Times Change

I don’t write about politics, but I had to share this bit I heard on the radio yesterday, while driving home sometime after Hillary Clinton’s speech.  A number of DNC attendees brought their daughters to hear her speech.  The radio reporter asked a couple of girls there whether they felt inspired by the speech and the notion that they too could become President.  The first one, a twelve-year-old, said she was.  The second, a six-year-old, went a little differently:

Reporter: So do you think you could become president someday?
Six-year-old: No.
Reporter: Why not?
Six-year-old: Because I want to grow up to be something else.
Reporter: What’s that?
Six-year-old: A farmer.

I loved that.

The mothers who brought their daughters there said they’d never expected to see a woman presidential candidate in their lifetime, and it was deeply meaningful to them.  I wish my grandmother had lived to see this.  She tried to vote for Hillary in the 2008 primary, having been a longstanding supporter, but had deteriorated to the point where she couldn’t sign her name, just write circles.  My mother included a note explaining this, but of course we have no idea whether it was counted.  Grandma was still alive when Obama was elected, but not very aware at that point (although she did ask once if the election had happened, and was pleased to hear that “we won”), and passed away the following year.

When I was, I dunno, a teenager, I enjoyed reading a Reader’s Digest Treasury of Wit and Humor, culled from the humor sections of RD.  It was published in 1957.  One was a cartoon of a nurse telling a new father, “Well, you have a future President of the United States… if we ever have the good sense to elect a woman.”  That’s what Grandma, and Mom, grew up with: “future President” being used to announce that the baby was a boy.  I wonder if that phrase is still used that way.

Just remembered another anecdote from the RD book, told by a teacher who had asked her young students to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Most of the kids got to work drawing, but one girl just scowled at her paper.  When the teacher asked why she wasn’t drawing, the girl said “I want to be married when I grow up, but I don’t know how to draw it!”

This is probably why I loved that six-year-old’s ambition to be a farmer so much.


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