I wrote this piece following the Democratic National Convention 2016, after watching Hillary Rodham Clinton accept the Democrats’ nomination for President of the United States of America.
“Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello. You had me at hello.”
Dorothy, Jerry Maguire (1996)
In 1995, I turned ten years old the same week our then-First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton stood in Beijing, China and boldly declared, “human rights are women’s rights…. And women’s rights are human rights.”
The Magnificent Seven took gymnastics gold in the Atlanta Olympics when I was in fifth grade.
The Spice Girls showed the world that Girl Power comes in many different colors, styles, and temperaments when I was navigating the early days of middle school.
Gwen Stefani taught me emotion and creativity make for one powerful voice and wrote the soundtrack to most of my adolescence.
Princess Diana embodied the strength of grace and proved there is no greater act than an act of kindness.
Power, equality, vulnerability, grace, and resilience proved key ingredients in the making of my ‘90s girlhood.
The women in my life each played their own role in shaping my feminist identity, and though they were most likely under the impression I was busy incessantly talking, I was always watching and listening.
Today, I am a 30-year-old woman and Hillary Rodham Clinton is still teaching me about the woman I want to be when I grow up.
Hillary is diligent.
Hillary is ambitious.
Hillary is a hard worker.
Hillary is the Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America.
Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a shit. She has spent her career building the foundation for her current platform. The qualities of her youth that so impressed her classmate Bill Clinton “sense of strength and self-possession” served her well as she sharpened her leadership skills first as a lawyer then as First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, Senator of New York State, Secretary of State. Now she is ready once and for all to lead us all.
Leadership built on caring has finally won.
Leadership built on doing has finally won.
Leadership built on teamwork has finally won.
It wasn’t just Kerri Strug who won the gold, but her final vault clinched the victory.
It wasn’t just Scary Spice who sang about what she “really, really” wanted, but her dedication to being loud and unapologetically herself is what made you want to know what zigga zig ah meant.
It wasn’t just Gwen’s voice or lyrics that made No Doubt, but her delivery made her the focal point of a long enduring band.
If there’s any truth that a ‘90s girl knows, it is this:
If we each do our part and use our voice, if we get out and vote this November the biggest, highest glass ceiling of all will crack wide. open. It will shatter, and never be seen again.
We will fight onwards with confidence, unashamed ambition, and yes, kindness as we pursue the quan, as we pursue what completes us, as we pursue the dreams that as little girls had us at hello.
We will, because we know: We are Stronger Together.