• Christina Peña

So You Wanted to Be President...

Today’s piece is for the women. So if you don’t identify as a woman, maybe it’s time to leave. Okay. I get it. You are probably curious. That’s okay. I guess you can hang out. You can sit in the last row, 3 seats in, but please shhhhhh.

Yesterday, we witnessed Kamala Harris get sworn into office. Can I get a big hell yes!?!? It’s not that I never thought it was possible, but after the last 4 years, I didn’t know. Truth be told I almost missed it. My good friend, Carly, had to tell me to turn on my tv. A woman is the Vice President of the United States of America. Correction. A Black and South Asain Woman is the Vice President of the United States of America. PERIOD. I can’t say it without beaming from ear to ear.

Is it just me or did every little girl I know want to be the first woman president? I wonder why we felt like it was even possible. It had never been proven. I was 13 when Hillary Clinton first ran. So I had no role model for the job. But I still felt like I could do it. I was immensely qualified in my own head.

I guess thinking about it, this is also true in my creative experience. The first time I saw A Chorus Line. I was 7. It was probably way too mature for me. But after I remember thinking about which role I wanted. Who I most connected too. It wasn’t Val. Or even the white Diana Morales. Maybe Sheila. But it was definitely Zach. I wanted to be the leader. The one in charge, who got to make all the decisions. The boss.

We as women spend years of our lives getting taught how to make ourselves small. How to answer when spoken to. Or how to dress so the men in our lives aren’t distracted by our bra straps. How do we expect to mold the next generation when we haven’t dealt with our own traumas from said scenarios?

Here is my start:

I will no longer accept people telling me to lessen myself.

I will no longer be the calm, pleasing woman that men expect.

I am not a bore.

I am a shining example of what could be.

Last night Madame Vice President Kamala Harris said “We not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”

This is our time. This is our moment to inspire not only those around us, but ourselves. It is our time to truly be great.

So the next time a young girl says she wants to be president. I will respond with “Is that all?”

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