11 Hillary Clinton Quotes About Motherhood And Children That Could Hopefully Inform Her Policies As President
Presidential candidates love them some strategic sound bites about motherhood geared towards snagging them that vital "women's vote." And while I could listen to President Obama talk about how much he reveres his infinitely more badass other half all day, there's something special about hearing a female candidate, a grandmother herself, talk about motherhood, family, and child-rearing. When Hillary Clinton talks about motherhood, it's not just in some vague awe of something she knows is important but of which she has only a peripheral understanding; she personally gets the complex ways in which healthcare, mental health, education, and public policy all affect mothers, and she actually has some ideas about how to address those intersections.
Hillary Clinton's quotes about motherhood are inspirational precisely because she has more to say than "Moms are important! Go moms!" She understands all the diverse shapes a family unit can take, and that understanding informs her views on child-rearing, too. When I was 19, I read Clinton's book It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, and immediately began crafting fantasies of someday announcing my pregnancy by inviting all the members of my future village over for a dinner party and gifting them a copy. (Hillary For America campaign staffers: if you're reading this, you can totally steal that story for a speech.) It was a trailblazing testament to the idea of "going global" when it came to raising children — exposing them to diversity and nurturing the innate acceptance of differences that comes along with that — before the Internet made it ubiquitous (and conservatives continued mercilessly droning on about the importance of the traditional family unit).
Here are 11 times Hillary Clinton warmed our hearts with her substantive thoughts on motherhood.
1. On advocating for children
"Every child needs a champion."
2. On motherhood and feminism
"I don't think feminism, as I understand the definition, implies the rejection of maternal values, nurturing children, caring about the men in your life. That is just nonsense to me."
3. On constantly striving to do better
"All of us have to recognize that we owe our children more than we have been giving them."
4. On sharing your gifts
"I just think that giving a child a chance and sharing what you have with a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, as well as a child."
5. About that village...
"It takes a village to raise a child."
6. On how hard our country makes it for moms
"We don't have enough support for maternal leave and the kinds of things that some of the European countries do. So we still make it hard on women to go into the work force and feel that they can be good at work but then doing the most important job, which is raising your children in a responsible and positive way."
7. On kid-friendliness in Washington
"Several people have told me that one of the most meaningful events they could attend would be something at the White House with their children."
8. On the government's responsibility to moms
"No government can love a child, and no policy can substitute for a family's care. But at the same time, government can either support or undermine families as they cope with moral, social, and economic stresses of caring for children."
9. On moms in the workforce
"I always supported the women I worked with having time off to go to parent-teacher conferences and doctors' appointments, or bringing their infants into the office."
10. Caring about moms means caring about abortion access
"You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion."
11. On healthcare
"If you want to know how strong a country's health system is, look at the well being of its mothers."
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