5 Ways the 2016 DNC Was Monumental for American Women
The Democratic National Convention has been riddled with drama. Right before the start of the convention, news broke about leaked emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee wanted to undermine Bernie Sanders. Chair DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz promptly stepped down. (By the way, no, she wasn't offered a job with Clinton's campaign.)
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) July 26, 2016
Julian Assange timed DNC email release for Democratic Conventionhttps://t.co/DXCMDIxVmg
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 27, 2016
The beginning of the convention was filled with people protesting the DNC and continuing to pledge their support for Sanders. Since the convention was meant to be a celebration of Hillary Clinton officially accepting the nomination, that was ... more than a little awkward.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 28, 2016
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 28, 2016
This week in Philadelphia has had its fair share of controversy. But among all of the tweetable moments, history has been unfolding in front of everyone's eyes.
BREAKING: Hillary Clinton makes history as first woman to become presidential nominee of a major US political party. pic.twitter.com/lxBSTGbjQH
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) July 26, 2016
For the first time ever in American history, a woman is, officially, the presidential nominee of a major political party. (Her husband wore a flattering pantsuit to honor the occasion.)
Whether you love or loathe Clinton or somewhere in between, her achievement is a huge deal.
From delegates to presidential nominee, women have been essential to this year's DNC. Here are some of the ways the 2016 Democratic National Convention will go down in herstory.
1. Michelle Obama brings down the house with a powerful speech
Although it felt like we had just heard Michelle Obama speak last week, the FLOTUS didn't actually speak at a 2016 convention until Monday, the first night of the DNC. Her speech brought the entire Wells Fargo Center to its feet.
Obama delivered an original and emotional address that highlighted the historical magnitude of a black First Family, slammed Donald Trump without mentioning his name, and reminded Americans that no one needs to make the country great again -- it already is great. Her hopeful and optimistic rhetoric was the opposite of what we heard from Trump at the RNC.
And while there were a few naysaying critics, reaction on social media was overwhelmingly positive.
Michelle Obama / Michelle Obama 2016
— Jazmine Hughes (@jazzedloon) July 26, 2016
A Twitter story in four parts pic.twitter.com/Ik8r1jwSz5
— end comment sections (@tauriqmoosa) July 26, 2016
— ESSENCE (@essencemag) July 28, 2016
Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn't be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 26, 2016
2. Arizona presents an honorary chairwoman older than women's suffrage
Jerry Emmett was born in 1914. Women first began gaining the right to vote in the United States in 1919. Being older than her own right to vote made for an emotional moment for Emmett when she read out Arizona's votes for Hillary Clinton during the roll call vote on Tuesday, July 26.
— Mashable News (@MashableNews) July 26, 2016
Fun facts about Emmett: She also knew the first governor of Arizona and drinks two beers a day.
3. Mothers of the Movement call for action
During a portion of the DNC program dedicated to policing reforms, nine mothers who lost their children to police or gun violence took the stage. They included Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland; and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner.
They urged the convention audience to elect Clinton so that the "group of heartbroken mothers" can finally stop growing. They called for community policing and healthier relationships between communities and police officers.
Two "Mothers of the Movement," moms of Jordan Davis and Eric Garner, explain why they're supporting Hillary Clinton. https://t.co/oBqg7c7zoi
— New Day (@NewDay) July 26, 2016
The powerful moment when Mothers of the Black Lives Matter Movement took the stage at the DNC https://t.co/wLbew1YUuv
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 27, 2016
The women praised Clinton for being the only candidate to invite the mothers to be part of the solution to end the violence.
I've been honored & humbled, to talk with many of these Mothers of the Movement. They cannot be bought or manipulated. I respect them.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) July 27, 2016
The mothers have been advocating for reforms for years by attending conventions and meetings to make their voices heard. The DNC was one of their most high-profile appearances, but it won't be the last.
4. Women delegates dominate, literally
This year, 4,766 delegates attended the convention in Philadelphia. And 2,887 of those delegates were women -- roughly 61%.
On Monday alone, 30 women took the stage to address the crowd. Eighteen of them identify as women of color.
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) July 27, 2016
— DemConvention (@DemConvention) July 28, 2016
Women's voices were front and center throughout the week, seemingly a deliberate decision. Prioritizing the voices of a group who have been traditionally subjugated fit with the convention's themes of hope and optimism.
Take it from former Representative Gabby Giffords:
5. Hillary Clinton became the first-ever female Democratic nominee for president of the United States
She was already the presumptive nominee, but now it's official-official.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 27, 2016
Lauren is originally from outside Saint Louis, but traveled down the Mississippi River to be a student at Tulane University, where she is the editor-in-chief of The Tulane Review and director of the New Orleans Universities Relay for Life. She has also written for NOLAWoman.com and Winnovating. One day she’ll figure out how to make the Time Turner real, but until then, she’d like to thank coffee for her success. Follow: @laurenwethers.