‘Like an astronaut’

Charting Hillary’s impact on women, from Abby Wambach to Ann Patchett

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Hillary Clinton is like an astronaut now,” Nancy Lyons, a chief executive and resident of Minneapolis, said of Clinton’s nomination to become President of the United States. Clinton is going to a place no woman has been before and may keep going further, and watching her trajectory, with a mixture of fear and excitement, is reminiscent of the wonder of watching space missions from decades ago, Lyons told The New York Times.

Other women around the country, reacting last week to Clinton’s historic win as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, said this moment could be life-changing for American women. The novelist Ann Patchett said she might be inspired to delegate household chores to her husband, while Tammy Keith, a caseworker from East New York, said she hoped she might soon see pay equal to her male colleague’s. Soccer star Abby Wambach said that with the possibility of Clinton in the White House, even boys in America will be affected as they begin to view their female peers as potential future presidential candidates.

Marianne Cooper, a Stanford sociologist who helped Sheryl Sandberg with research for her book, Lean In, tempered some of the anticipation of what Clinton might accomplish in office.

“To really shatter the glass ceiling would mean she was upending the forces that are barriers for women,” she said. Those are “really difficult for any single individual from an underrepresented group to undo,” she added. “And in four years?”

For Lyons and many other women, though, the excitement will continue, at least until November 8.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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