This is not about Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, or even US Senator, or First Lady of the USA, or even First Lady of Arkansas. Not even Hillary Clinton, "Top 100 Attorneys in the USA," first ever student valedictorian of Wellesley, or any of that. Nope. This is about Hillary Clinton, the child. From ABC News, Kirit Radia gives us this story, Hillary Clinton the Tomboy and Her "Ah-Ha" Moment.
This is the story of how she CAME to be all of those things mentioned above:
In an appearance at the Women's Museum in Dallas on Friday, a transcript of which was released over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke candidly about the challenges she faced in breaking the glass ceiling, and referenced her run for the presidency last year.
Clinton revealed that she was "sort of a tomboy" when she was a young girl. "I did love to play sports and played with a lot of the boys in my neighborhood," she said. She said the experience instilled a thirst for competition that served her well later.
"I wanted to be a baseball player," she told an amused audience. "I wanted to be a journalist. I know you’ll never believe that."
I can sure understand that. I had three brothers, so a built-in team there, but also the boys across the street. We played football - TACKLE football, that is, basketball, soccer, you name it, I played it. And I loved it. Still do love sports, for that matter.
But can't you just see the young Hillary at a baseball game , or listening to it on the radio, or watching it on TV, cheering her team on (Cubs or Yankees - and yes, you CAN have two different favorite teams - one's in the National League - Cubs, and one's in the American League - Yankees. Makes perfect sense to this Braves/Yankees fan!)? I sure can. No doubt, she brought the same level of enthusiasm to her love of baseball that she brings to the work she has been doing as an adult.
But her dreams didn't end there:
Clinton (told) the story about her aspirations to be an astronaut, one of her earliest encounters with the glass ceiling.
"I think I was thirteen or so, and so I wrote to NASA to ask how I could become an astronaut. And I got a response back which was, 'We’re not interested in women astronauts,'" she said.
She spoke of the obstacles she faced in pursuing her professional and academic goals.
"When we were growing up, there were just so many overt and implied obstacles to what young women could aspire to. There were certainly schools you couldn’t go to, scholarships you couldn’t apply for - jobs that were not available to you," Clinton said.
Again, I can relate. Not just in sports - Title IX came too late for me - but in professions like the ministry. My own father did not support women's ordination, but I went to seminary anyway.
Sadly, there are still too many obstacles to women, Clinton's being Secretary of State notwithstanding:
"You really have to prepare. And you have to get knocked down, and you have to pick yourself up, and you have to keep going," she added later.
Clinton referenced her lost bid for the Democratic nomination last year. When asked about an "ah-ha" moment that she was going to be able to meet the lofty goals she'd set for herself, Clinton said there was another "ah-ha" moment of another manner.
"I had an ah-ha moment that I wasn’t going to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States," she said as the audience laughed (according to the transcript). "That’s a kind of different ah-ha moment."
Uh huh. That "ah-ha" moment was probably more of the "I can't believe I actually have more votes, more experience, and won every major state except Illinois - and I know that it does NOT border Arkansas like Obama thinks it does - have devoted my LIFE to this party, put up with all kinds of crapola, and they are STILL picking the inexperienced, unqualified guy over ME!" But that's just a guess on my part.
But Secretary of State Clinton carries on, with a passion for people and the issues we face rarely seen among politicians. And she continues the good fight for women to, some day, truly have equality, a dream that took quite a beating this past election season, unfortunately. But she will keep carrying on, like she always does, working for us. Some day, some how, we will get there. We CAN get there, we MUST get there, and we WILL get there, when we have leaders like Hillary Clinton. Thank you, Madame Secretary.
Thank you for modeling a woman "standing in her own skin." The importance of doing so cannot be downplayed. And thank you for the "Ah-Ha!" moments you brought to all of us this past election season. You showed them all - the naysayers, the ones who bullied you, who put you down, who cheated you out of your votes, all of them. You stood with us, and we will stand with you.