Herstory. Her story. It’s been a long time since I wrote a post in this category. But this week a woman’s story is a central narrative. The Democratic National Convention gathered to applaud and nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the first Madame President of the United States. A daughter, a mother, a grandmother. I have been pretty much beside myself with excitement this whole election season. Today is the culmination of a rugged primary season. In November we’ll be seeing an even better one. Tonight we are all smiles, and no words, just tears.
So for words, I transcribed these from the video that did not play at the convention but which was made to honor Hillary’s mother, Dorothy, a litany of the women who inspire and lead us (do follow the link and watch it, I was not able to embed it here):
“. . . she’d be the first to tell you she did not do this alone; she did it by standing on the shoulders of so many women who came before. Standing on each other’s shoulders is how our gender has always moved forward, be it through biology or inspiration. Tonight we say thank you to Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Margaret Chase Smith, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Harper Lee, Bella Abzug, Sally Ride, Maya Angelou, Dolores Huerta, and Geraldine Ferraro, all heroes of Hillary Rodham Clinton. But certainly no one inspired her more than one tiny unbreakable eight-year-old whose own dream of all little girls being valued rests on the shoulders of her daughter now.
“Tonight we say thank you to all the women who would not take no for an answer: you dreamers and schemers, you rabble-rousers and hell-raisers, you petticoat abolitionists, you chain-smoking pants-wearing exhibitionists, you educators, agitators, and aviators, you risk-takers, you rule breakers, you unlikely heroes, you white-gloved, teacup-serving Mrs. John Does, with your homemade soap boxes and your brazen public rants, you lady pals, and career gals, you I’ve-got-big-plans smarty-pants. To all the men who marched for our cause, thank you, friend, for showing the world what a real man does. Thank you to all you highflying death-defying ladybirds, you crazy ocean-swimming maniacs, you dazzled us with your impossible dreams and then you turned them into facts. When you were knocked down, you got up. When others said stop, you said go. When they said quit, you said no. Thank you for your breathtaking patience, and you-ain’t-seem-nothing-yet audacity. Thank you for showing us how good courage can look, carrying a purse and wearing a pillbox hat. Thank you for teaching us, from Annabel Whitford to Laila Ali that little girls can also float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Thank you to all the mothers for endowing us with such glorious new recruits to fight the battle that is not over yet. And speaking of multiplying thank you for giving birth to entire human race. The journey of women, like America’s journey, is always evolving toward equality and social justice. Our trajectory, like that another indomitable female, has always been up. How far can we go? It appears the sky’s the limit. But one thing is for sure: if Dorothy Rodham’s daughter has her way, every little girl and boy who dares to dream will be coming with us.”