I Write Letters

Dear Hillary Clinton:

I regret, with a profundity that is almost impossible to convey, that you did not win the election. Millions of us were hoping to see you shatter the glass ceiling, and instead Donald Trump shattered the looking glass.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it feels like for you, to watch what is unfolding, especially knowing you won the popular vote by a significant margin. I hope it brings you some solace to know how many of us who supported you have abundant gratitude for your leaving it all on the floor in trying to stop precisely what is now happening; precisely what you warned would happen.

But this is tough to watch, for anyone who loves this country. And I imagine there are very few people who love it as much and as hard as you do.

You surely hoped and expected to be in a very different place at this time, and so did I.

On Election Night, I felt like something in me had broken. And after I picked myself up off the floor, and mustered the determination to resist this onslaught of indecency with everything I've got, I realized that indeed something inside me had broken.

It was the glass ceiling that a lifetime of being told I'm less than had created within me.

Each of us with a marginalized identity internalizes, to one extent or another, the belittling messages with which we're bombarded every day. This thing is called by many names: Internalized oppression, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, self-loathing. The nagging voice that tells us we are not good enough; that we don't belong.

By any name, it's a glass ceiling that perfectly mirrors the external invisible (or sometimes very visible) barriers that are erected and maintained to uphold privilege and deny opportunities to marginalized people. Those barriers you talked about tearing down.

And after years of watching you indomitably navigate misogyny with resilience and fortitude, knowing you were willing to be the tip of the spear for women and girls, in a bid to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling, the glass ceiling inside of me shattered into a million shards—not only giving me an ever more fervent belief that I can do this (whatever "this" each day brings), but giving me a million jagged tools to cut through whatever bullshit I am obliged to navigate.

image of broken glass
[Image credit: Pixabay.]

And as I have watched the resistance emerge; as I have seen people marching and protesting and building community and speaking out; as I have received messages from people who never cared about politics before and now want to know what they can do to resist; I see the shards at their feet, too.

I see the sunlight glinting off the slivers on the ground; I hear the unmistakable cracking, the breaking, the tinkling clatter of broken glass.

There are countless people finding within themselves an undeterrable gumption to resist, that wouldn't have been there, or might have forever been kept under glass, if it weren't for you.

And for so many trailblazing women and men, many of whom helped shatter your own glass ceiling, once upon a time.

Secretary Clinton, I will never cease to grieve that you did not break that glass ceiling. And I will forever be grateful to you for breaking millions of them.

I am shattered—and I am more whole than I have ever been.

Your Friend,

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus