Seth Ickes – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Rebecca Traister spoke Nov. 10 at Clarion University as part of the Mary L. Seifert speaker series. This semester’s particular series, “The United States of Gender”, focuses on gender within political, social and economic lives.
She is a noted journalist who is a senior writer for Salon.com, writer-at-large for New York Magazine and the author of two books: Big Girls Don’t Cry, which takes a look at influential women in the 2008 U.S. presidential election from Michelle Obama to Sarah Palin and Tina Fey and All the Single Ladies, which chronicles the sexual, social, family and economic lives of single women in modern America from the late 19th Century to the present.
Traister’s speech was, according to her, changed at the last minute due to a shift in expected election results. Due to numerous factors, Traister expected Hillary Clinton to emerge victorious in the presidential election. However, Donald Trump emerged the victor.
Traister read primarily from her recent New York Magazine published article “Hillary Clinton Didn’t Shatter the Glass Ceiling. This Is What Broke Instead,” and her personal experiences over the presidential election in relation to her coverage of Hillary Clinton. Traister spoke on her extensive experience writing and reporting on Hillary Clinton and was not shy to voice her opinion on the election and how she felt it should have gone.
As with many other attendees in the audience, Traister was upset with the results of the election and believed it should have gone differently. A great deal of the individuals who expressed fear or discontent with the results of the election spoke during the Q&A session after her speech.
Many students commented on how they misunderstood the impact of the importance of race as a deciding factor, prejudice and issue in American society. One student who stated she was from Arizona said that she did not understand the impact of race in society until she moved to Pennsylvania where she learned just how much race is still an issue in the United States.
Lizzie Williams, a sophomore political science major, said that Traister’s speech “really helped me to cope with the election results,” and that it was “really nice to hear some encouraging words of where to go from here.”
Williams also said she was “highly motivated” by Traister’s speech and “can’t wait to start getting people excited for the mid-term elections in 2018 and the local elections in 2017.”