WOMEN OF THE MOVEMENT: 2018

The 2018 midterm election is weeks away. If you follow me on social media, you know I am an outspoken activist, a political junkie, history buff and a museum dweller. Right now is the time. So many brave men and women led and protested, even lost their lives for the right to vote. I try to be as civically engaged as possible. From working the phone banks to marching and of course voting. SO here I am, doing my part and using my tiny little platform to persuade you to join the fight for democracy!

I am old enough to remember 1991 and 1997, I remember it well. I was a little girl, I remember asking my mom about “pubic hair.” Why do you ask? Well, I was watching the Clarence Thomas vs. Anita Hill hearings on tv and the man allegedly” spoke of his penis size and pubic hairs then placed them on her can of Coke. Shortly after, I remember laying on my belly, my chin resting on my left hand, my right hand scribbling in a coloring book while my feet sway back and forth. I was watching Designing Women and the ladies were debating the same hearings. The news was everywhere, it was a scandal and a new term, “Sexual Harassment” was born. Then of course, there was Monica.

While women have been victims of sexual harassment and sexism since the dawn of time this is not something we should have to endure or shrug off as a part of life or be accepted as a part of male behavior.

I have been in the workforce for over 20 years, I’ve been a hostess, a waitress, a flight attendant and a freelance makeup artist. All of those jobs are jobs where I experienced, first hand, sexual harassment and wildly inappropriate behavior from men in the workplace. Why didn’t I report it? Say something? So. Many. Reasons.

The U.S. is under a reckoning, a self admitted sexual predator has ascended to the highest office in the land and is on his way to nominating another man (the second man) accused of unwanted sexual behavior with a woman.

Trump’s election for ALL that is vile has opened a space for women and women of color to run for office to represent and defend women.

Emily’s List, which has raised more than $500 million over three decades to help bridge the gender gap in Democratic politics. This year, the group has collected $6.5 million from individual donors on behalf of candidates. The number of women in politics has grown steadily over time and the Women’s March accelerated the trend.

Since then, Emily’s List has heard from more than 36,000 women interested in running for office, compared with less than 1,000 over the previous two years.

The number of women from both parties running for the House, Senate and governor in 2018 is a higher than ever, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Barack Obama stated explicitly, “elections have consequences.” We know! Women can no longer afford to leave politics to someone else.

In 2018, like the song goes, “Sisters are doin it for themselves” we can also quote Queen Bey and ask the rhetorical  “Who run this?” I’ve got the answer right here! This year seventy-three Democratic women have been nominated for House seats so far in 2018. There are some very notable women in this lengthy list.

Abby Finkenauer – Iowa: She’s 29 and wants to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Gina Ortiz Jones – Texas: A former Air Force officer would be the first lesbian, Iraq War vet and Filipina to represent Texas in Congress.

Deb Haaland – New Mexico: An activist who would become the first Native American woman in Congress. Literally, “Taking her country back.”

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 Christine Hallquist, Vermont became the first Transgender governor in history. Ilhan Omar is a Somali-American politician from Minnesota and became the first Somali-American legislator, and Jahana Hayes, a first-time candidate and National Teacher of the Year recipient who would be the first black Democrat elected to Congress in her state.

There is so much going on in politics and it’s incredible! I hope this is exciting and we are moving forward in protest and progress - not fear. We can and we should!

On my grandmother’s living room floor, I watched tv through the 90’s and was inspired by powerful women in politics on and off screen. My grandmother was an educator. Before my eyes she ran a successful campaign, and was elected city council woman in her city of Seguin, Texas.

Texas for all of it’s right winged politics was also the home of Barbara Jordan was the first black woman from Texas elected to the senate in the same state Ann Richards was elected governor and in 2018 might turn blue.

If women continue to take action, run for office and vote this November we could see the greatest change in history. Let’s work together to get back on the right track in 2018 and beyond!

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