Dear Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Thank you for being the champion every woman needed in order to secure liberties that she didn’t even know she felt grateful for. Every woman who has disagreed with, loved, known, or even hated you, has benefited from your fight and your existence. That’s because it’s hard to be first, at anything in life, but especially at the scale in which you were breaking those glass ceilings for us.
Being first implies being vulnerable in ways in which others are not yet familiar or comfortable with. It means trying and failing, and trying and failing, over and over again to charter an unknown path which all of us will later walk and eventually take for granted. It means having the hallmark of your appearance be what you wear and how you carry yourself rather than what you’re saying or proposing to improve the lives of others.
You have dedicated your life to helping women like myself, and whether or not I agree with every policy or proposal you’ve put forth, I know that I reap the benefits of women who break through barriers. That recognition also comes in knowing that I benefit from women like Kellyanne Conway, who I could not disagree with more, but became the first woman to successfully run a presidential campaign.
Gratitude doesn’t always mean agreement, it means being strong enough to recognize that someone else has opened the doors for opportunities you can now choose to partake in. I feel empowered knowing that a woman can win the popular vote in the United States; that despite what some people still insist, we can and will earn the highest positions because we are the most qualified, not because we’re playing “the woman card.” We know what it feels like to be the most prepared person in the room and somehow lose or be outspoken by the least qualified, simply because we are women.
Here is where you’ve changed us though, HRC; the aforementioned setbacks and silences are fewer and less frequent today than they were before you began your inspiring career. We too can stand up and say that we understand the positions and power previously exclusive to men because you have illuminated what the plight for those positions looks and feels like. When a woman does become president, which I have no doubt will be far sooner than we all expect at this time, it will be because you dedicated your life to shattering the glass ceilings that needed to be broken before that position could be earned for us all.
Thank you HRC; for being a champion and a fighter that generations ahead of us all will always be thankful for as well. The world is a stronger and more tolerant place because of you, and for that we are forever in your debt.
The women of the world