There is officially a new leader of the free world! This year, we made history. I know years from now, all that will be remembered is how a billionaire bigot and TV personality defied the odds and became the 45th President of the United States of America, but another important event occurred during this election. This year, we didn’t just elect another president to office, our nation took part in furthering a movement that has become a significant part of society.
History is never kind to the losers, however, and despite how negatively you might feel about Hillary Clinton, she is the closest we’ve ever gotten to having a female president. This is a notable marker for our future and for any minority who has ever felt less than equal in America.
There were a lot of valid reasons why people didn’t want Clinton to become the next commander-in-chief, but there’s no denying that she, like many others before her, has helped pave the way for other women to advance in politics.
With her fight and her drive and ambition, she is a model for any woman who has wanted to achieve greatness, in spite of her many short comings. There’s no denying that she made many mistakes during her campaign and her time in government. Between the email scandal and her countless contradictory statements, her actions just fueled the public’s hatred for her.
Even though Clinton’s decisions extenuated the people’s trust in her, she did all she could to achieve greatness. Clinton was a modern day activist for a cause that dates back hundreds of years.
The women’s rights movement has had key figures throughout history who have opened the way for Clinton to even be able to run for the presidency.
To speak of a few, Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president in 1872, representing the Equal Rights Party. A hundred years later, Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman to run for president in 1972, representing the Democratic Party. Susan B. Anthony, a name that always gets an honorable mention around this time, was a key activist in the women’s suffrage movement throughout the 1800s. All of these women were resilient in the face of adversity.
Hillary is now another name in the long list of women who have furthered the women’s rights movement. In her concession speech she said to the women who supported her, “Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
Women who didn’t think they had a voice or could do anything about their role in society can now look to her for inspiration. Hillary is a glowing example of how one woman can take a stand and make a difference in a male dominated world.
She also states that the loss “is painful, and it will be for a long time.” Unfortunately, she isn’t alone in this feeling of defeat, which is why it’s important to remember that progress takes time and effort. Change happens in small increments and not without the sacrifice of others who came and fought before us. We may not have a woman in the White House today but believing that it is still possible and continually pushing forward will turn that dream into a reality.
Her loss brought our community together for a great cause. If this election has taught us anything, it’s that the women’s rights movement has a long ways to go. Our nation may not be ready for a female president just yet but someday, in the near future, it will be.
Elizabeth Fequiere is an opinion writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]