The recent election's results are painful for about half of the American population. That is probably the case once every four years. But everyone agrees that these elections were like none other. It seems redundant to count the reasons but to mention just two: first, it’s the first time a women has been a major party's presidential nominee, and second, the integrity and moral standards of both candidates came up time and again and, for some mysterious reason, were overlooked each time.
Yet, far more interesting than the journey of the two candidates to the White House are the results and their outcome. Seeing Hillary Clinton standing there on stage giving her concession speech can have left no woman indifferent. My daughter’s reaction was: "What a humiliation!" And although my brain knows it is nothing more than a competition (you win some, you lose some) and it should have nothing to do with humiliation, my heart feels embarrassment, shame, regret, and vulnerability. And these feelings are different from the regular disappointment, pain, frustration, and even the hate or revenge that you feel when you lose a competition. It is not only the losing to such a controversial candidate, but also the fact that the loser in this competition is a woman. Whether America is or isn’t ready for a woman president, and whether Clinton is in fact the right person for the job, that is not the issue. Rather, the issue is about women who are willing to take the chance, to go out there and fight for what they believe in, to do everything they can to convince others of their vision, and yes, be willing to take the consequences and pay the price of losing — it is losing and not failure, humiliation, or shame! This willingness to be courageous, determined, capable, fearless, and much more is what is needed by either men or women who chose to go on such journeys. But for us women, because of our inclination to vulnerability, it is harder to take a chance and treat it as nothing more than a game; an important game, maybe the most important game of our lives, but a game nonetheless. You win some, you lose some.
The moment I saw Hillary Clinton standing there, with the unprecedented delay in her concession speech, I was filled with this flow of emotions. I admire her for her courage, for living a life of purpose, for not letting her fears and vulnerability stop her from trying to live to her fullest potential. And yes, I was also embarrassed, disappointed, and frustrated at missing out, together with her, on the opportunity to see the first woman president in the United States. She will probably not become president in this life time, but she did the best she could and got as close as possible to reaching her and our dream.
Both Clinton and Trump are only human; they both proved it beyond any doubt. They are human in their weaknesses, their desires, their inability to resist temptations, and their reactions to one another. I don’t know what is right for America (I am not an American), but I do know that this campaign proved once again that authenticity is the winning formula of our time. As much as we may disapprove of Trump's past behavior, opinions, and beliefs, he was certainly himself, for good and for bad. If only Clinton had been more "herself," the way she was at the finishing line of this race, more connected to her innate female inclinations and less concerned with playing it like a man, she would probably have won more of the female vote.
Nonetheless, she certainly showed me and many others that living a life of purpose is what's important, and in this she is a role model for all women who are looking for gender equality and a better future for our daughters. For me, and surely for many others, she is the true winner of this election. Her legacy is another step towards breaking that glass ceiling in women's representation in all areas of politics, the economy, and influence. This "number two" candidate is no second best and will never be forgotten!