Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women's March Organisation Dishonors Hillary Clinton

Hillary and Bill Clinton at the 2017 Inauguration

How could it have happened that the Women's March organization didn't want to have Hillary Clinton at the top of their list of honorees? It's a disgrace that can only be put down to partisanship. Which the march was not about. It was about inclusion, human rights, equality. Hillary Clinton made an enormous contribution to equality throughout her public life and especially throughout her campaign.

She endured terrible, relentless persecution and horrific double standards. She didn't fold in the face of the nightmare lies that were told about her and spread so liberally around the internet. She never gave up, she never gave in, and she never stopped believing that women could achieve equality.

She has always behaved with superhuman dignity in the face of challenges that would floor any of us within a very short period of time. She has worked harder than any of us, been a phenomenal role model. She inspired me hugely. Her example, her inner strength, her willingness to fight for rights that I and so many struggle with, her belief in women's right to total equality, changed how millions of girls and women saw themselves. Changed how I felt about myself; the way I see myself.

I've always felt like an outsider and never knew what it felt like to believe that I belonged in the world, that there really was a place for me. When Hillary Clinton won the primaries and began to campaign against Donald Trump, something shifted in me. Tectonic plates of belief. I began to see that I do have a place.

My grief when she lost the election was overwhelming. The refusal to honor her was as painful for me as if the Women's March organization had thrown acid on a festering wound. And on their home page they say let us Make History! Why not say History Made and add the hashtag for good measure? They have blatantly used the essence of her campaign hashtag, piggy-backed on her achievements and her sacrifices. And they couldn't honor her?

And all the speakers; they didn't want to honor her either? I would like to have seen each of them refuse to speak until she was given her due, and then to talk at length about the incredible role she played, the important place she will always have in history.

I marched in Cape Town for Hillary Clinton and have celebrated that so many marched around the world. But some part of me feels queasy. I don't trust the foundation on which this movement is built. On the one hand there's Donald Trump and his crew with their blatant lies, which we're all raging about, as we should be. 

On the other hand there's the Women's March being blatantly dishonest in refusing to honor the woman who gave herself throughout her career to improving life for women and children. The first American woman presidential candidate, the first American woman to win the popular vote. The woman who would now be Madam President if there had been no outside interference. The woman who made history for women but was robbed of the triumph of wearing the badge. ]

Women's March organization is saying that woman, Hillary Clinton, isn't important. Doesn't that belong under #AlternativeFacts?

I'm angry, I'm hurt and sickened at the ingratitude and the agenda, whatever it is, but worst of all I'm beyond disappointed. This isn't what women who change the world are about. We're better than this. We're about inclusion, respect for all, especially those who fight on our behalf and do make history. We're also about fierce honesty. Without it, we're no better than Donald Trump.