I had the most amazing opportunity to tour the Capitol thanks to the office of Senator Joni Ernst.
During my time in Congress (hopefully I can say that with a different meaning one day), I didn’t feel the need to take too many pictures. I saw such cool things like the old Supreme Court chambers and the office of the Speaker of the House, but didn’t feel obligated until I saw one specific statue out of more than a hundred.
This particular statue is actually a trio of suffragists in the Capitol Rotunda. I was a little confused about the block of uncarved marble in the back corner until someone whispered to me that it might have been the first female president. My heart stopped for a moment when Hillary Clinton’s loss hit me once more.
I really thought that this election would be the one. I really thought that I would be there when the first female president was sworn into office. I really thought that I would tell my children and grandchildren about the moment I witnessed the glass ceiling being shattered.
So much of my confidence was built on the idea that there was no way an arguably overqualified female candidate would beat a crude and inexperienced reality show host. The fact that there was so much hate on Clinton due to her being a woman crushes me. It wasn’t as apparent as it has been in the past, but it was in the undertones of all too many criticisms.
I was so sure that she would destroy the opposition, particularly when the Access Hollywood tape of President Trump leaked in October. Even as the polls got closer, I was positive that the Left would prevail. I continued to stay sure until the moment Florida was called for Trump.
My heart breaks for all the women that relied on this victory to validate their self-worth. But, I call out to those women and ask them to remain hopeful for the next election…to think about the new generation of activists being born into a world of gender inequality. We will fight and we will win. The country that leads the Free World will continue its journey towards progress, I am sure of it. It may take us longer, but we will get there one day (sooner rather than later, I hope).
So, fellow feminists. Don’t lose your hope or drive or ambition. We will continue to fight. We will continue to march. And one day, our granddaughters and great-granddaughters will reap the bounty of equality that we now sow.