Honor Code Creative


Having a Mammogram Showed Me Why Hillary Will Kill it as President.

Hillary pic via Hillary Clinton @ Facebook

Hillary pic via Hillary Clinton @ Facebook

Today I went for a mammogram (a/k/a paid a visit to Hades). I figured that in the year had passed since my last mammogram, some advancements must have been made. So I took a deep breath and marched my frightened self in there. Responsible. Yeah. Go get ‘em.

The one advancement I noticed after a whole year was that they didn’t make me take off my jewelry. That’s a nice touch. So while my boob is in a vise being pressed like a ham, tears rolling down my face, at least I have a nice vintage Hermes Collier de Chien bracelet to look at.

Of course, this also served to remind me that here I am, a woman of means (i.e. the Hermes), in a city of the best hospitals in the world, undergoing testing that all women of a certain age are expected to routinely undergo, and yet although the waiting area got refreshed, no one’s been able to make the process any less painful or more humane. (And on a side note, women in poverty are to unlikely to get access to a mammogram at all.)

As far as we’ve come, we haven’t come all that far. Women still make less on the dollar than our male counterparts — even in the rarefied world that is Hollywood. (House of Cards, anyone? Claire co-runs the world, but Robin Wright still had to scratch for her fair share.) And women who speak up for themselves, if we are able to rally the nerve, are still “bitchy” and “aggressive” (bad aggressive) while men who do are “ambitious” and “aggressive” (good aggressive). Nearly three decades after I stood on the Washington Mall chanting “3, 5, 7, 9, George Bush stay out of mine!” it’s still considered widely ok for men to make decisions about our reproductive rights. (Yeah, Republicans don’t want big government. Unless it’s in my vagina.) And the list goes on.

It’s no surprise to me that Hillary has worked tirelessly to address breast cancer for a quarter of a century, giving the disease more attention than any presidential candidate before her.

But in fact, Hillary has had to achieve every one of her (myriad) accomplishments, whether specifically related to women or not, while also being a woman in what remains a man’s world. When she walked home, mulling over a key decision, she had to be interrupted by some guy telling her “gimme a smile.” In her young career, when she worked late, hoping to do well and advance (and later not only advance but serve the rest of us!), she had to wonder if people thought she was a shitty mother (they did). And every year, for two decades plus, she had to start a workday shivering in the freezing cold, holding her breath, half naked, in excruciating pain, while she waited to find out if she had cancer or not. And then go off to work and act like nothing had happened. If that’s not a test of presidential-ness, I don’t know what is.

And p.s. Let me tell you, if guys had to routinely put their balls in a vise to test for testicular cancer, there’d be technological advancements. And they’d happen fast. In fact, something like that might help men on both sides of the aisle come together; testicular injustice might finally bridge the divides in our country that have been so painfully evident of late. #allballsmatter.
Rachel Solomon