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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 19, 2022

Clinton was talking about the “glass ceiling” women face in the society — not a dome over the Earth

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  • In her 2016 speech conceding the presidential election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton talked about the "glass ceiling" women encounter in society. She wasn’t talking about a dome over our planet. Some people who believe the Earth is flat think a dome over us exists. 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly conceded the 2016 presidential election to former President Donald Trump in a speech on Nov. 9, 2016.

In the speech, Clinton said, "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think."

An Instagram post shows someone playing Clinton’s speech on YouTube. Then, the person pauses the video. 

"She’s talking about the dome," the person says. 

Text over the video reads: "We live under a dome."

The video goes on to show scenes from different movies, such as "Hunger Games" and "Godzilla vs. Kong" that the post says "portray a dome."

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Some people who believe that the Earth is flat think it’s under a dome. In a 2020 interview with Scientific American, Michael Marshall, project director of the Good Thinking Society, a United Kingdom-based charity that aims "to promote science to challenge pseudoscience," said the idea that the Earth is a disc housed under a dome "goes back to the biblical idea of the firmament from and being the roof on top of the world." 

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But Clinton wasn’t talking about this theory in her 2016 speech.

Rather, she was alluding to the challenges women face. 

The phrase "glass ceiling" was first used by workplace advocate Marilyn Loden at a women’s business conference in 1978, and it became a metaphor for the struggles women encounter as they try to progress in their careers.

Loden spoke about how her company had tapped her to explore why more women weren’t entering management positions, The Washington Post reported in 2018, and "she had gathered enough data that she felt confident the problem extended beyond what her colleagues were wearing or saying."

The paper quoted Loden saying that "it seemed to me there was invisible barrier to advancement that people didn't recognize" — the "glass ceiling."  

Clinton’s comments right before the moment in the Instagram clip enforce that this is what she was talking about, not a glass dome over the Earth. 

"To all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me," Clinton said. "I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion." 

We rate claims she was talking about a dome over the Earth as Pants on Fire!


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Clinton was talking about the “glass ceiling” women face in the society — not a dome over the Earth

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