Meryl Streeps Ecstatic Hillary Speech at the DNC: It Takes Grit, and It Takes Grace

The Oscar winner arrived in Philly to dance in the shards of the glass ceiling Hillary Clinton shattered. With a joyful call and a history lesson, Streep brought down the house.”>

With a celebratory banshee whoop and the patriotic manner equivalent of that same noisea star-spangled wrap dress that set Twitter alight with comparings to your favorite aunt on Memorial Day( and which Streep has worn before) merely Meryl Streep could follow the epic episode of How I Met Your Mother that was Bill Clintons transfixing, illuminating homage to his wife.

We got some battle left in us, dont we? she rousingly asked the crowd, clearly somehow immune from the soul-crushing Fight Song viral video featuring a star-stuffed lineup( Jane Fonda, Kathy Najimy, Ellen Greene, Kristin Chenoweth) that I accidentally dream-cast in a gay fever dream.

The truth is, though, that nothing , not even that godforsaken ballad could curb excitement for a Meryl Streep speech. Many a wine-fueled YouTube rabbit hole has made me an academic expert of sorts on the Streep Speech and, with the exception of a Michelle Obama or a Bill Clinton, “they il be” unrivaled.

More, during a celebrity debauchery that has one wondering if the entire film industry has shut down for the week, Streep brings with her the gravitas that the occasion of the first girl to officially receive a major party nomination for president in U.S. history deserves.

Streep acknowledged the occasion, too. And my divinity did she rise to it.

What does it take to be the first female anything? she asked, setting up the theme of her speech. It takes grit, and it takes grace.

Its a line that should resonate profoundly with Hillary Clinton supporters, particularly women who have made some of the cracks in the glass ceiling that eventually broke Tuesday night. If Bill Clintons speech colored the evening with a meandering, awakening reintroduction to Hillary Clintons lifelong work and servicemany of the narratives heard for the first timeits Streep who summed up its importance and its legacy, which is still to be written, in a catchphrase.

She compared Clintons grit to Deborah Sampson, the first girl to take a bullet for the country as a member of George Washingtons Continental Army, an army with which she disguised herself as a man to oppose alongside. When she was shot she removed the musket ball and stitched up her wound herself, Streep recounted, so that her ruse wouldnt be found out by a doctor and she could keep defending a documentthe Constitutionthat, because she was a woman, did not defend her.

Thats grit, Streep told. And grace? Thats when the direct Clinton comparings started.

Streeps words merely alluded to the decades of sexist treatment, underestimation, dismissal, and misogynistic attacks Clinton had received in her decades in the public eye, but, ever the performer, the frustration radiated from her voice and her expression.

Hillary Clinton has taken some fire over 40 years of her fight for households and children, the Oscar-winner told. How does she do it? Thats what I want to know. Where does she get her grit and her grace? Where do any of our female firsts, our pathbreakers, where do they find that strength?

To growing applause, Streep then listed off those female firsts trailblazersSandra Day OConnor, Shirley Chisholm, Harriet Tubman, Sally Ride, Madeline Albright, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many morea list that Hillary Clinton now joins and, should she win in November, perhaps even be on top of.

Its virtually redundant to describe a Meryl Streep speech and say that the actress had the audience rapt, ready to whoop along to every bravura gala of Clintons accomplishments that punctuated her sentences and nod along to her rudimentary women history lesson. But while certainly no Scott Baiowho, would you believe, was the veritable Meryl Streep of the Republican National ConventionStreep wasnt precisely a no-brainer to champion the evenings momentous celebration.

Streep has, in recent years, find herself mired in controversy when it is necessary to feminist issues. There was the Id instead be a rebel than a slave T-shirt she wore along with the cast of Suffragette at a press event, and her remark to an interview that she was a humanist, Im for a nice easy balance when asked if she was a feminist.

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