I was born in January of 1999. I was supposed to be born in April. With only a few days left before the presidential election, I wish I had been born in November of 1998 so that I could vote.
During the presidential debates at my boarding school students would crowd into the building with a projector and watch the the candidates on the big screen. Students, predominately female covered the ground; there was no carpet in sight. For 90 minutes the crowd’s eyes were glued to the screen. After the first debate I walked back to my dorm with a group of girls, our massive backpacks slung to our backs, and we screamed about Donald Trump’s lies and his constant interruptions of Hillary Clinton. As our shouts died down, we realized that we were forgetting to celebrate the important policies that Hillary Clinton is supporting that will benefit us — the girls who cannot vote; the future women of the United States.
I have been reflecting on what it means to be a girl during an election cycle that will continue to impact women and girls for years to come. I compulsively check different polling sites and analyze the race in my government class. Girls are making their voices heard this election cycle through digital storytelling, social media, and participation in political campaigns. The issues and rights of girls are one of the many things at the epicenter of this election cycle. Their faces are reflected in mirrors in Hillary Clinton advertisements, and girls of immigrant parents are fighting for their own parents’ rights through the campaign.
I see my own girlhood in Hillary Clinton. The sound of her voice and ideas rang through my headphones as I commuted to my Girls Who Code program throughout the summer. Her podcast, With Her, has made me think deeply about her campaign. One of my favorite parts of the With Her podcasts was when her senior policy advisor Maya Harris spoke about how Hillary Clinton used the individual stories she heard on the campaign trail to fuel her energy and make progressive change.
I listen to Hillary’s voice wherever I go. When I was getting my flu shot I listened to her young voice when she was the student speaker at her Commencement for the Wellesley College Class of 1969. The change she advocated for at Wellesley reminded me of the work that I have done at my own school to revitalize our student government.
When I listen to Hillary Clinton, I see and identify with the girl she once was — and I am excited by the policies she would create to support women like the one I am set to become.