An Inauguration to Remember

Written by yvonnethornton on January 30th, 2013

Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending the inauguration of our President, Barack Obama. What a time I had! I spent four whole days in D.C., and every moment was more fabulous than the last. I went on a private tour of the monuments and museums, I attended the glamorous Presidential Inaugural Ball, and I even held a book-signing event right in the Barnes and Noble at Union Station.

Not only were the throngs of dedicated citizens an inspiring show of humanity, but President Obama’s inaugural speech in itself was truly a piece of history that I feel privileged to have seen in person.

For the first time ever, the inaugural speech addressed women’s rights and specifically, the issues surrounding equal pay. President Obama explained his commitment to making sure women are able to earn the same amount of money as men. He insisted, “our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.” It was the first inaugural speech where the president really focused on including women in the address, and he even avoided the phrase, “all men are created equal” for that very reason. He insisted that all of us are created equal without relying on the masculine pronoun.

In fact, his use of pronouns is being celebrated by women all over the United States. According to a recap by the L.A. Times, President Obama’s use of female pronouns in the speech actually outnumbered his use of male pronouns, which is certainly a first for any presidential address. When the President spoke these words: ”We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.  I knew he was speaking to me.

I feel especially fortunate to have seen this historic speech in person, but I sincerely believe we should all feel fortunate to have a leader who is so concerned with our well being and happiness as women. It was truly an inauguration to remember.

 – Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.


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