When I originally drafted this post, I sat last Tuesday smirking at the thought of me being able to boast that my girl Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump with the entire world watching. I drafted it with all of the confidence in the world that Hillary would be taking on the grueling honor of being our next President of the United States. I was typing my thoughts with an extreme sense of pride, knowing that I would wake up on Wednesday and we would all be celebrating our first woman President. I was going to walk into work wearing a navy blue pantsuit with my chin a little higher, humming Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman”. I genuinely did not believe that the majority of our country was that ignorant, hateful or blind. I assumed wrong. Instead I sat watching Trump effortlessly win our swing states one by one during the election. Hillary’s loss was a devastating blow. You knowww I wanted to talk my shit. Disappointment was an understatement.
The points I was going to make about being a woman in America are difficult to touch on at this point. While many of them still ring true, I now realize I’d gotten ahead of myself. Women had gained so much momentum. We were being supported by respected men across the nation and had set aside religion, sexuality, and ethnicity differences to come together for one another. With all of the hope and backing that Hillary had behind her to make history, we once again witnessed first hand what happens to women daily. A woman can do everything right, be the most qualified candidate, the best at what they do, the most prepared, only to be overlooked by a man. A bully who would never admit how capable you were to begin with. It forced us to face the harsh reality of blatant sexism that’s still so prevalent and that our country is still much more divided than we thought. America’s message on election night was an attempt to keep women in their place. We won’t let that happen.
A woman’s place in this country is wherever she has the desire to be. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in congress, who also became the first black woman to run for president from a major political party said it best, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Women don’t care about the set backs or the losses, we bounce back and try again. We reroute, we find a way or make a way; from single moms to presidential candidates. We are resilient.
Women are as powerful as ever and we’re winning battles daily in hopes to eventually win the war. Women of all colors and decents continue to make notable history. Nevada elected Catherine Cortez Masto to the Senate, making her the first Latina senator along with Pramila Jayapal who is the first Indian-American woman to join the House of Representatives. Jefferson County in Texas elected Zena Stephens as sheriff, where she joined Vanessa Crawford as the only two black women sheriffs in the country. Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General and my #WCW, also made history by becoming the second black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. We have 20 African-American women currently serving in the House of Representatives along with several others holding political seats.
This tells me that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or who doesn’t want you to succeed, the possibilities are still endless. Being a woman in America still means that we’re brave, daring, tenacious, and indestructable. I believe Hillary’s loss was a pivotal moment for women in America. It allowed us to recognize how far we have to go in addition to how far we believed we had come. We’re unafraid of the fight or all of the work that it will take to define who we are. There’s still much progession to make, but there’s even more honor to own simply because we are women. I know that all of you reading this have plans to do incredible things, to make history and to change lives; and I can’t wait to watch you do it.
“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” – Hillary Clinton