I felt something I haven’t really felt before, watching Senator Harris in the debate tonight.

I doubt this is a unique post but I just wanted to share my own experience. All my life the ideas of representation and empowerment seemed rather foreign to me after growing up in a very conservative environment, to the point that I would feel silly even celebrating first-time achievements by women though I am a young woman myself. But tonight, seeing Harris in the debate, I actually felt—dare I say—empowered. And hearing this same day about the Nobel in Science given to two women, I finally let myself celebrate inside, instead of thinking “Whatever, it doesn’t matter, we’re all just people.” Because women are doing things we haven’t been able to do, and that’s awesome. And I’m going to let myself be more happy about it.

Edit:

First comes the obligatory expression of surprise at how big this got. Thanks everyone!

Second, I wanted to address some common sentiments in the comments. I did not intend to imply that I support everything Kamala Harris has done or intends to do. I definitely don’t, and disagree with her on many fronts. I don’t necessarily see her as a role model in general. My epiphany was that I had not been letting myself get excited for the ways in which women are entering spheres they haven’t entered before (this year and for the past few with Clinton and Palin being prominent candidates) and I think this may be a common thing for women of a similar background. Seeing a woman carry herself with such intelligence and class in a platform like that was simply empowering in a surprising way to me. For those (especially men) in the comments expressing various concerns: know that I, at least, would never vote for or back a candidate for the sole fact of her womanhood. I believe in ontological equality between genders and am sad to see discrimination on every side. This was not intended to be a post elevating women over men, but rather celebrating a new surge of equality in our time.

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