Hillary Clinton's Moment Is So Meaningful
Consider the glass ceiling officially cracked. Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president in Philadelphia on Thursday in a historic first. No matter how you may feel about the idea of a Clinton presidency, it's impossible to deny what the first female nominee of a major political party has done for American women. Eight years after she left 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling with her first presidential campaign, Clinton has undoubtedly punched straight through.
Like a lot of little girls, I grew up hearing I could be anything. But while my parents were quick to claim that president of the United States was a completely viable career option for a bookish girl from Silicon Valley, I was skeptical. Where were these female presidents I could aspire to be? Not here in America, that's for sure. Growing up I never even saw a female vice president walk into the White House. It's for this reason that, despite our various party preferences (because believe me, women don't just vote for candidates that share their gender), Clinton's nomination is especially meaningful for women.
As Emma Gray, the Huffington Post's executive women's editor, noted in the tweet below it's a truly historic moment for Americans across the country when the phrase "I accept your nomination for president of the United States" comes out of a woman's mouth for the first time.
But Clinton's introduction as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee need not be a defining moment limited to little girls. Gender stereotypes still exist. They're found in the media, in the home, in the classroom, and in the workplace despite decades of progress. And while symbols of female empower, like that of a female president, are vital for young girls, they're also hugely important for young boys. Who society chooses to promote into positions of leadership matters and men can benefit just as much as women from seeing gender equality reflected in the highest level of political leadership.
Personally, I can't wait for the day when female presidents are so old hat that a candidate's gender is barely worth mentioning and the idea of a First Man no longer seems perplexing. For women on both sides of the aisle, Clinton has broken a major barrier. Perhaps Clinton said it best herself when she accepted the Democratic nomination Thursday night: "When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."