Opinion: Clinton — and women — aren’t going away

October 17, 2017

Tallahassee Democrat: Opinion: Clinton — and women — aren't going away

By Sharon Kant-Rauch

When Hillary Clinton's new book, “What Happened,” came out last month, many on the left and the right basically said, “Oh, why doesn't she just shut up?”

Initially, I was peeved, but that quickly gave way to something else: amusement.

Shut up? Oh, honey, those days are over. So over.

Clinton repeatedly laments in her book that she wasn't able to crack that final glass ceiling. But the reality is, with the election of Donald Trump, that glass ceiling shattered into a gazillion pieces anyway.

That's what I experienced the morning after the election when I woke up and read on my iPad that Clinton had already made her concession call to Trump. Crack! Crash!

Any vestige of female hesitancy or insecurity I had left in me lay like rubble on the floor.

And I wasn't alone.

That's why women, in a matter of weeks, organized the largest single day protest in U.S. history the day after Trump's inauguration. In Tallahassee, more that 14,000 people — predominately women — showed up at Railroad Square and the Capitol, most of them pouring down Wahnish Way toward FAMU.

Afterward, women shot to the forefront of the resistance movement, organizing meetings, calling political leaders, showing up to town hall meetings, saturating social media with their opinions. Touted one newspaper headline: “The Trump resistance can best be described in one adjective: female.”

And it doesn't stop there. Women are rushing to run for public office. Since the election, more than 18,000 women have contacted Emily's List, a political action committee that helps women get elected. That's double the number of women who contacted the organization during the previous two years combined.

Hence, Clinton's book is wildly popular — pundits aside. It's already been reprinted three times, sold more than 300,000 copies and been a best seller from practically the moment it came out in mid-September. It's just a guess, but I bet most of those readers are women. We want to know what she went through.

The long term effect of all this political involvement is going to be dramatic. In her book “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works” author Jay Newton-Small says we don't have to reach parity before things begin to change. The tipping point, she claims, is when women make up between 20 to 30 percent of any group or organization. That's when “how” things are done shifts, the whole dynamic changes and things improve for everyone. She gives examples of this in politics, law enforcement, the judiciary, the military and on Wall Street.

Clinton has been a game-changer, par excellence. And she's not going to shut up now.

Neither are millions of other women, our inner glass ceilings forever shattered. Above us is only sky.