The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Don’t worry, little girls. Your time will come … someday.

Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters and campaign staff in Manhattan on Wednesday. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
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“Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

–Hillary Clinton’s concession speech

I mean, kind of.

I mean, sort of.

I mean, sure.

Shattering this ceiling has gone from being something we can do, right now, this year — this week! — today! — to the foggy misty maybe-someday land. Someday. Someone. Hopefully sooner than we think.

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Don’t look too hard at that fact. Your dreams are still valid. You have no reason to believe that the bar will always move. That no matter what you do, it will be just a little to the left or right, will require you to be more experienced or more inspiring or more consistent or more protean. Nonsense. This was just Hillary Clinton. It was her foundation, her record, her gosh-darned emails. This is true, and this only. There was not anything else.

Only one woman has been stopped. Not all women. She was just one person with very specific ideas and very specific flaws. Isn’t that what women want, to be judged as people?

Sure. That’s a dream, right? And that dream came true! And then some.

This doesn’t mean anything for you, little girl.

It will not be this way for you. You will be fine, because you will be on the right side of the things that count. Really. This is possible. Hillary Clinton, we acknowledge now, played that woman card too hard, at the drop of a red hat, and that alone was not good enough. Women are not so easily manipulated. Women are not a monolith. You can’t just be any old woman. No, you have to be the right woman!

But you can be. Don’t worry. You will get it right.

In the hypothetical future (maybe not so far away after all!) we will have those flying skateboards and, riding one of them will be a woman, the right woman. She will be inspiring and uncompromising but non-threatening, and her laugh will be right and her hair will be right and her ideas will be pure. This is possible. Clinton just did it wrong, that’s all. She was just one person, one too-specific person, with a long and tormented history, who had been wrong in ways that people could not be expected to let pass. This will not happen every time.

Someday a woman will be right about what counts. No one knows who she will be, but they will recognize her coming, and she will usher in a new millennium of peace and prosperity. She will be able to stand up to the establishment as Clinton could not. She will nail it, this elusive balance. She will be the right kind of sincere. She will thread all the needles.

Or, you know, she only has to please the same people who carried the day this time: the old boys and the women who would rather be in their clubs.

Either way. Someday. Someone. Maybe sooner than we think.