Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Our New Vice-President

By Beverly Gould, LCSW, PsyD


January 20th, 2021 was a day that history was made. That day has been celebrated as ushering in a new timeline in American history as President Biden created the most diverse cabinet that this nation has ever seen. The election of the first Black, Brown, Asian and female Vice President has opened the door to a new chapter and a new level of conversation as it allows for young girls to expand their imagination of what is possible and question many internalized assumptions about the role of race and gender in American society.  

Many young girls discuss the importance of seeing themselves reflected in the halls of power. Some can now imagine themselves in positions and places that they never before dreamed possible. Some hope that a woman in such a high office will influence issues relevant to women’s rights and economic and social issues related to families and children. Some view the representation of a woman of color as a possible sign that issues of police brutality and equal justice can improve. The research tells us that women govern differently than men. Women tend to be more collaborative and this may well create more opportunities for inclusion and reflection if not empathy and healing. 

This next seismic shift in the world view of America impacts us externally in the way government and society functions; how people who are not the “standard majority” are perceived and compared, who is deemed worthy, who can be invited in and included in all levels of participation. It is also seismic in the potential for internal shifts in the unconscious and subtle ways that the sense of self and identity is developed. It impacts how we view the racialized trauma that is passed on through genetics, culture and family. This level of trauma, as well as the potential for healing, lives and breathes within the nervous system of every member of society. It has the potential to impact the collective experience of implicit bias and the subsequent internal roadblocks that separate us all from experiencing our connection to ourselves and others.