When I consider the possibility of the first woman presidency, drawing closer with every day, it is unfathomably exciting, and I can barely contain my joy at the thought of that two-century old glass ceiling being shattered. But when I hear expressions of anxiety about whether a woman is capable of doing the job, I feel none—zero—of that worry.
Of course she can. Just because we have never had a woman president doesn't mean that women are not capable of being president.
Not now, and not since the earliest days of the nation.
Women's capabilities have always exceeded cultural expectations of what we can do. Lack of our representation in any arena is not evidence of our lack of ability, as it is so often misconstrued, but evidence of our exclusion by gatekeepers.
And, frequently, evidence of our exclusion by the records and tellers of history—who, for a very long time, were almost exclusively men.
Because, the truth is, women have always been doing things.
We have been hunters and warriors and healers and priests. We have been blacksmiths and fishers and farmers and shopkeepers. We have been inventors and educators and researchers and spies. We have been poets and artists and builders and destroyers. We have been leaders of empires, though for most of history it was by virtue of birth rather than popular vote.
We have even been United States presidential candidates—since 1872.
Whatever things there were to do, women have always done them.
That we were denied the right to do things does not mean some of us were not doing them. That we have not always been paid to do them does not mean we were not. That we have not been recognized and rewarded and celebrated for doing them does not mean we were not doing them all along.
A dearth of documentation of women having done something is frequently held out as "evidence" that women simply never did those things—or that women who did were exceptions, who somehow managed to "overcome" their womanhood and its supposed inherent limitations in order to succeed.
They may well have overcome the external limitations levied by systemic bias. But where there has been a mountain to climb or a depth of ocean to explore, women have gone there. Breaking the rules; rewriting new rules for ourselves; ignoring the people who tried to stop us.
When you know that women's history is filled with women—of all races, national origins, ages, sizes, abilities, sexualities—doing things, you do not imagine there is a job that cannot be filled by a woman, including the U.S. presidency.
So I have no doubt that Clinton can be our president. She is the most qualified candidate ever to run. Not just the most qualified female candidate, but the most qualified candidate full-stop. (And it is certainly no coincidence that the first female candidate is also the most qualified.)
Of course she can do it. It is a question with an answer so obvious that it does not even register to me as one worth asking.
It is normal. Women have always been doing things.
But is also monumental, because a woman has never done this thing before. And I am beyond ready. I'm ready for Hillary Clinton. And the (progressive) women who will come after.