Letter to Hillary Clinton

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Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up! What you are doing by running for President is too important to America and the world for you or any other woman who dares to assume a position of leadership, to give up. As Susan B. Anthony said:”Failure is impossible.”Not because it was impossible for women to get the vote during her lifetime (they didn’t), but because the progress toward equity for women may be delayed but it cannot be stopped. The dream that one day, perhaps even before the 100th Anniversary of the Constitutional Amendment that gave women the right to vote, a woman might become the President of the United States, is a dream worth fighting for.Not to take anything away from Senator Obama, but it is a telling fact of American history that progress toward equity and inclusiveness usually proceeds in an order that welcomes all males before it welcomes any females. The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave all men the right to vote 50+ years before Ms. Anthony’s posthumous triumph. Justice Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court 14 years before Sandra Day O’Connor.

Although people frequently speak of the need for change, deep down they are afraid of it. At times of uncertainty and change, those who are afraid of change cling to what they have been taught by years of overt and subtle influences to believe is safer and more secure: the leadership of men. Even women can be uncomfortable with the leadership of other women and, as you well know, the portrayal of women in popular culture and the press does little to alter this thinking. The only way to change the public’s perception about the ability of women to lead is for more women to seek and achieve positions of leadership, even if they suffer episodes of failure in the process.

To quote Amelia Earhart:”Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”Failure is impossible because, even if you don’t become President of the United States, the professionalism and tenacity with which you pursue your campaign is sure to provide inspiration to others.

Sharon Sandeen

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