I've been too swamped at work to post my reflection about Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention (which you can watch here), but I really want to, so hope I don't get interrupted!:

I felt a mixture of emotions throughout Clinton's speech.

At first, I was nervous. Even though I knew she had already endorsed Obama, and that in the end she just wants to do what's best for the party, I let the media temporarily brainwash me into thinking there was a change she might not.

Soon, I was relieved when it took her no time at all to reiterate that she endorses Obama.

Then I was sad. I found myself wishing that she could have been the woman to really break that highest glass ceiling, more than just making some cracks in it. I've made it no secret that I voted for Obama, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't have been thrilled with a Clinton win. Seeing her up there, giving the speech of her life (IMO), it was very difficult to watch knowing that, as women, we're still not quite there.

Then I felt inspired. When she quoted Harriet Tubman, there were tears in my eyes. We do push forward. We do march on. She was speaking about America in general, but I knew a part of her was speaking speaking about WOMEN. The women's rights movement, as Clinton experienced it in the second wave, helped us get to where we are now. We have rights that the women who came before them could not have dreamed of. But, as members of the so-called third wave, we know there is an incredibly long way to go. Hearing her speak so confidently and with such dignity given what she went through in the election, and with such hope in her own voice, was amazing.

In the end, it doesn't really matter to me who Clinton's supporters vote for. (They have the right to vote for the candidate they believe in - not just the candidate they think has a shot. A lot of people disagree with me, but that's just the way I've always felt.) In the end, what matters to me is that Clinton DID make history. Not just that, but she has struck a chord in young girls and women that has them picturing themselves as President and actually believing it.

And that is worth much more than the votes she did or did not get, or the number of supporters she has "swayed" or who remain unconvinced.

It will always be frustrating to move two steps forward and one step back. But at least we're still moving.

5 comments:

At Thu Aug 28, 04:09:00 PM Renee said...

Personally I am not a Clinton fan and yet I found myself incredibly moved by her speech. I am not sure that I like the Tubman reference as that smacked of appropriation to me especially in light of the racism that her campaign threw at Obama. I still found it to be the best speech of the convention so far and I will remember it for a long time to come.

 
At Fri Aug 29, 08:57:00 AM frau sally benz said...

That's awesome that the speech moved you, Renee. I know Clinton's not your cup of tea, so I think it says a lot about the speech that it still touched you.

I see what you're saying about the quote... I must reflect on this...

 
At Fri Aug 29, 03:35:00 PM Habladora said...

Great post. How do you feel about McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin? Is this a step forward or back?

 
At Fri Aug 29, 05:46:00 PM frau sally benz said...

I am really trying to think long and hard about this Palin choice. I'm going to keep reading about her in the blogosphere, news, and in her biography (my guy is currently on his way to pick up the last copy left in NY!).

 
At Sun Aug 31, 09:14:00 PM Fourth Wave Feminism said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to leave my two cents. I love Clinton and wasn't thrilled with Obama during the primaries (for a couple reasons, none of them having to do with race, especially since I'm half-black myself). I loved Clinton's speech and thought she did a brilliant job, and I didn't see a problem with the Tubman reference at all. Harriet Tubman was a woman, too, so I'm sure it really counts as an inappropriate appropriation. Of course, she was black, but that doesn't mean all Tubman references belong to African Americans (it's like the old women's movement conundrum of having to choose allegiance between being black or a woman). If Hillary's speech wasn't enough, Bill Clinton's speech the next day left no doubt that the Clintons, publicly at least, support Obama. And, as much as I thought I wouldn't say this, I did feel particularly moved by Obama's speech and find myself really wanting to support him now, and not just because he's the Democratic nominee.

As for Sarah Palin, my personal opinion is that her nomination is more of a token act (I could go so far to say a ploy) than an actual vote of confidence for women in general. There are a lot of interesting commentaries about her nomination, including this news round-up.

 

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