The Women’s March

fullsizeoutput_3aafYesterday was historic to say the least. More than a million people in over 670 locations world wide marched to bring awareness to human rights, particularly women’s rights, at the start of Trump’s administration. In fact, more people participated in the march on Washington alone than attended the Inauguration.

My two friends and I headed downtown to show our support. Though it was quite a feat getting there, including an intense search for parking and a crowded subway ride, the atmosphere was electric with positive energy. On the way there, I heard a dad saying to his little girl, “You are making a difference in your city, your country and your world today sweetie.” My heart melted.

There were men, women and children of all stripes and walks of life taking part. We marched from Pershing Square to City Hall, chanting and dancing along to music. There was even a group of Native American dancers performing amidst the crowd. I was blown away by the creativity of people’s signs and outfits. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see:fullsizeoutput_3aa9fullsizeoutput_3aac^My first time on the metro in LAfullsizeoutput_3aadfullsizeoutput_3aaefullsizeoutput_3ab0fullsizeoutput_3ab5fullsizeoutput_3ab8fullsizeoutput_3ab9^So powerfulfullsizeoutput_3abafullsizeoutput_3abdfullsizeoutput_3abefullsizeoutput_3ac1fullsizeoutput_3ac2fullsizeoutput_3ac6^These ladies dressed as tampons!fullsizeoutput_3ac7fullsizeoutput_3ace^City Hallimg_3624fullsizeoutput_3acf^Probably my favorite sign of the day. Carrie Fisher would be proud!fullsizeoutput_3ad3^The girl(s) with the power!fullsizeoutput_3ad4As Michelle Obama so eloquently said:

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”

Now I’m off to take a nap– fighting the patriarchy is exhausting! Have a good one friends.

P.s. Feel free to read this article if you want more info!

our job

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I express myself best through writing. And as a writer, this quote from Toni Morrison stood out to me in particular:

This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!

She hit the nail on the head. So, partly as catharsis and partly as responsibility, I will try to write about my feelings after the election.

I am mourning the loss of Hilary Clinton today largely because of its deep held symbolism for me. Yes, I believe she was the most qualified candidate and possibly female politician alive today. No, I didn’t agree with all of her policies and choices. Yes, it did matter to me that Clinton was a female. When she left the stage after her concession speech, it was as if she symbolically left the public stage forever. And that is a huge setback for the groups and causes she has fought for her entire adult life. As this article put it,

“To many of us, Mrs. Clinton was representative of every woman who’d been talked over or overlooked for a job, had her qualifications questioned, or been called a “bitch.” She was those times I was told I needed to be ‘nice’ and she stood for those women who were told they didn’t look like engineers (or in her case, presidential).”

It meant the world to me that our current president campaigned so hard for her, as he wants his two young daughters to have a female role model who doesn’t apologize for how hard she has worked but instead is admired and lauded for it.

This was my first election, and it taught me a lot. Perhaps most of all, it taught me discernment about when to speak and when to stay silent. For the past year and a half or so of this election cycle, it seems everyone has been determined to have their voice heard. But my resolution moving forward is to speak less and truly listen more. So yes I am still sad, but ultimately grateful to live in a country that allows its citizens to freely and peaceably choose their leader. Every time I look at Trump, I will be reminded of that truth. I will strive to be reminded of the power of democracy and the people’s voice. They have spoken, now it’s my turn to listen.

Tomorrow I pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to work because, after all, “that’s our job!”

 

My First Time Voting!

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I voted for the first time today, and the significance is not lost on me. How lucky are we to live in a country where we have the power to choose who leads us? In January, the most powerful country in the world will peacefully transfer power from one person to the next, no violence necessary. That is unprecedented in most of history. This election has been particularly divisive, but at the end of the day we should all be grateful to call ourselves Americans. No matter how far apart we stand on certain issues, surely we can unite in our love of democracy and respect for the office of president.

Get out there and exercise your hard-won right! Stay strong, be kind, celebrate this historic moment.

The Generational Divide Among Female Voters

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I don’t usually write about politics on this blog (or in general!) but I thought I’d give it a shot. Here goes:

One would think all women would unequivocally support the first female candidate with a real shot at the White House. This is what we’ve been fighting for for decades, is it not? The problem is, some of us have been fighting for it longer and harder than others.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College Poll in New Hampshire, “Some 64% of women Democratic voters younger than 45 backed Bernie Sanders, while just 35% supported Clinton…When it comes to women 45 and older, Clinton leads Sanders by 9 percentage points.”

While any woman with half a brain knows sexism is not dead, the older generation feels it more severely than the younger. As a 20 year old college student, I have not yet had my first ‘real’ job, and have therefore only heard stories about the pay gap, lack of female leadership or subpar maternity benefits in the workplace. I have not experienced these things first hand.

Women in the generations above mine, however, have been working for years in environments that support men’s dreams above their own. They’ve been waiting an eternity and they are fed up. They want to see a female in the White House during their lifetime, and are not willing to wait another four to eight years.

That sense of urgency is missing among my peers, who may no longer see feminism as a burning issue in today’s society. According to Lori Day, 52 year old psychologist and author interviewed in this CNN article, “We don’t take for granted any of the progress she [Clinton] helped create because we know that we could lose it, and if a Republican wins the White House, we will…Younger women have no collective memory of this, and they do tend to take things like birth control and legal abortion for granted, simply because these things have always existed in their lifetimes.”

However, statements like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other” at a recent Clinton rally are not going over well with younger women, who refuse to vote for her based solely on gender. They argue that one’s gender is not what makes them a feminist, it is more than that.They will vote for a candidate based on policy, not anatomy.

Baby boomers and women of my mother’s generation have spent years of their lives watching Hilary break new ground for women as a first lady, senator and Secretary of State. They view her as a pioneer of sorts, and her ascension to the oval office would be the final step in that collective climb. But many women my age are supporting Bernie Sanders because on his focus on issues facing Millennials, namely college tuition, student debt and minimum wage reform. And although he is a 74 year old white male, he seems oddly more relatable than Hilary in many ways. Janis Brett Elspas, a 59 year old business owner and mother adds, “I also think Hillary’s own age may simply have less appeal and relevancy to those female voters who are much younger than she is.”

In a race that has been largely characterized by inner-party fighting and juvenile name calling, it is important to remember to support one another in our decisions. We as woman do not have to agree on which candidate is best suited for the job– that is the true beauty of democracy after all– but we can agree to work together for the greater good in any ways we can. Because at the end of the day, we all share the experience of being a women in America, and that is something far more unifying than a politician could ever be.

P.s. What did you think? And photo from here