- Inauguration Day Advent, Day 1-Prompt Provided by Leah Wolff-Pellingra
(Over the last four years, we have been made to feel acutely vulnerable as women, individually and collectively-for our gender, our choices, our bodies, our love and our beliefs. Yet, individually and collectively, we have been empowered to find our own voices and to raise them up for the sake of change. What is the power in a voice that allows itself to be vulnerable?)
I will never forget the feeling of the world as we shuffled about on the morning of November 5th, 2016.
Donald Trump had been elected president and I remember the first thought that ran across my mind. The same thought that ran across the minds of many women that day: what will happen to our rights?
Little did I know that women all across the country would soon begin asking this same question. This election had much more meaning than just who would preside over our country.
This election meant that a man could attack a woman based upon her race, her sexual orientation, her position of power, and her body parts and not be held accountable. The voters decided that these acts of racism, sexism and discrimination were not heinous enough to exclude someone from the highest position of power in the nation.
This election also gave us megaphones for our proud, empowered voices. This election brought us together as a collective of powerful and vulnerable women who reached higher than the hate could touch.
Attacks on Women’s Bodies and Choices
The past four years have seen quite the assault on abortion rights from state to state. While Roe v. Wade ensures that, nationally, abortion remains legal, each state sets the boundaries around HOW and WHEN an abortion can be obtained.
Let us take Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia for example.
All three of these states legally allow a woman to have an abortion. These states also require you to obtain abortion counseling and then implement a 24–72 hour wait between counseling and actual abortion.
All three of these states have insurance plans that will cover abortions. None of those insurance plans include the state-funded insurance covered under the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare.
Attacks on Transgender Women and Protections
This administration has shown which side of the fence they stand on regarding transgender women and their protections under the law time and time again these past four years.
In July of 2017, President Trump publicly disgraced all of our transgender women and men in the military. His administration moved forward with a ban on all transgender service members serving in any branch of the military.
In October of the same year, The Trump Administration reversed a policy that provided non-discrimination protections for transgender individuals in the workplace.
I have no political facts or witty rhetoric here to fill the space. I only have one point to make: What type of soul can take away protections from human life when there is no threat posed by allowing these protections?
Attacks on our Power
Women in positions of power within Congress seem to threaten the incumbents who have held these offices for decades. This statement follows suit with the way in which our president has treated women in positions of power since he obtained his own office of power.
In July of 2019, Trump sent out a tweet targeting four progressive women of color within Congress. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley were the assumed targets of this hateful tweet, even though they were not mentioned by name.
This tweet outlined the president’s thoughts on these four amazing women who stood up for the indecencies that no one else would. He insinuated that the countries these women came from needed them more than the US and that they should go back to where they came from.
All four of these women are US citizens. This is their country.
I have searched for reasons as to why an adult male would feel the need to verbally attack four adult females in such a childish manner. I came across something that struck me as interesting during this research.
Masculine Anxiety Disorder, otherwise known as MAD, is the notion that men become uncomfortable and angered when women are powerful and high achievers. Especially if these women are doing so in a male-dominated environment.
Is it just a coincidence that Mr. Trump may have felt unduly threatened by these young, progressive, and powerful women because he suffers from some level of MAD? I shall leave the speculation up to you.
I thank this administration. I thank them for the push, the spark, the fire-the literal salt in wound reaction we needed to rise up and make a difference.
And make a difference we did.
This is the number of congressional seats filled by female candidates since 2016. Congress has seen a record number of female running candidates as well as elected officials. In 2018, more women were elected to Congress than any other year since Congress began meeting.
This beautiful soul, who you may know from her work with the Human Rights Campaign, made history this year. On November 4th, 2020, Sarah McBride was elected to the Senate in the state of Delaware. She is now serving as the first transgender female senator.
November 7th, 2020
I woke up this morning to find our country had prevailed and we had elected a new president. More importantly, to me, though was the election of our vice president. On this date, we announced that we the people had chosen the first female, Asian, and black vice president in our history. We had somehow finally seen fit to brandish the highest offices of power with women who represented our country as the melting pot it is.
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” — Audre Lorde
Our work here is not done. We came together through this election and we need to carry this enthusiasm into all the other facets of our country that are broken. I say we because WE are the only ones with the power. USE THIS POWER!
This administration showed us all the ways in which women were vulnerable. We are vulnerable when we speak out against our oppressors. We are vulnerable when we do not allow our skin color to determine our tone of voice or words spoken. We are vulnerable when we choose to decide what happens to our bodies. And for four years, they have spun this as a character flaw in us.
Honey, they are so wrong about that.
I choose to be both powerful and vulnerable. I openly admit my fears moving forward and my will to fight. I embrace my shaky hands that lift a sign in the air of justice. My tears will fall proudly in the wake of women everywhere gaining their voice within their vulnerability. I love all the parts of me that tremble at the thought of one more day with you as my president because they are the match that ignites the fire.
A Nasty Woman.