Hillary Clinton is no wall-flower. Agree with her or not, she gets what she wants because she works tirelessly for it. She is truly relentless. And as of last night, she’s almost there.
In 2001, she became the first wife of a president to seek and win public office and the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from New York. And last night, on July 26, 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman in the history of the United States to be nominated by a major political party for the presidency.
Ripples of pride were felt throughout our nation. “I’m with her” suddenly seems like a far bigger statement. “I’m with her” could soon mean “I’m with her, the first woman president.”
Before I went to bed last night, I checked on my little girl, sound asleep on her pink pillow, surrounded by stuffed puppies and turtles. In that moment, as I brushed the hair off of her face and pulled her blanket to her shoulders, I saw her future. I saw the road that Hillary Clinton has paved for her. My daughter, whose great-great grandmother was not given the right to vote was just told by the Democratic Party that she could be qualified enough, smart enough, courageous enough, and could be worthy enough to run the most powerful country in the world. Like millions of American mothers, I went to sleep last night feeling immense pride and appreciation for this event.
And then I woke up to this. And this. And this.
To spare you the extra step, these are all links to national newspapers announcing Hillary Clinton’s official nomination from the Democratic Party. And every single one of them used an image of Bill Clinton instead of her. That’s right. It was a defining moment in women’s history—a moment women generations ago could only dream of, a moment women generations ago fought for, were imprisoned for, lost their jobs for, and were beaten for—and it was commemorated with a picture of Hillary Clinton’s husband.
My initial reaction was shock and confusion. Why? Surely our news media is better than this, right? What could possibly be the rationale for this? Then I began to read the “explanation.” Hillary Clinton was not present at the convention last night; Bill was, and he gave a memorable speech in his wife’s honor. Therefore, it only made logical sense to use his image, not hers.
Therein lies the problem. Why wasn’t it more sensible to use a picture of Hillary Clinton at any cost? Why wasn’t it obvious that her picture was the only option? I’ll tell you this—it was certainly more logical to women like me. The image of the Democratic Presidential Nominee herself, on that giant screen, shattering the glass ceiling, was the only acceptable choice. But instead, you took those pieces of glass and glued them right back together. Because using a picture of a man was just easier. And made sense to you.
You’re not getting out of this on a technicality, media. This is our time. Hillary Clinton deserves better. We deserve better. We deserve better “logical sense” from you.
So thank you to the news outlets for giving us women and feminists yet another opportunity to show our anger. You know how much we love being the irate feminists. Or the angry women on their periods. Or the irrational she-beasts ranting because we didn’t get our way. You know we are always looking for something to bitch about.
Honestly, I used to care about those insults. I used to care when people called me a bitch, or stupid, or “liberal feminist c*nt.” (Yes, more than once.) But now I look at a woman like Hillary Clinton—a woman called those things far more often than most of us. She doesn’t seem to give a fuck, and she’s about to be president in a few months. So neither do I.
So yeah, we are angry. And hell, some of us might actually be on our periods. But we aren’t going away. And we aren’t going to remain quiet. Because you know what? We are used to having to claw our way up to the top, even through the muck. Even when people in positions of power don’t give us the credit we are due. We’ve been doing it for centuries.
And women are still going to be here, running the damn country whether you use our picture or not.