Understanding social attitudes on equality between people of different genders (especially inequality between men and women and cis/trans folks) is key to understanding the risks of gender-based violence. When men, women, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people are viewed as equal, not just in the eyes of the law, but truly viewed as equal on a deep cultural, social, and institutional level, rates of domestic and sexual violence dramatically increase. In today’s Perspective from WNIJ (LINK), our Director of Prevention discusses the important meaning behind the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President and what this means for the future of violence prevention…
We stand on the edge of an historic victory. Votes, politics, criticism, and praise aside, the bare facts are that our nation has elected its first woman to the Oval Office. Kamala Harris is the first female Vice-President-elect, the first Black Vice-President-elect, the first South East Asian Vice-President-elect. Her election is a moment for pride for barriers broken and glass ceilings shattered. It is also a time for deep introspection and shame that it has taken this long.
I’ve heard many people say how important this moment is for their daughters; how their girls have the chance to look at the White House and see themselves for the first time. I, myself, made sure that my young nieces were watching Kamala’s speech so they too would know “that could be me some day!”
But this is also a moment for our boys. This is a time for our boys to look to the White House and see that someone who doesn’t look like them can be the leader. They can follow the brave, smart, intelligent, compassionate leadership of girls and non-binary kids.
When more people begin to sit at the tables of power, when those who have been denied power don’t just join in but become the leaders, our world becomes a better place. I’m thrilled in this moment, not just for the young girls who can say “I’m going to be Vice President someday, just like Kamala Harris”, but for the boys and for every child who will look up to her leadership and dream of being just like her.