KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Vice President Kamala Harris shattered several glass ceilings during her inauguration Wednesday.
She is the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to hold the Office of the Vice President in U.S. history.
It was an important moment for women, and parents of little girls, all across the country.
“That’s groundbreaking. It’s historic,” Cary Langham, a father of two daughters, said.
Langham said today, he could truly see all the different possibilities for his daughters’ futures.
“When you see something, it’s almost like you can reach out and touch it. It’s achievable because if she can do it, why can’t they do it,” Langham said.
Langham said he often talks with his daughters about never stopping to achieve whatever they want to do, whoever they want to be.
He said Harris becoming vice president just adds a little more visual proof anything is possible.
“They can understand that ‘hey, I can be just as successful as Kamala Harris and that’s being vice president, or whatever it may be that they have the opportunity to and achieve it,” Langham said.
Langham knows it’s not easy for anyone to run for the presidency, or vice presidency, especially so for women.
Kathryn King, spokesperson for the League of Women Voters Knoxville chapter, said Harris isn’t the first woman to run for vice president.
A lot of women before Harris also had to break new ground in order for Harris to be able to get where she is today.
“You think back to even 40 or 50 years ago women couldn’t get a loan without their husband’s signature, so you know, raising money to run a political campaign was a real issue,” King said.
Fifty years before that, women were fighting for their right to vote. A lot has changed recently, though.
“We fought so long for the right to vote. And then, I think in 2017, women really mobilized to make our issues known; such as healthcare and education, those kinds of things that women, as primary care givers in most cases, have a vested interest in,” King said.
King said that hopefully after today, even more women will be eager to join Harris and shatter more glass ceilings.
“Women will see that we do have a seat at the table and I think that we’ll, and I hope that that brings that to the local and state levels as well; that we advocate for ourselves and that we make our voices heard so that better decisions can be made,” King said.
Langham said that being raised in a household full of women and now having two daughters of his own, he knows a woman can offer even more to the country.
“Because women tend to listen better, they tend to have more compassion, then tend to look at all the facts and details and they have a heart,” Langham said.
However, even with Harris reaching the Office of the Vice President, the road ahead will most likely look different than a man’s journey in the same office.
King and Langham hope people set aside all the stigmas that come along with females being in power.
“I hope they don’t see the vice president as… sensitive, emotional, somebody who is not qualified for the job just because she’s a woman; I hope they don’t see her as weak,” Langham said.
“You know, when you’re talking more about what’s coming out of a woman’s mouth (than) what she’s wearing, I think that would be a great thing,” King said.
Harris becoming vice president also shows diversity, and Langham hopes that continues for the sake of his daughters and minority groups across the country.
“I think that… from now on, it’s going to set a precedent and we need to make sure that our political leaders look like America. To have a diverse group that not just understand one group of people, but all groups of people,” Langham said.
He said this year will be unlike any other for women.
“2021 is the year of the woman,” Langham said.