For women, the past few weeks have consisted of being told what they can and cannot do, and how they should think about certain subjects. Well, as of very early Wednesday morning, we stood up together and shouted “another four years forward!”
Throughout this election, it seemed to me that Republican candidates and pundits have been putting women in a box that we haven’t seen in decades. Whether it was telling us that “rape is God intended” or we are “sluts” if we use contraceptives or that we are jumbled all together in binders, it has been a long haul.
I for one was getting sick of it.
I did what I could to engage people in conversations; I put a ton of statistics and quotes up on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and screamed “keep your vote out of my uterus.” But in the end, it seemed bleak. I was nervous we were going to lose all of our rights that we hold to be true and just.
Then, at 2 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, I was able to regain hope in our society because I found out that I was not the only one that was fed up with the system. Women and men stood up together and re-elected a President that would keep issues that mean the most to us, front and center.
We not only re-elected the first African American President. We elected a record number of women to the U.S. Congress, the first openly gay senator, the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the Senate, an all female delegation to represent New Hampshire, and we voted for four states to enact marriage equality! In Pennsylvania alone, we voted for the first woman to be elected to serve as Pennsylvania attorney general. These are HUGE strides.
I am not saying that we are done, or that the glass ceiling is shattered. Women are still making only 77 cents to a man’s dollar, and even with there being a record number of women in Congress, the number is only at 19, but these are concrete strides.
For those of you who are unhappy with the election results, I am sorry. But I think I speak for women everywhere when I say “woohoo!” I promise you that this world will be a better place because equality for all is gaining momentum. The more we all work together, regardless of political affiliation, and the more we all appreciate one another, the greater of a nation we will become.
I leave you with a quote that the President said in his acceptance speech last night.
“Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.”