Monday, October 26, 2015

Stop Accusing Powerful Women of Shouting

“I’m not shouting.  It’s just when women talk, some people think we’re shouting.” –Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton spoke some serious truth to power this past week at the Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.  After enduring a grueling, hostile, 11-hour hearing on the Benghazi terror attack, Clinton took to the stage and proved to the American public that she will not be silenced.  With respect to the issue of gun control, an issue Clinton has pledged to address as President of the United States with or without Congressional approval, the former Secretary of State came out swinging and pledged to remain vocal about the issue despite others criticizing her for “shouting.”

This quote perfectly encapsulates the struggle many women face in American politics today.  When women care deeply about issues and demonstrate a clear passion and commitment to resolve them, their efforts are frequently invalidated and belittled.  Say what you will about Hillary Clinton and her politics, but attacking her for bringing gun control to the forefront of the American political discourse is petty and childish.  Rather than condescending women for caring about issues that affect them, it would be far more productive for others to engage with them over those issues in order to create a substantive, nuanced dialogue the American public deserves during any given election cycle.

In her speech at the Women’s Leadership Forum, Clinton said, “But as I said from the start, I wanted to rise above partisanship and reach for statesmanship, and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”  In moving forward, let us all take that quote to heart and work together in rising above the trivial and digging into the issues that affect us as Americans.

--Talia Lepson, MWPC Intern