Behind The Video That Made Hillary Clinton's Feminism Go Viral (In A Good Way)

One couple unintentionally reminded the Internet of Hillary's feminist roots.
Greg Baker/AP

Hillary Clinton has a young women problem, haven't you heard?

Polls and primaries consistently show that many millennial women favor a white, male Democratic socialist over the woman who could become the first female president in the United States. And there's no shortage of speculation as to why.

While think piece after think piece examines the apparent generational divide between the priorities of older feminists and those just out of college, a viral video (which the Clinton campaign had absolutely nothing to do with) highlights some of Hillary's most unabashed feminist public moments that millennial women might not have ever seen.

In September, California couple Eric Wing, 36, and Stacey Sampo, 47, made a "Clinton's greatest hits" mashup video of sorts after a trip to DC when the government was considering shutting down over funding for Planned Parenthood.

"It’s important for people to see women in positions of power... It’s time, I think our country needs that," Sampo told The Huffington Post.

The 3-minute video splices together footage from the 1980s up to the present, set to Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl." In it, Clinton asserts definitively that "women's rights are human rights" at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women, she advocates for access to health security and education, and she makes her infamous, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" comment.

(Update: Since publication, the video has been made private on Vimeo, and removed from Facebook and YouTube due to a copyright infringement claim by Bikini Kill founding member Tobi Vail.)

Wing and Sampo, who say they are lifelong Hillary Clinton fans, were shocked to see their video -- which they initially made to share with their friends and family -- blow up on Facebook.

The video went viral last week after comedy writer and Upworthy curator Lori White shared it on her author page. To date, it has more than 7,000 likes and more than 15,000 shares -- many from young women, some of whom are fans of Sanders.

People have shared the "Rebel Girl" video with statuses like, "I am a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I also love Hillary. One can do both! And here one is reminded of what is so great about this woman," "You wanna talk long term commitments...take a look," and "I try to stay away from politics on Facebook, but this video is way too cool not to share."

Clinton has struggled with her public image over the years, at times seen as a dangerously radical feminist, at others as the cool badass who wears shades while texting, and at others, as cold, calculating and in bed with business interests above all. As writer Michelle Goldberg wrote in an essay for Slate about the change of heart she's had since 2008:

...before she was excoriated as a sellout corporatist, she was excoriated as a feminist radical. She was widely seen as being to her husband’s left, in a way that threatened his political viability. Time after time, under intense pressure, she would overcorrect, trying to convince a skeptical mainstream press that she was a sensible centrist. Eventually, her tendency toward triangulation became almost instinctive.

Since the ’90s, of course, American politics have become far more polarized, and the Democrats have moved left. The result, for Clinton, is an almost tragic irony. She’s now struggling to convince voters that she is the person she was once widely assumed to be.

It's this history that is especially frustrating for long-time supporters of Clinton, like Wing and Sampo.

"Whenever she’s not running for office, she’s beloved by everybody," said Wing, expressing an opinion that writer Sady Doyle recently outlined in an essay for Quartz, "but as soon as she starts to go up against a man, frankly, suddenly all the Republican talking points start coming out and they seem to stick."

"I wanted people to see how long she has been in politics," echoed Sampo, "how long she has been advocating for people who need a voice."

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