I am still proud.
I am proud that a woman was finally a presidential nominee for a major political party. And I am proud that it was Hillary Clinton; she is my champion.
I am proud that I cast my vote for a woman as president and am proud that women have a voice equal to men when casting their vote—I am proud to exercise my right on behalf of the many women who came before me and the many women who will come hereafter.
I am proud that all of the girls and young women in my life—my many students, my two nieces, my best friend’s daughter, and so many more—are going to grow up knowing that it is possible to become president but also knowing that we are still fighting for this. My aunt’s nine year-old daughter does dream of becoming president; this dream can still come true.
I am proud that even though we have a long way to go, we are being respected now more than ever before; however, it definitely does not seem that way sometimes… a lot of times. Even though our candidate was not named president-elect, she did win the popular vote and conceded the election with grace, dignity, and class—a fine representation of so many of the women who I have learned from and been inspired by. Her defeat has caused a lot of anger and frustration in men and women alike. So many women in my life have taught me to be strong, independent, and self-valuing. This lesson has been taught to many of my generation, many of whom are also fighting for equality; it is a lesson that cannot be untaught.
I am proud to say that even in defeat, we have still taken a big step forward. The anger of many is indicative of an ever-growing actualization: we will continue to fight for equality and not waver in our pursuit to do so. We will (and must) continue in our mothers’, grandmothers’, and great-grandmothers’ names to be resilient and steadfast in our demand for equal treatment, that we should be held to the same standards as men and not criticized for our gender. We can and will be vocal in the face of misogyny, assertive when in the midst of sexism, and open in our experiences with sexual assault—we will be determined to be heard in a society, within which a majority of people promote and/or minimize the age-old notion of woman as object. For standing up to these issues, I am so proud.
I am proud to say that no man (or woman) will ever take away my voice, my self-worth, or my vigilance. He will not take away our (and I say OUR) progress nor the efforts we have made to uplift women everywhere of all color and creed, whether in mind, body or spirit. As a girl, I fought against the advances of grown men—many have been less fortunate than I. As a young woman, I too was assaulted, insulted and shamed—many have been less fortunate than I. As a grown woman, I have been discredited, devalued, and insulted for simply being a woman—many have been less fortunate than I. This is no new game for us; and no one, not even the president of the United States of America, will take away all that we have fought for. We together can travel much further than those who make these charges against us. And to those who try, I pity you.
I am proud to have so many men in my life who are, for lack of a better word, real men. These men—my grandfathers, my father, my brother, my friends, my GAY friends—are real men because they have no need to exert superiority over women. They are kind, strong, supportive, intelligent, creative, and fun. They understand that women are to be respected and treated fairly, listened to rather than silenced, promoted rather than objectified. These are the types of men who listen to your thoughts and care about your feelings—sometimes running parallel to attraction and sometimes not. Let us not forget that they too have been taught (as have women themselves) to devalue and objectify the female sex. It’s not their fault that they (as we all) have been taught these lessons. But it is the fault of WE as a people that these ideas continue to go unquestioned. It is the obligation of us all that sexism always be addressed.
I am proud to be a woman who admits fault for actual faults and claims rewards for actual rewards. I am proud to be a woman who wants to earn what she deserves—no less and no more because of her sex. I am proud to have a mind, a voice, emotions (ALL OF MY EMOTIONS), and the guts to stand up for myself—many have been less fortunate as I. So I am so very proud to stand up and speak out for all of those who cannot. In the face of a misogynist, sexist tyrant, sexual predator, and a man who is not really a man… I will learn from our champion, Hillary Clinton who recently told our younger female generation:
“Never doubt that you are valuable, and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Hillary Clinton, thank you for being so strong and for being our champion—in this defeat, you are still my champion, and I am still so proud.