July 7, 2016
By Dalia Esparza-Zapata
This year’s primary race has been like no other. The Democratic Party has been split into two different groups since the beginning: Bernie supporters vs Hillary supporters. That divide has persistened even after Hillary Clinton was announced as the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party on June 7th, 2016.
This was national news that changed many people’s opinions on the general election. I was not one of them. Since the start of the race, I considered myself a Hillary supporter and when I heard the news of Hillary Clinton securing the Democratic nomination I could not believe it. The excitement that was going through my body is really unexplainable.
This race has been very long and difficult. Bernie Sanders has received a lot of support from the younger voters and it really turned into a competitive race. I am 21 years old and spend a big portion of my time on social media. As time went on, I began to notice the increase in positive social media attention Bernie was receiving and that is when I really began to worry. Many news outlets and polls have continually mentioned that this presidential election will be decided by the millennial and Latino voters. Seeing about 90% of my social media friends, which consists of millennials and Latinos, posting their support for Bernie Sanders really made me think Hillary Clinton was not going to be able to get the nomination. So when the Associated Press announced that Hillary was the presumptive nominee, it really caught me off guard.
At the beginning of the race, I was almost certain Hillary Clinton was not going to be able to get the nomination because she is a woman. Women have been constantly put down because of our gender. I am one of the lucky ones who have the complete support of my family. In my family, it’s understood that men and women are both capable of achieving the same things, whether it is academically or physically. On the other hand, my best friend was always taught that men and women have different roles in society. In high school, she was not allowed to join any extra-curricular activities because most of them took place after school and she had to be home right at 4:30pm since she is a woman. Her weekends consisted of cooking, cleaning, and staying home. Senior year came around and so did college application time. When I asked her what universities she was going to apply to she said, “None because that is not my role”. I was outraged. Before that day, I had never heard of such a thing. Not being able to apply to college because of your gender seemed ridiculous to me but I soon realized people still discriminate based on your gender.
I was able to convince her to apply to college and now she is about to graduate. Being able to convince her to chase her dreams and now seeing that she is about to reach her dream of graduating from college really makes me feel like there is hope. Hope that gender equality is achievable. I feel this now more than ever before because Hilary Clinton is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. She will prove that men and women can both successfully lead this amazing country of ours.