After some much-deserved time off following her shocking loss to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton recently announced that she’s “ready to come out of the woods.” Never one to dally, she headed to San Francisco on Tuesday to speak at a conference for professional businesswomen. The former Secretary of State confirmed that she’ll remain in public life for an important reason — she’s not done fighting for the advancement of women's and girl’s rights, an issue that she’s repeatedly described as “the unfinished business of the 21st century.”
Although Clinton was candid about the fact that she’d prefer to be doing this work from the White House (I wish you were, too, Hillary), she maintained an upbeat message and didn’t deign to utter Trump’s name once.
"I’m fighting for a fairer, big-hearted, inclusive America. And the unfinished business of the 21st century can’t wait any longer," Clinton told the crowd of 3,500 women. "Now is the time to demand the progress we want to see…and I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.”
Echoing sentiments that she expressed in her gracious, heartbreaking concession speech, Clinton emphasized that she still believes America’s best days are yet to come.
"Where some see a dark vision of carnage, I see a light shining,” she told the crowd, adding that the country is well-positioned to take on the challenge of achieving economic and social equality for women.
As she addressed the audience of businesswomen, Clinton didn’t shy away from acknowledging the sexism that so many of them face in the workplace. She expressed empathy, but urged them to “get in the arena” anyway. And, if anyone knows about pushing through vicious, sexist attacks, it’s Clinton.
“It’s not like I didn’t know all the nasty things they were saying about me," Clinton said, referencing the historically brutal 2016 campaign. "Some of them were actually quite creative, ones I hadn’t heard before, but you just have to keep going."
Clinton didn’t state the specifics of her future plans, but she made one thing abundantly clear — she’s ready to return to public life and keep fighting for what she believes in.
"Obviously, the outcome of the election wasn’t the one I hoped for, worked for," she said. "But I will never stop speaking out."
Clinton’s not giving up, and neither should we. Personally, I take great comfort in knowing that she’ll be fighting for us and with us as we continue to work towards gender equality and an inclusive America.