One hundred years ago this November, a social worker from my home state of Montana, Jeannette Rankin, became the first woman ever elected to Congress – the first, but not the last. Once that barrier fell, there was no turning back.
And over 31 years, EMILY's List has helped elect hundreds more women to the House and the Senate and every other office on the ballot – except one. Hillary Clinton may be our first woman president, but she will not be our last. Once that barrier falls, it will never ever, ever be put back up.
The women we've elected haven't just brought new voices to the debate, they've brought new momentum to the progressive movement. You see, women don't just fight for women – they fight for families. They fight for fairness, inclusion, justice.
No wonder Republican leaders oppose equal pay for women and refuse to stand up for working mothers trying to balance career and family. That's why they'd let your boss fire you for using birth control and force us to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. They don't respect women. They don't trust women. They want to control women. They're afraid of the change we bring, the progress we make when we get a chance to lead.
And they're terrified of Hillary Clinton, because no matter what they throw at her they've never ever been able to stop her. From the Children's Defense Fund to the Senate, from Little Rock to Beijing, she's fought for fairness, for inclusion, for justice. And she's won.
Now they're making their last stand, not just against her but against all of us who have worked so hard and so long to make progress in America. They're panicking. They're desperate. And that means they're dangerous.
They've nominated a man who said women should be punished for having an abortion, said putting a wife to work is a dangerous thing, called us fat pigs and animals. He picked a running mate who led the fight to destroy Planned Parenthood, tried to redefine rape, suggested that mothers who work stunt the emotional growth of their kids by putting them in daycare.
If they win, they'll erase every ounce of progress we've dared to make. But we have fought too hard and come too far to let that happen. Let's stand together to elect more democratic women up and down the ballot, more women in local office, more women in the House, more women in the Senate and enough to take the majority.
Let's decide right here and now to break through that last barrier and yes, at long last put a woman in the White House. Hillary Clinton, our first woman president – but not our last.
Democratic National Convention. (2016, July 27). Emilys List Stephanie Schriock at DNC 2016 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EMXURN_2ew