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We're Not Asking Anymore
Author: Raine    Date: 11/09/2017 14:09:00

Two days after our Virginian evolution I am still profoundly happy and optimistic for the future -- in spite of the wretchedness that is the majority party in Federal government and too many states (26). Something happened Tuesday. I don't think I'm the only one who didn't expect it. I was in shock and disbelief. When I woke up Wednesday morning I realized that -- it happened. I felt happy and relieved.

We are arriving. We are opening doors and making our voices heard. We are what we want this nation to look like. We are women. We are women of color. We are gay. We are straight. We are men of color. We are transgender. We are immigrants; We are Peruvian, Liberian, Sikh and Vietnamese. We are survivors of violence. We are everything that has been marginalized for hundreds of years. Tuesday was a watershed for this nation, and it was an off-year election. We have a long way to go and there is still much work to be done. For now, I think we deserve a moment to celebrate.

Would you like to know where are we not going?


Would you like to know how we are going to stay?


We are, as columnist Lindy West says, Brave Enough to be Angry.
We are expected to agree (and we comply!) with the paternal admonition that it is irresponsible and hyperemotional to request one female president after 241 years of male ones — because that would be tokenism, anti-democratic and dangerous — as though generations of white male politicians haven’t proven themselves utterly disinterested in caring for the needs of communities to which they do not belong. As though white men’s monopolistic death-grip on power in America doesn’t belie precisely the kind of “identity politics” they claim to abhor. As though competent, qualified women are so thin on the ground that even a concerted, sincere, large-scale search for one would be a long shot, and any resulting candidate a compromise.

Meanwhile, as a reminder of the bar for male competence, Donald Trump is the president.

Tuesday, voters — some angry, some hopeful despite themselves — went to the polls and told a different story: the first openly trans woman elected to the Virginia legislature, a surge of female Democratic candidates across the nation, many of them victorious.

I did not call myself a feminist until I was nearly 20 years old. My world had taught me that feminists were ugly and ridiculous, and I did not want to be ugly and ridiculous. I wanted to be cool and desired by men, because even as a teenager I knew implicitly that pandering for male approval was a woman’s most effective currency. It was my best shot at success, or at least safety, and I wasn’t sophisticated enough to see that success and safety, bestowed conditionally, aren’t success and safety at all. They are domestication and implied violence.

To put it another way, it took me two decades to become brave enough to be angry. Feminism is the collective manifestation of female anger.

They suppress our anger for a reason. Let’s prove them right.
Lindy was born in 1982. I was born in 1967. I grew up loving the idea of feminism and because of women like Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug. I didn't know the generation of women after mine had been taught that feminism was a bad thing. For myself, there was never a time after learning what it was, that I shied away from embracing feminism and everything it could provide.

It mostly provided me the opportunity to do anything. I was naive enough to not know that the reason why I didn't get a job was that I was a woman. I was naive enough to not think twice about applying for a job or taking a class was bold because I was a woman and women weren't supposed to do such things. I didn’t know that in my own small way I was rebelling and being something other than what was expected of me as a female. It may sound strange, but those were the days that I was blissfully ignorant. I truly believed that when I turned 50, the things I read in Ms. Magazine would be normal to everyone. It’s not.

We are still fighting for the same protections enjoyed by (mostly) white men in this nation. That’s not an attack; that is a simple truth. My teenage self never thought that I’d be writing something like this blog today.

I am so very glad that we are seeing hearts and minds changing in spite of the push-back from more patriarchal corners of our society. It's important. There has been a growing toxicity in the past decade or so that has reached (or is reaching) a tipping point.

We are not going back. We are done asking them to let us in. Truth be told, we never should have been forced to ask in the first place.

One more thing:

We’ll make sure there is room for everyone because being inclusive is just a wonderful beautiful thing.



25 comments (Latest Comment: 11/09/2017 21:57:44 by BobR)
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