The night of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’s book signing event for ‘The Book of Gutsy Women’ began with excited arrivals to Brixton, from both animated students and teachers alike. The buses were filled with exuberant students, who impatiently awaited their arrival at The Royal Festival Hall in Southbank, Waterloo.
Upon arrival, the students of St Martin's were pleased to receive their copies of ‘The Book Of Gutsy Women’ free of charge. The pupils furiously flipped through the pages of the book, and discussed different questions they would ask Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Even as they sat in the auditorium they studied the book with curiosity and amazement; the book was filled with stories of stunning women who stood up against, the patriarchy, societal expectations and their own womanhood.
The audience, not just the St Martin’s girls, were enraptured by Mary Beard’s witty remarks and felt inspired by Chelsea’s intellect. Chelsea Clinton advised the audience to “Take advice from unserious people unseriously,” after her mother’s wise words; she said she had: “learnt to take criticism seriously, not personally,” which we felt would stay with us throughout our lives. Hillary stunned us all with her borderline sly comments against the sexism, she, and many others had experienced, which both removed any discomfort and tension in the room.
I believe this experience was not only an educational, or an enjoyable experience for the girls, but also a life affirming experience, affirming advice we’ve all heard throughout our lives.