Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.

Since Hillary Clinton announced her intentions to run for president of the United States in the 2016 election, the conversation surrounding her campaign has been complicated. For months, Hillary was drowning in an email scandal and a political trial that caused American voters to question whether she was a trustworthy candidate. Those setbacks, coupled with the campaign trajectory of competitor Bernie Sanders who had nearly universal appeal among young, left-leaning voters before he dropped out, made Hillary’s work significantly more complicated than it had been in her past run against President Barack Obama in 2008.

I take all of this ‚Äì the email scandal, her voting record, the Benghazi trial ‚Äì into account when I say that I think Hillary Clinton is the best choice in this year’s presidential election. I don’t say this because I agree with every choice that Hillary has made, or because I think she is perfectly aligned with my political beliefs. Instead, I want to make an argument for Hillary Clinton as a stepping stone, as a milestone toward an America that I crave ‚Äì one where a woman can run this country.

In a recent article in the Guardian, Laura Bogart wrote about how the sexism that Hillary Clinton faced on the campaign trail helped her better understand the difficulties her mother, a housewife, faced as a girl born in America in the 50s. Bogart recognizes that it can be difficult for women like herself, born after first-wave feminism, to remember that Hillary Clinton has spent 66 years forging her way in a world that has mocked and policed her appearance, questioned her ability to complete a job she was more than qualified for, and criticized her decision to become a prominent figure in a male-dominated public arena. When you take that into consideration, it’s easy to see why so few women have stepped into these kinds of roles in America ‚Äì it’s exhausting. Sexism made it significantly easier for women in Hillary Clinton’s generation to stay at home.

In November, I will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for a number of reasons ‚Äì many of which have more to do with the absolute disgust I feel over Trump’s bigoted and irrational political agenda than with Hillary Clinton’s universal appeal. I don’t necessarily agree with Hillary on all fronts, but I will stand beside her. I will do this because I admire her strength, and because I see her as the first step toward a nation in which girls can grow up and have a real chance at the presidency.

The behind-the-scenes video of the Democratic National Convention starts and ends with the same line: ‚ÄúI may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.‚Äù Girls around the world need to see that a woman can win a fight against a bigoted and unqualified man. They deserve a world leader devoted to making the world a better and safer place for women. Whether or not your agree with Hillary’s platform, you should agree with one essential aspect of her campaign: that her victory in the 2016 election would open the doors for billions of girls in the United States and beyond who dream of becoming senators, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and ambassadors. I believe in a world in which a woman can lead the United States of America toward a better future. I hope that come this November, you do too.

-Rebecca Valley
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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