This is the fifth and final article in a five-part series – MATRIARCHS – in which Arts Editor Connor Gotto explores some of the forgotten women from across the arts; pioneers of their craft, but so often lost in the shadow of their male peers.
It is somewhat heartbreaking to be writing this article in the wake of President Trump’s victory on Wednesday evening – an unprecedented feat that no one could have imagined possible six months ago. But this is not going to be an anti-Trump rant; rather, a look at Hillary Clinton’s good work so far in pioneering the route towards a stronger, better future.
Since winning the most votes in the democratic primaries in July, Hillary’s campaign has been a turbulent ride. Riddled with scandal and opposition, it seems as though the world has been against her. Numerous email scandals seem to have arisen at unfortunate, pivotal times throughout the campaign, but have been overcome by her persistent championing of the ideals of a more united America. Like all of the women I’ve talked about in this series, I hope that Hillary will be remembered as the woman who was so close to breaking through that glass ceiling, and not just the scandal that plagued her.
What I do want to think about is something that has troubled me regarding people’s perceptions of Hillary. It’s no secret that she has had many changing viewpoints over the years – in relation to wars, the LGBT community, women’s rights etc. – which seemed in many ways to compromise her campaign. Personally, though, I think this is more a sign of strength, and demonstrates a backward thinking on the part of the public. Do we not ask that people move with the times and become more educated in their views? Why should the candidate for President of the United States be any different? We should applaud the changing views of people from different generations in line with modern thinking and definitely not criticise this. So what do we want instead? A pioneer beyond their years? With Donald Trump as President, clearly not.
The world has been cast in darkness, it seems. The future seems so uncertain. But through it all, we must stick together and have faith. To give up hope now is to surrender to the darkness. Instead, we have to fight the good fight, for the revolution that has already begun. In all but eight states, Ms. Clinton was the most popular candidate among 18-25 year olds according to voting demographics. We know the way forward – we have to make it happen. And with that, I’m going to end with Hillary’s words of optimism from the morning after her conceeding…
“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead… I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now…Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things: the rule of law, the principle that we are equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.”