The glass ceiling was chipped

By Olivia Sullivan- Staff Reporter



In the concession speech Hillary Clinton gave last week, she said "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling..."

The term "glass ceiling" refers to the advancement barrier that women and minority groups often face in their careers; a barrier that is unseen, but also unbreakable.

While I was looking forward to seeing the first female president get elected, that is something I'll have to wait a few more years to see in any history book.

Although the presidential glass ceiling remains intact, several states across the nation shattered their own glass ceilings in other government positions.

Starting locally, Washington state elected the first Indian-American woman ever to the U.S. House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal.

Not only is Jayapal the first woman to be elected for Washington's Seventh congressional district, she is also the first South Asian person ever elected to a U.S. House seat.

In our neighboring state, Oregon elected the first openly LGBT governor in U.S. history. Kate Brown took over the state's governor position in 2012 when Oregon's previous governor stepped down. This year, she had a proper campaign and won.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is the current senator-elect and a triple threat with her Jamaican-Indian heritage. As a mixed race woman, she is the first Indian-American senator, the second woman of color elected as senator, and also California's first black senator.

The transparent boundaries didn't faze ladies from the West Coast, and also could not stop other women throughout the country.

In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto won her race, making her the first - ever Latina woman to be a U.S. senator.

In Florida, Stephanie Murphy is the first Vietnamese-American woman elected in Congress. Murphy is the second Vietnamese-American person to serve the Congress, after Joseph Cao in 2009. Cao was the U.S. representative for Louisiana's Second district.

Minnesota elected Ilhan Omar, the first female Somali-American legislator. Omar is a Muslim and also a refugee from Somalia.

Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran from Illinois, is the second Asian-American senator and the first ever female senator to have been in combat. Duckworth is also a double amputee; she lost both of her legs during the Iraq war in 2004.

With so much focus on the presidential race, we don't pay attention to history that is being made right in front of us, and even right in our home state.

We cannot ignore these victories and milestones because these are the small chips in the glass, which eventually will lead to entire demolition.

More than 70 million people tuned in to watch the presidential election. These viewers included mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, and girlfriends.

Of these viewers, I believe the first female president was watching, too – wherever she may be and however old she is right now.

This election sparked a fire in an endless number of people across the nation. There are various reasons for the passion behind each protest.

My passion for protest is this: as a woman, you should never stop working to educate yourself as much as you can and never let an imaginary obstacle restrict you from reaching your fullest potential.

Because after all, that's what it really is – imaginary.

As Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech last week, we haven't yet broken the highest glass ceiling, but we need to take a look at the wreckage taking place a few floors down.



Olivia Sullivan is the editor- in-chief of the Thunderword.

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