The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Clinton supports Obama, reaffirms Suffrage

The white posters signifying peace and unity have been raised with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s name written across them.’

At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, Clinton delivered an electrifying speech urging her supporters to vote Sen. Barack Obama for president.

Following months of intense campaigning and closely contested primaries, Clinton was charged with the task of unifying the Democrats.

Preceding her speech was a video honoring her historic presidential campaign poignantly narrated by her daughter Chelsea Clinton, who also introduced her to the crowd which greeted her with roaring applause and held ‘Hillary’ and ‘Unity’ banners.

Chelsea Clinton’s narration ended with the recognition of the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling that her mother had help make, and even though she had been unable to shatter it completely, she has made it possible for those that come after her to do so.

Clinton began her speech by calling herself ‘a proud mother, a proud democrat, a proud American, and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.’ She stressed the urgency of the election and echoed a call-to-arms for her supporters to utilize their dedication and passion for her and transfer it to electing Obama as president. She thanked her ‘sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits’ and urged them to move beyond the disappointment of the heated primary season and look forward.

Immediately following Clinton’s speech, cable news channels all rolled out their usual suspects, the same pundits and analysts who berated and ridiculed her during the primary race, to remark on her brilliant speech.

In a special video entitled ‘Sexism Sells, But We’re Not Buying It!’ made by the Women’s Media Center ‘- co-founded by feminist Gloria Steinem ‘- a compilation of news clips from different news channels brutally depicts the unprecedented and blatantly sexist media coverage of Clinton.

One of the most egregious perpetrators of the vile and sexist attacks against Clinton in the video was MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews, who has gone from ridiculing her physical appearance to praising her speech Tuesday night.

Clinton’s campaign was the first legitimate bid for president by a woman and the treatment she endured has left many of her ardent supporters justifiably angry. It has also been illustrative of the grossly misguided sentiment held by many young women that we function in a post-feminist society in which sexism and gender inequality do not exist and electing the first female president is not necessary. Clinton’s failed campaign has shown how this new breed of sexism is perhaps the most insidious since it is cloaked in an accepted belief that gender inequalities no longer exist or need to be rectified.

Clinton is often described as a polarizing and divisive figure, and for years has been viewed by men and women as a Rorschach test to which they unfairly transfer their own thoughts of gender, politics and power unto.

Paying homage to the brave women, and some men, who in 1848 gathered at Seneca Falls, New York, to participate in a historic convention addressing women’s rights, Clinton acknowledged the struggle which made her candidacy possible.

Evoking the fact that Clinton’s mother had been born before womens suffrage and that her daughter had cast a vote for her in the presidential primaries established an undeniably powerful perspective of the progress that has been made and what remains to be accomplished.

Seventy-two years after the convention, women had finally won the right to vote in 1920. Clinton’s speech Tuesday marked the 88th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The significance of that anniversary was weaved eloquently into her speech. It also served as a reminder of the continuing battle for equal pay for equal work, protecting a woman’s right to choose and the overdue realization that women’s rights are a human rights issue.

This year’s Democratic National Convention features a formidable female presence. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri will all deliver primetime speeches.

‘ ‘ ‘ To have watched Tuesday night’s speech was to have witnessed Clinton unequivocally support Obama, and in doing so cement her own historic role in this campaign, in the Democratic party and in history.

Let us only hope that the next time a woman delivers a speech at a national political party convention it will not be a novelty, and instead of a conciliatory speech, it will be an acceptance speech.

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