When I was in high school, my application to be a page for the U.S. Senate was denied because girls weren't permitted to serve as pages. Only boys.
During my last year in college, I did travel to Washington -- to march for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. But that amendment to the Constitution failed to be ratified by enough states. So, equality under the law failed to be guaranteed.
I've had a rich, full life, with a good career and wonderful family and friends. And, now I write novels and travel the world. By almost any standard, I've enjoyed a lot of success in my life.
Like most females of my age, I learned early that there were many things that a girl just couldn't do. That a young professional woman would have to be better and more assertive than her male colleagues to become recognized on the job. That being smart got you far, but being pretty or born a male got you even further.
We have come so far since the fifties, sixties and seventies. Today, girls are pages in the Senate. The Equal Rights Amendment still isn't law, but women play a much more equal role in society. There's no doubt that the fight for women's equality has much further to go. However, it's critical that we celebrate our victories. And, make no mistake about it -- tonight is an important victory for all women in our nation.
I sit here with tears in my eyes at this historic moment. The fact that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Presidential nominee of one of our major political parties is such a milestone for American women. It's not about your political leanings, whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or an Independent. It's not about whether you supported Hillary or Bernie. It's about something so much bigger.
Hillary has paved the way for something so important. As kids, we all heard that message from the adults in our lives: "If you work hard, you could grow up to be the President of the United States." Tonight, American girls and women finally can know that statement applies to us too.