NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Hillary Clinton’s nomination to become the first female president of the United States is inspiring women to shatter whatever “glass ceilings” they face, political experts say.
Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The former U.S. senator and secretary of state formally accepted the Democratic nomination when she addressed the convention on Thursday, July 28. Two nights before, she appeared on a large screen, remote from New York, and thanked the delegates for helping her put “the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.”
During her speech Thursday night, Clinton said, “when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone.”
“After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit,” she said to a roar of applause.
Samantha Morgan-Curtis, an associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at Tennessee State University, said Clinton’s run for the White House has instilled a fresh belief for women of all ages and walks of life that no goal is out of reach.
“It comes down to something we hear a lot, which is representation matters,” Morgan-Curtis said. “Everybody can tell you all day you can do this, women can do this, but until you see someone do it, it’s hypothetical.”
Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover said she can relate to “breaking glass ceilings” and believes Clinton’s nomination – and possible presidency – will impact generations to come. Dr. Glover is the first female president of TSU.
“Just as President Barack Obama inspired young African-American men and boys that becoming president of the United States isn’t just a dream, Hillary Clinton will do the same with young women and girls,” Glover said. “Secretary Clinton stands on the shoulders of the late visionary Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York and several other women seeking the highest office in the land, President of the United States of America. Her nomination continues to prove to all of us that nothing is impossible.”
More than 200 other women have sought the presidency since 1872, but none have come this far. In 1984, the late Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as vice president on the Walter Mondale ticket. Then in 2008, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin became the first Republican woman nominated for the vice presidency when she was selected by Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Regina Davis, president of the Tennessee chapter of the National Association of Professional Women, said Clinton’s run for the presidency gives women “hope to believe that we can do and achieve anything that we set our minds to do.”
“In most businesses, and corporations, it sometimes can be difficult for women to break through those barriers,” Davis said.
TSU graduate student Janetra Gleaves said Clinton is indeed a “positive influence on young women.”
“She gives me a lot of confidence for our future, my future,” said Gleaves, who is seeking a graduate degree in speech pathology. “I’m more optimistic about … what we are able to do and can do.”
If Clinton wins the presidency, TSU political science professor Brian Russell believes the impact will be global.
“Although there have been and are currently important female leaders on the world stage, the U.S. is the dominant world power,” Russell said. “Having a female leader of the most powerful nation will change perceptions about women all over the world.”
Clinton will face Republican nominee Donald Trump in the general election in November.
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