Even now, among dozens of Kennedy cousins in the next generation, I am the only woman who has sought or held elective office.
What is a female candidate supposed to look like? Act like? Be? These are tough questions for Americans to answer, especially when we’re so quick to recycle outmoded gender perceptions when women try to talk to us about why and how they want to lead. As Hillary Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic nomination for president, Americans are long overdue for what George H. W. Bush once contemptuously called “the vision thing.” Only this time it’s about envisioning women as leaders. Why should one more woman have to contend with the conventional daily diet of criticism fed to me as a woman campaigning for political office?