Amid narrowing political rights and an “undercurrent of misogyny,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for empathy and respect among women Tuesday, encouraging women to “lift each other up.”
“We need a lot more empathy and a lot more understanding and respect for the choices that women are making,” Clinton said during the TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, in which Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton started off the day with a Spotlight Conversation. “And we need to fight back politically so that the space for women doesn’t continue to narrow.”
Following her long standing political career, Hillary turned her attention to another way to lift women up by collaborating with her daughter to create and produce “Gutsy,” a docuseries that launched the mother-daughter duo further into their goal of telling the stories of gutsy women that they began with their 2019 “The Book Of Gutsy Women.”
Now streaming on Apple TV+, the series follows female trailblazers from celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Amy Schumer to advocates fighting child marriage, promoting indigenous representation and fostering support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Spreading these stories of inspiring women was a fairly established tradition for the family, one that was strengthened when Chelsea became a mother.
“My mother and my grandmother’s purposely had always kind of brought stories of inspiring women in into my life,” Chelsea said, noting that one of her earliest memories was going with her mom taking me to see Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. “After I became a mom, we were starting to tell these stories to my children,” she continued, pointing to the evolution of the book to the docuseries.
The series highlights women that exemplify what Hillary and Chelsea see as lifting other people up amid today’s harsh political climate — something Hillary said “we’re going to need … more than ever.”
“I think there is pushback against women’s rights and opportunities and progress in our own country, but elsewhere in the world,” Hillary said, pointing to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. “There’s also an undercurrent of misogyny and sexism that is now made much more public and, sadly, acceptable because of social media.”
Chelsea, who echoed her mother’s thoughts on the importance of fighting back by showing up to vote, also sees a necessity to push back on “cultural fronts,” pointing to recent decisions to ban Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” as one example.
“Yet we can’t only fight at the ballot box or through the political arena, because we see how the forces of darkness that want to push our rights back, push opportunities back [and] return back generations are fighting on cultural fronts as well,” Chelsea said, noting that misogynistic forces are at work in schools, religious institutions and social media. “We have to stand up and make our voices heard anywhere and everywhere.”
As for whether Chelsea has any plans to follow in her mother’s steps by running for president, she said she has “no plans” but thinks it is “an important question.”
“I think anyone who cares about our country needs to consider it,” Chelsea said.
For more from the Clintons, including how they cope with failure and Secretary Clinton’s “stunned” reaction to the “mean-spiritedness” of Trump’s inauguration, check out the full interview above.
The Power Women Summit (PWS) is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provides two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote this year’s theme, “A Time to Unite.” Learn more here: thewrap.com/pws.