I just want to start this letter off with THANK YOU. Thank you so much for running for president and showing women, and especially little girls everywhere, that they are WORTH something. During this election, I learned about how you have been fighting your entire life to make the world a better place. In the process of learning about who you are, I looked at myself and found that I have been underestimating myself my entire life. I have been holding myself back due to fear that I am incapable of accomplishing the things that I dream of accomplishing. I think that fear stems from a society that tells little girls and women that we ‘can’t.’ But you are helping to change that. And you have shown me that I can change that too.
I have identified as a feminist since the day I learned of the word, but the identity itself wasn’t enough to understand how systemic sexism works. I had to see it happen before my very eyes to finally understand how deeply we (women and young girls) are affected by it. Every day of our lives, every action we take is monitored by society and judged, and we are chewed up and spit out. It takes a serious toll on our self-esteem…. Watching how you were treated by the media and how you were treated by ALL of your opponents, on both the left and the right, throughout the campaign was what woke me up. Seeing how you handled the entire situation, from the very first day you announced your bid, up until today, your grace and dignity has become a major inspiration in my life.
Before this election, I was wandering aimlessly through college and work, but being made aware of a role model like you, I now know exactly what I want to do in this world. I now know that I want to use my college degree to do the most good for our society. I now recognize the fact that I am underestimating the power I hold, even as one person. And I now have someone to look up to as my inspiration to accomplish these goals.
During the election, it became a joke between my brother and I to say “WWHD?” Meaning, “What would Hillary do?” We both saw how determined you were, no matter what storm the media threw at you that day. I’ll admit, I have been one to give up easily when I feel there is something I cannot do, but watching how spectacularly you handled everything really changed the way I think about the world. I’m sure it was not always easy for you to keep moving forward. The day I admired you most was on Inauguration Day. You held your head high even in the face of the men who made it their absolute mission to drag your name through the mud. I can’t express into words how proud and impressed I was at your elegance that day. I can honestly say it changed my life.
I want to end this letter by saying thank you for running for president. I know I am not the only one who has been impacted by your unfaltering dignity. I am overjoyed at the impact you have had, especially on little girls, I will always greatly admire you. That will never change. You have changed my life.
Full-time student, Cal State San Bernardino