Shortly after Hillary Clinton admitted that she should have fired Burns Strider, a top aide in her 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of harassment, the former secretary of state addressed the 2018 Makers Conference, a three-day female empowerment conference tackling issues such as sexism, equal pay, and sexual abuse.
Talking live in a webcast to the audience in Los Angeles from her home in New York, she began her speech praising the gathering of change makers, noting how it is important, now more than ever, to confront tough topics.
Referring to the current #MeToo and #TimesUp climate — calling it an “extraordinary moment” — Clinton said, “Everywhere, women are telling the truth about their lives and let’s make sure the world is never the same.”
She noted that although progress has certainly been made, especially since October when the allegations against Harvey Weinstein emerged, not nearly enough has been done and “issues are still being swept under the rug here at home and around the world.”
Clinton then encouraged attendees to “harness the passion and momentum of this unprecedented moment, to fight as hard as we can to make meaningful and lasting change.”
Without referring to President Donald Trump directly or the GOP, the former presidential candidate said that women have to be “brave enough to engage with people who might disagree with us.”
We have to be brave. Brave enough to engage with people who might disagree with us. Brave enough to question and examine our own beliefs. Brave enough to acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about and fighting about gender issues — who even have firsthand experience of navigating male-dominated industries — may not always get it right. And we have to be brave enough to bring everyone together, thinking beyond corporate boardrooms, and the corridors of companies, and Congress, beyond our own lives. To lift women of all incomes, ages, experiences, and backgrounds. Immigrant women, LGBT women, women with disabilities, women of color, who are too often marginalized and sidelined.
In between coughs, slugging sips of water from a glass goblet, and sipping tea from a white porcelain mug, Clinton then pushed the audience to vote in the midterm elections.
“I believe the only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics — and that’s never been more at stake for our country because we are living through an all-out assault on core values, democracy, free speech, rule of law,” she said.
Seemingly referring to both fake news and the current administration’s policies, Clinton then said, “We are in the midst of a war on truth, facts, and reason. And I know at times it can be overwhelming, but every one of us has the power to do something about it by insisting on truth and accuracy from elected leaders and the press, holding them accountable when they fail to meet that standard. By refusing to be silent in the face of racism, sexism, bigotry, or any rhetoric intended to incite hatred and violence. And by continuing to tell the truth about our lives.”
She concluded by popping in a cough drop and saying that she’s excited about the Winter Olympics — especially cheering Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy, the first openly gay Olympians for the United States team. “Let’s cheer our Olympians on and let’s take that Olympic spirit of trying to bring people together and fight for what we know is right,” she said.
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