Kamala Harris is making history

Vice-President-elect+Kamala+Harris+and+President-elect+Joe+Biden+celebrate+with+supporters+after+declaring+victory+at+the+Chase+Center+in+Wilmington%2C+Delaware%2C+on+Nov.+7.

CAROLYN COLE/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and President-elect Joe Biden celebrate with supporters after declaring victory at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 7.

Hannah Dotzler, Copy Editor

Kamala Harris is making history as she will be not only the first woman, but also the first African-America and Asian-American vice president of the United States. This is huge for our country, and it is going to have an enormous impact on so many people.

I, for one, am already being inspired by her, and she is not even in the White House yet! As a woman living in America, it is hard to really feel like you have all the same opportunities as men. And it is hard to really feel like people respect you and view you as equal to males.

Growing up, I remember learning almost exclusively about male leaders in virtually all my classes in school. In biology and chemistry, I would hear about legendary scientists who discovered amazing things – and all of them were men. And, in both US and world history, I would learn about all types of people – inventors, explorers, presidents, vice presidents, and so on. And guess what? They were all men, too!

From such a young age, it’s hard for girls to really feel like they have an equal chance in this country or to feel like they’re respected as much as men are when all the powerful leaders they’ve learned about are males. It is even harder for girls of color because almost all these men they learned about in school also happened to be white. Growing up, girls and minorities cannot help but wonder where the people who look like them were all throughout history, and why they were not also doing great things alongside the white men.

I remember being confused when I was younger about why all the presidents of our country had been men. How do you think this information affects little girls? If you ask me, it makes them feel as though our country does not respect women. Which, I mean, is really the only possible explanation for this, anyway. The reason we’ve never had a female president is not because no woman has ever been smart enough or experienced enough to hold this position; it’s because our country has been sexist enough to keep them from doing so.

I have always had hope in America and have waited very patiently for a strong female to come and break the barriers that have kept a woman from becoming president. During the 2016 election, I was sure Hillary Clinton had finally made this moment arrive, but when Donald Trump, an unarguably sexist and racist man won, I was heartbroken. Not only had a woman still not made it into the Oval Office, but she had lost to someone who did not even respect or care about females. There was literally video proof released of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, but millions of people still voted for him. What kind of message is that sending to young girls?

To anyone out there who believes that representation doesn’t matter – you’re wrong. As someone who was once a young girl in this country, I can tell you that it does. I long for the day that young girls can watch a strong, female president and know that they too can do anything that they set their minds to. I mean, it makes sense that women in America are still so disrespected. Who can even try to argue that sexism towards women in this country no longer exists, when we have yet to elect a female president?

As someone who has taken several gender and women’s studies courses, I have learned about the importance of females – especially those of color – earning their spot in leadership positions. With her win, Harris has finally shattered the glass ceiling of the second highest position in all American government.

This is nothing new for Harris, who has been the first woman and person of color in almost all positions she has held. She once said in an interview, “I have been told in my career many times, ‘It’s not your time, it’s not your turn.’ And let me just tell you, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast.”

I cannot express enough how important Harris’s win is for our country. Little girls and minorities are finally going to have a woman and person of color leader they can learn about in school.

In her victory speech after the election, Harris said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last; because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

I know Harris is going to be a great leader, and I cannot wait for our country to see the amazing things a female in a position of power can do. With Harris as our vice president-elect, the future of women and people of color in the United States is looking a little brighter.