Hillary Clinton may not be America’s first female president, but her legacy of perseverance in the face of incredible obstacles was cemented today.
Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump disheartened millions of women and girls around the world who had hoped to see the first female elected as leader of the world’s largest democracy. But in her concession speech today, Clinton urged Americans to not see her loss as a loss for women.
“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, powerful, and deserving of every opportunity in the world and every chance to pursue your own dreams,” Clinton said.
One of the most effective videos of Clinton’s campaign juxtaposed images of young girls peering into mirrors with video of Trump’s most sexist remarks. “Is this the president we want for our daughters?” asked the ad, which garnered more than 5.4 million views on YouTube. Last night, millions of Americans said yes.
While the US apparently wasn’t quite ready for a female president, Clinton’s enduring legacy will be in the example she set for other young women in the face of bigotry, of being labeled physically weak, lacking stamina and of being, well, a woman in the world.
The former secretary of state has spent her entire career battling sexism and misogyny, and Trump’s embodiment of those issues forced her to play defense instead of offense on issues of gender and women’s rights throughout the campaign. His comments about women, culminating in the release of audio recordings in which he bragged about grabbing women by the vagina, shifted focus away from the women’s rights Clinton has fought so hard for.
Today she reminded Americans of that fight. “To all the women who put their faith in this campaign and me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” Clinton said. “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but I know someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”