With her one-word tweet, Hillary Clinton captured the significance of the moment on Tuesday night when she became the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

Women have run for president dating to 1872, when Victoria Woodhull sought the office as the candidate of the Equal Rights Party. But heading the ticket for one of the two major parties, as opposed to a third party, is different. As First Lady Michelle Obama said in her speech to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia on Monday night: “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

And that is the point. It doesn’t matter what a person’s political affiliation is or whether a person is liberal or conservative. It doesn’t matter whether a voter will cast a ballot for Clinton in November. This is a moment that can be celebrated simply because it shows how far women have come in the United States and how much young girls can aspire to.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. And 96 years later, Clinton has broken a political glass ceiling.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, when women were entering careers that traditionally had been only for men, many of the pioneers were written about in newspapers and magazines. A common refrain was that women would have made significant gains when their career achievements were not accompanied by media coverage noting “the first” for women.

In this hard-fought election season, Clinton’s gender has been far down the list of issues being covered by the media. So that is another indicator that women have reached another milestone.

More months of tough campaigning lie ahead, and a Hillary Clinton presidency is not a foregone conclusion. But this is a moment in time when Americans of all political persuasions can take pride in knowing that women can run for the highest office and campaign on issues and the record, not gender.

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  • Tam Warner Minton September 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Let’s hope Hillary is elected! The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

  • hillsmom July 27, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for this well-written essay. There are plenty of those who would denigrate HRC’s accomplishments over the years, but she gives hope looking towards the future, especially for women. Hard to believe that 100 years ago women didn’t have the right to vote. Please be very aware that the vitriol spewed forth last week, might seek to put women “back in their place!” Stand up to stay in the 21st century. BTW, last night when the pictures of 44 former Presidents were shown and then “shattered” right before HRC’s acceptance speech was a dramatic show.