By Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to Barbara Demick of the LA Times, “Clinton’s defeat, following eight years of Barack Obama’s breakthrough as the first African-American president, suggests to many that gender can be a bigger obstacle than race.”
Los Angeles Times
It turned out that the ceiling was made not of glass, but reinforced concrete.
At least that is what it felt like to many women who had been getting ready Tuesday to pour champagne in celebration of the first female president of the United States.
It soon became clear that the nation’s 45th U.S. president would be another man, and Hillary Clinton, the woman many had expected to break the biggest gender barrier of them all, would be an also-ran for the nation’s highest office.
In the years to come, political scientists will ponder to what extent gender was a factor in the electorate’s rejection of a candidate with an Ivy League law degree, three decades of public service, a famous surname and the endorsements of a broad swath of newspapers and political leaders.
“If she can’t do it, what woman can?” asked Avis Miller, 71, who graduated from Wellesley College three years before Clinton, and who defied gender expectations herself when she became a rabbi.
In interviews across the country, women said the acrimonious presidential campaign had revived long-suppressed memories: of the unwelcome hand on the knee, the backhanded compliment, the condescension, the impossible competition between family and career, terrain that has become much easier for younger women to navigate, thanks to the work done by women of Clinton’s generation.
Before Clinton’s loss to Republican Donald Trump, Miller had planned a celebratory Sabbath dinner with some of her Wellesley classmates, all accomplished women: a professor, an architectural historian, a published novelist.
“There’s that level of accomplishment and achievement, but another level we just can’t seem to crack,” she said.
“A lot of people are very misogynist,” said Jan Greenberg, 73, a theater director who was grimacing as she walked past a rack of news headlines in New York on Wednesday morning. “They don’t admit it, they don’t think they are, but it was going to be very hard for a woman, particularly Hillary Clinton.