Trump, I would vote, but I would leave the ballot blank."
"I'm very proud. I've been waiting 8 years for this."
She added, "I was born the same day as Hillary. October 26, 1947. Pretty cool, right? I'm doing everything I can to mobilize the senior citizens in my apartment building to get them to go vote for Hillary in November."
"She doesn't care about black women."
She added, "I didn't vote in the primary. If it's Hillary vs. Donald, I won't vote in November. It's the same outcome. What's the point?"
"I think it's a change that a woman is running for president. I feel happy about it."
"If she presented herself in a different way I would be excited!"
"Excited! It's about time!"
"I think she should be president because Trump would make Mexicans build a wall."
"Definitely sets the tone for women in politics. Nothing is off limits!"
She added, "I voted for Kasich in the primary. I'm undecided right now."
"I'm excited about it. It's about time women were appreciated as they should be. It's nice to know there are equal opportunities."
She added, "When I was your age, the only opportunities for us as women opened up during WWII. I was in the engineering department. At the end of the war, they didn't dismiss us, but they put the men back in the best spots, and didn't promote us. I think it's great we live in a time with equal opportunity. I voted for Hillary in the primary, and I'll vote for her again. I want to live long enough to see a woman president."
Jaqueline & Patricia, 67
"We're proud that Hillz is the first woman to reach the democratic nominee!"
"I feel good. It would be good for her to win, because Trump doesn't want Mexicans in the country."
"I think it would be liberating."
"I think it's about time."
Images: Rachel Krantz/Bustle