What Kamala Harris’s Inauguration Should Mean for Women Around The World
Every woman on the face of the planet had an opportunity handed to them on January 20th 2021 at the inauguration of the first African American person, the first Asian person and the first woman to take the Office of the Vice President of the United States of America: Kamala Harris.
As a feminist writer, I couldn’t help but ardently probe the keys staring at me, inspired by the inauguration ceremony and the look of determination and pride on the Vice President’s face as she took the oath.
Whilst equality for women has widely been an accepted principle in Western Societies, it has not always been put into play at the ballot boxes, and the ‘glass ceiling’ has always been whispered on the air, suffocating women aspiring to do better.
The whisper of the glass ceiling felt, and still feels like a discriminatory hangover from the first sad and disappointing moment in a girl’s life, when she realises she will have to work harder, shout louder, be stronger and struggle longer than her male counterparts. And that ‘fair’ doesn’t even come into it.
Kamala Harris, for so many reasons, is the future. She breathes hope and modernity to stifled nations being held back by biased voters who (whether consciously or subconsciously), are scrambling to grasp control over countries, politics, ways of life that they once knew. These reliable voters, now feel disenfranchised, feeling left out as they near the end of their lives, casting their votes recklessly knowing they may not have to live through the consequences.
Consequently, Kamala Harris exudes hope. Hope that in just one generation, the idea that women did not and could not lead, would be unthinkable, draconian and another part of history which we must remember in order to avoid repetition, alongside other injustices and atrocities from modern history. We want to continue the ongoing progression of the human race, not regress as the recent degeneration of the past four years have revealed.
As a white woman, I can only attempt to imagine how people of colour feel, when they see a person who identifies as Asian and African American, sworn into the Office of Vice President. I can only highlight the importance of this step towards full equality for all, and apologise for having enjoyed a life where I have benefitted from the colour of my skin in so many ways and quite literally every day as someone who has immigrated to Australia. I can only promise to continue to do everything I can to advocate and demonstrate in aid of this cause, and to ensure my son and daughter develop their opinions with a fire in their bellies for equality and for justice.
As my daughter continues to grow, no matter what I teach her, she will slowly come to see before her, the gender roles that exist in society and she will have to decide whether she conforms or pushes back, and I have no expectation of her for either, only upon myself as a role model.
So that is why I salute Kamala Harris with eternal gratitude. That she dared to break ageing social norms for women and their careers, and that she has embraced every move she made not only for herself, but for every girl who now watches wide-eyed and earnestly. I thank her for realising that the power moves she made and makes in her career, are a metaphor for potential and for opportunities for all women, for this must be a heavy burden to endure and one which she didn’t have to commit to.
As it was said at the inauguration ceremony, as Kamala Harris takes office, “little boys and girls across the world will know that anything and everything is possible”. Never mind ‘shattering the glass ceiling’. She has, in a moment, completely rejected the existence of the glass ceiling, committing the myth to social history as an illusion which required dispelling and renouncing. The next generation will draw back the curtain on this black and brown magic and will no longer be spellbound by the constraints of their elder peers. And I, for one, cannot wait to watch this play out.
What is clear to be seen however, is that she has made history and has inspired women and girls around the planet by showing them that they have potential, that they have opportunity, that they are important, that they are heard and that they can use their voices without an expectation of misogynistic rebuke in response.
I feel that nothing I write can quite highlight the magnitude of Kamala Harris’s Inauguration for Women around the world. But more importantly, more impressively, more inspiringly, Kamala Harris’s Inauguration will be the victory of women around the world tomorrow.
And that is extraordinary.
Anna is a businesswoman, mother and feminist. Frustrated by engendered stereotypes and attitudes around women and sex, she created happymash as an online space where women would feel comfortable learning about and discussing their sexual wellness.
Growing up, Anna was confused and disheartened by the cultural norms that made women feel reluctant and embarrassed to nourish such an enjoyable and liberating core to their mental and physical wellbeing. Anna devotedly advocates that sex is a vital part of every woman’s health throughout her entire life, and that every woman should know how to access her body’s ability to give her pleasure.
Through a happy, helpful and hopeful online platform, Anna combines her original pleasure product range with her honest and relatable blog. Through happymash, she encourages you to gain the sexual wellness you deserve.