At a town hall with online content creators, Hillary was asked a question about creating federal law to address revenge porn. The question, asked by Chrissy Chambers, a young woman who herself was a victim of revenge porn, was great, and so was Hillary’s answer — which was consummate Hillary.


Prefacing her question by noting that the United States has no federal law criminalizing revenge porn, Chrissy asked Hillary: “I would like to know, when you’re President, what you will do to ensure that there is a federal law passed so that justice can be pursued…and perpetrators can be held accountable for sexual assault and digital privacy invasion, and end this horrible crime that ruins so many people’s lives, and almost ruined mine.”

And the answer was classic Hillary:


[A complete transcript of the exchange is available here.]


This is the candidate I have come to know and admire: A candidate who responds with both practical wonkishness on what she will do politically to solve a problem, and with profound compassion for the people in need of that solution.

A candidate who, when she says she’s going to do everything she can to make this happen, is someone I can trust to actually mean it.

In this one answer, to a very important question, on a very difficult subject, Hillary reveals so much about who she really is. She is a person who treats harassment with the seriousness it deserves; she is a person who doesn’t pretend to have all the answers; she is a person who wants to listen to the people who are experts, by unfortunate necessity, on internet abuse and take their recommendations on crafting a meaningful political solution.

She is willing to be vulnerable on a sensitive subject, to connect her own personal experience to the experiences of people who have been harmed by abuse. That is uniquely validating. And it is validating on an issue around which there is a critical lack of validation, and instead an abundance of gaslighting and dismissal.

She connects herself to the people who have been victimized in a way that conveys it is possible to be both victim and survivor — which can be one of the most important thing any victim, or survivor, needs to hear.

And then there is this: If there is anyone who might be justifiably inclined to write off the internet as a place which is both irredeemable and unfixable, it is Hillary. Exhibit A herself.

But that’s just not who she is. She is fundamentally a person who sees the good and the possible; who always finds the kindness amidst the cruelties.

I am a person who is unconsoled by unilateral dismissals of the internet as terrible. The internet is a major part of my life: I work there; I socialize there; I met my husband there. It means a lot to me that Hillary recognizes there are people using the internet to forge connections and build community and help each other in such profound ways.

And it is not lost on me that there are plentiful disincentives for her to feel any fondness at all for anything happening online. But here she is, all the same, highlighting the good work that her audience is doing. Acknowledging how much potential there is, embedded in these series of 1s and 0s, for love and kindness. For breaking down barriers.

This is who Hillary is: A dedicated wonk, who wants to help people. Who really likes people. Who knows that we are all errant puzzle pieces looking for knobs and grooves that fit with our own, and wouldn’t it be just spectacular if she could make our journeys a little easier.