Women & Gender : Clinton’s speech sends message to embrace personal politics to achieve change
In case you live under a rock or missed the metal detectors in People’s Place, Hillary Clinton – and her awesome, fuchsia blazer – graced Syracuse University with her presence Monday.
In what felt like a surreal dream, I sat four rows behind Secretary Clinton in Hendricks Chapel on the edge of my seat in anticipation of informative testimonies and meaningful advice.
The outreach by the Barack Obama administration on college campuses this week is not accidental. It is vital to the president’s re-election come November. Obama visited the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder on Tuesday and will speak at the University of Iowa on Wednesday to discuss student loan debt and appeal to young voters.
Even though Clinton mainly addressed global affairs and the United States’ role in international issues, the most beneficial piece of her discussion was an emphasis on personal politics.
When talking about the struggle to navigate the political systems in place as a means of achieving social change and shifting the status quo toward progress, Clinton explained it’s important not to be cynical. She said it’s also important to maintain a level of healthy skepticism.
She went on to say government is not the only space in which individuals will have to confront the difficulties of politics.
‘Politics are a part of everything you do and everyday life, not just government,’ Clinton said. ‘It can be short-sighted to say you don’t want to be doing politics because you will always be involved in politics.’
She then went on to reference how politics play out within our own families, friendships, work places, religious spheres and even in our homes. Hearing Clinton stress the classic feminist mantra ‘the personal is political’ with my very own ears was a unique experience and should be viewed as a defining moment on the SU campus.
These powerful sentiments obtain a great amount of influence when they come from the mouth of one of our nation’s major leaders. Clinton plays a key role in determining global relationships and policies and also in shaping domestic conversations. Someone of her stature championing for individuals to recognize the politics that occur in everyday life is both important and necessary to spark change.
Sometimes a complex notion or recurring theme needs to be boiled down to a simple idea to infiltrate mainstream audiences and interest the public long enough to take a deeper look at an issue. Personal experiences and situations often relate to larger, contextual issues that are inherently political.
The Madame Secretary’s words of wisdom should not be taken lightly. Syracuse students and community members – young women and men alike – should embrace the attitude that personal politics plays a role in shaping our consciousnesses and needs to be acknowledged as a means of achieving progress and social change.
Krystie Yandoli is a senior women and gender studies and English and textual studies major. Her column appears every Wednesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @KrystieLYandoli.
Thomas Wolfe is leaving his position as senior vice president and dean of student affairs to become the new president of Iliff School of Theology… Read more »
UPDATED: MAY 15, 4:35 p.m. Syracuse University students will soon see new living options in downtown Syracuse, after a new construction company revamps a vacant… Read more »
THEY'RE BACK: Syracuse pulls off furious comeback win against Yale to return to final four after longest absence since 1979
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Brian Megill sprinted over to Dominic Lamolinara and catapulted into his arms. The game was over. The unthinkable was no longer… Read more »