It’s hard for me to see the upside to this election, especially having gone into it with so much hope and inspiration. I couldn’t wait to inform my daughters of the momentous result, which I hoped to them would seem small and insignificant by the time they heard and understood it. Much like we cannot fathom a world pre- Brown v. Board of Ed. or Loving v. Virginia, I hoped that my girls wouldn’t be able to comprehend a world where people are unable to marry the person they love, or a world where the white male always wins — even if he’s so clearly under-qualified for the position. Unfortunately, that world did not come to exist the other night. Instead, a silent, hateful minority finally made their voices heard, and equality and inclusion lost the day.
It’s hard to know how to proceed. So much of what is before us is unknown.
In speaking with a mama friend yesterday who has a daughter just a few weeks younger than Prim, she asked, “What do we tell our daughters?” We were both at a loss and instead simply sat in silence with tears in our eyes. Luckily I don’t have to tell my girls anything yet. As a mama I will do everything I can to fiercely shield and protect them from the hatred, racism and misogyny that our new leader represents. While they are still little I create their world, and no one — and certainly no man — will take that away from me.
For now, I will continue to raise my girls to be willful, opinionated, free and fierce. I will not silence them to make others more comfortable, just as my own mother would not (and still will not) be silenced. I was raised to be strong, forthright, and resilient, and I expect nothing less of my girls. If I make you uncomfortable because I’m not silent — good. I am educated, opinionated, and unwilling to sit on the sidelines. If you cross me or those that I hold close, I will bare my teeth (and my extensive knowledge of the law and the finer points of the English language).
I am here, I am bossy, and I am not backing down. And I am just one of the many. If this scares you — good, because you are who we are coming for, and you wouldn’t believe our strength and our stamina. I have carried life inside me and clawed my way through pain and circumstance far worse than this. I am the woman of today and I am raising the women of tomorrow, and I’m telling you now — we will prevail, so get behind us or get out of the way.
And while the wound is still fresh and the future unknown, I will continue to tell myself and the women around me this:
“Woman Warriors have always made beautiful worlds out of nothing.
Every time a child gets sick or a man leaves or a parent dies or a community crumbles, the women are the ones who carry on, who do what must be done in the midst of their own pain. While those around them fall away, the women hold the sick and nurse the the weak, put food on the table, carry their families’ sadness and anger and love and hope. They keep showing up for their lives and their people with the odds stacked against them and the weight of the world on their shoulders. They never stop singing songs of truth, love, and redemption in the face of hopelessness. They are inexhaustible, ferocious, relentless.
We’ve been Warriors all along, and nothing will change that.
We are not what just happened. But we might be what we do next.
The world needs our relentless, inexhaustible, fierce, boundlessness love today more than it ever has before. So let’s do what we do: Let’s feed some hungry babies and clothe some hurting families and get the heat turned back on for as many as possible.”
– Glennon Doyle Melton
This is not the end. It is only the beginning.
The future is female.