Hillary Clinton's 1992 Wellesley Commencement Speech Tackles Issues Relevant Decades Later

In This 1992 Speech, Hillary Saw Major Problem That Still Exists 2 Decades Later

Over two decades ago, Hillary Clinton lay out the "rules" for women struggling to balance family and work, many of which still resonate today.

In the midst of her husband's presidential campaign in 1992, Clinton delivered the commencement address to Wellesley College's graduating class.

The New York Times reported at the time that some students were upset by the choice to have a candidate's wife speak. According to one student, Clinton was reportedly chosen last minute after dozens of other speakers were difficult to schedule.

Clinton addressed topics ranging from the Cold War to losing her clothes swimming, and then addressed the challenges of advocating for policies that "nurture our nation's children" amid the many responsibilities facing women at the time.

She stated:

As women today, you do face tough choices. You know the rules are basically as follows:

If you don't get married, you're abnormal.

If you get married, but don't have children, you're a selfish yuppie.

If you get married and have children, but then go outside the home to work, you're a bad mother.

If you get married and have children, but stay home, you've wasted your education.

And if you don't get married, but have children and work outside the home as a fictional newscaster, you get in trouble with the vice president.

It has been two decades, but the issues remain fresh, as demonstrated by Anne-Marie Slaughter's controversial "Why Women Still Can’t Have It All" Atlantic article last year.

Clinton's advice to women at the time? "Hold on to your dreams, whatever they are."

Click here to watch the full speech in the C-Span video library.

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