Hillary Clinton’s speech was a powerful, primal first – and it blew me away Xeni Jardin

I think this is how most women feel about Hillary Clinton getting nominated and its not based on whether you agree with her policies or not. Guys…. you will never understand how this nomination feels. You can try but until you’ve walked quite a few miles in a women’s shoes, its impossible for you to understand. No disrespect meant. Even her entrance onto the stage was overwhelming. Watch Obama in the video below “there has never been anyone more qualified to be our President than Hillary Clinton.” Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below or watch her acceptance speech.

 

 

 

Sometimes we look to the internet hoping to be seen and heard by the world. Other times, we see in some stranger’s tweets our own experience. We see ourselves reflected, and it makes us feel less alone, and whole, when we didn’t know we were missing anything moments before.

On Twitter Thursday night, I saw an image that mirrored my own experience of watching Hillary Clinton accept the DNC nomination for president of the United States. It was a photo of a little girl gazing at a regal woman in a white pantsuit.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
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Megan Fishmann @mfishmann
I let my daughter stay up late to watch @HillaryClinton prove that girls can and will run the world. #ImWithHer
7:56 PM – 28 Jul 2016
3,497 3,497 Retweets 8,700 8,700 likes
For so many women and girls watching, her public, historic speech was a powerful, primal, private first. It was a first for that toddler, and it’s a first for me. Someone like us is up there. The glass ceilings in our own lives feel thinner today, if not entirely shattered. Today’s little girls will grow up knowing they are complete human beings, equal to and possessing the same innate dignity and value as any boy or man.

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I wasn’t prepared to feel all this gratitude, all this grief. Sadness that something so simple had finally happened, after being denied to so many for so long. I’m old enough to have followed Clinton’s career for almost as many decades as she’s had one. I never identified myself as a fan or supporter. I disagree with her take on many issues, war and whistleblowers among them. I felt the Bern, and had hoped to cast my vote for Bernie Sanders. I was surprised at how this moment changed me.

It wasn’t her policy details that moved me to tears, though it was so nice to finally hear a candidate share anything resembling a plan, after wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s empty bombast and putdowns. It wasn’t the contrast between Clinton, a “sane and competent” Washington veteran with decades of experience near the top, and her orange-skinned reality TV opponent, a man who routinely derides women while seeking to become president. What overwhelmed me inside was something quiet; something I’d never felt before in quite this way.

Hillary’s speech was like watching the moon landing. I don’t remember anyone ever telling me that a woman could never be president. But that’s how deeply sexism and “less-than” are woven into American culture. My culture. The understanding that women matter less, that we’re capable of less, and that all our achievements can be calculated in husbands, babies, hotness or bra size – it’s everywhere. It’s what we breathe.

And suddenly last night, right there on our screens: we breathed new air. I couldn’t know before I witnessed this moment of political theater, in which Clinton even quoted Hamilton, how the presence of a woman on stage would lift up a part of me that has always been downtrodden. Seeing this fellow woman, with whom I share the experience of surviving a culture, a government and an economy that treats women as 70 cents to a man’s dollar … it felt like something broken inside me spontaneously mended.

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni)
July 29, 2016
Oh my god they’re treating a woman like me as if she is a complete human being I’m weeping

My response as a woman was not unique, as evidenced by tweets popping up alongside mine. I read tweets expressing the same unanticipated lightning bolt of feminist wokeness from women like me – and men – around the world.

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni)
July 29, 2016
This is wild. They’re introducing the mythos narrative of our First Heroine. A woman POTUS. As a woman watching this — my soul is exploding

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni)
July 29, 2016
WE HAVE NEVER HAD THIS. WE HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. IT IS LIKE A MOON LANDING FOR WOMEN. https://t.co/M97iyNbp9r

America didn’t know how we’d feel watching Neil Armstrong plop down to the lunar surface. We didn’t know the astronauts’ boots would land in dust. We didn’t know what space would smell like; we couldn’t know what we’d never touched, what had never before been witnessed with human flesh. We’d seen the moon from far away, all of us and all our ancestors, all of humanity. Of course we knew the moon. But we’d never landed there.

On the night of 28 July 2016, on my little phone, I watched a woman assume a position of maximum respect and responsibility, and receive respect from others for her achievements and for her character, for her judgment and for her readiness to make decisions and take actions for the benefit of all.

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni)
July 29, 2016
A woman is the center of the world’s attention at this moment and her sexuality and desirability as a sex object has nothing to do with it

Men, you can’t know what it’s like to always navigate the world knowing that your ability to navigate the world means, in part, charming or pleasing or deferring to or avoiding sexual inappropriateness from men. The countless little invisible slights, the horrible attacks, the 30 cents missing from every earned dollar. We all know about all of that, not that the world cares, but Thursday night a spotlight shone on something so powerful that it was invisible. The understanding that only men are American presidents. Perhaps no longer.

When Clinton spoke of “planting seeds in a garden you’ll never see”, I thought about the kid in that tweeted photo. Children like her have never known what it’s like to live in America with anyone but a black man as president. Whatever happens in the 2016 election, and anything can, these children now know that it’s perfectly normal for girls to grow up and take a shot at being president, too.

What will the trickle-down effect be? Will fewer girls and women suffer abuse at home, at work, in life, now that there’s a powerful new hope for us, and a sky without limit? How will this change what it means to be a man in America, and what little boys believe about girls, growing up?

I don’t know. I’m just happy for everything that’s growing in that garden I’ll never see.

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