Excuse this brief, one-time detour into the political. But, as they say, it’s personal.
For years, but of course more in this year than any other, there has been a narrative that Hillary Clinton is not inspiring. That her supporters will vote for her because she is the “lesser of two evils” but not because they are actually excited about her. I’m sure you’ve heard it. (Let’s put aside policy discussions and just focus on this “inspiration” narrative.)
I’ve always found this narrative to be vastly disconnected from the way I feel, and from the way many of my colleagues, classmates, and friends feel. In fact, I think if the media looked past the loudest voices in the room, they would find that Hillary Clinton has inspired a generation of professional women. And we are immensely excited about Hillary being president.
I was six years old when Bill Clinton was first elected to the White House. That means I grew up watching a first lady who not only could raise a child and bake cookies but who could write briefs and negotiate deals. I grew up watching a woman who didn’t slink into the background when she was told she was stepping out of line, or when she was attacked by political opponents alleging various “scandals,” or even when her own husband humiliated her on a nationwide scale. I grew up watching a woman whose self worth was in no way tied to how big her thighs were.
When I interned in the Senate during college, I swelled with pride every time I saw Hillary (including the one time I literally collided with her in the basement hallway). I would crane my neck from high in the gallery as she glided onto the Senate floor to vote or debate, and I’d cling onto each word she spoke. Call me a “silly girl” if you want (you wouldn’t be the first to do so), but when that woman showed up on the news with her hair in a ponytail, I cried real, salty tears.
Hillary has taught us that we should speak up, that we don’t need to make statements sound like questions or couch our opinions in a sea of giggles, that we don’t have to apologize for being strong or for being smart, and that it’s OK if some people don’t like us. She’s taught us that we are much more than our number on some man’s 1-10 scale, and that there is work to do so let’s get to it.
Hillary Clinton is my “hope.” She is my “change.” And she has been for a long time. #imwithher