A few months ago, I was cautiously optimistic and excited about the possibility of having our first female presidential nominee of a major party, as well as stressed out and fretting about the possibility that she may not win.
Now, as I write this, the news has come in that Hillary Clinton has quite handily won the California primary, further solidifying her historic win of the Democratic nomination for president, and serving as a great big fat cherry on top of an amazing 24 hours. I woke up yesterday morning to the news that the Associated Press had decided to go ahead and declare Hillary the presumptive nominee, before Tuesday’s primaries, and though I was reasonably confident in that assertion, I still felt a little uneasy, and more than a little annoyed. I wished that they had waited. It felt like they’d undermined her somehow, had added another round of ammunition to those who wallow in conspiracy theories and insist her victories aren’t legitimate. And – maybe just a little bit – it had spoiled the wonderful celebration we’d all planned, like a guest jumping out and yelling ‘surprise!’ before the cue.
Today I woke up and none of that mattered anymore. She’s ‘officially’ won now, with victories in New Jersey, New Mexico, California and South Dakota. She has made history and is just one step away from making history again in November and I’m indescribably happy. It’s as if we – her supporters, the media – had been collectively holding our breath, watching and waiting to see if it finally happened, too terrified to really talk about it, to allow ourselves to be excited about the fact that she was making history, that she was thisfuckingclose, that she was going to be First and that was pretty goddamn awesome. And now that she’s done it the valve has been released and it’s just this wonderful outpouring of emotion.
I’ve spent the day scrolling through my social media feeds, reading and revelling in expressions of joy and elation and tears and relief from women I’ve never met, but with whom I share an undeniable connection. Women whose mothers were born before we had the right to vote. Women who brought their young daughters with them into the booth. Women who themselves were voting for the first time. Women who had been afraid to publicly proclaim their support for Hillary, lest they be bombarded with sexist abuse. Women whose grandmothers didn’t live long enough to witness this. Women who were descended from Suffragettes. Women whose hearts were full of hope. Women who, as little girls, were told they could be anything they wanted, but knew there were exceptions. Women who were tired of waiting. Women who don’t just want to speak, but SHOUT. I understand. We all understand. We feel in the very marrow of our bones the enormity of this victory. It’s a victory for all of us, who know all too well the obstacles that had to be overcome – which still need to be overcome – in order to arrive here, mere inches away from that ceiling, watching the jagged cracks spread and deepen, waiting for the sound of shattered glass.