There is only the trying


Issues, Women's Issues / Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

I watched the Golden Globes last night, I saw Oprah’s speech, I saw all the reactions on Twitter and read articles about the Time’s Up movement. At the same time I’m currently reading Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened, and delving back into the campaign that was.

I read an article about the men who chose not to talk about what all the women in the room were talking about and saw a comment from a man about the article – women tell us to just listen and then get mad when we don’t talk.

There is a difference. Those men could have invited activists as their guests, just like the women did, and highlighted that work. The men who won and had microphones thrust in front of them could have foregone thanking their agents and instead brought up the issue of the evening, or just said thank you and walked backstage so there would be more time for the women, so the women would be the focus.

I was reading an essay in Nasty Women, and the writer said that privilege white men have always played white women off black men, letting them fight over a small slice of power, leaving black women in the middle of that battle. And I cried. There are a lot of great essays, but the effort that women have to go through to explain why we are being hurt and why Trump is bad is exhausting. It feels like sometimes the white men with the power just want to misunderstand.

And tonight I sat back for a moment and just felt rage. Just a few minutes of rage and tears.

There is nothing here that I don’t already know. I know that women face questions men would never face no matter what position they’re in. I know women are forced to do more to get less and smile all the while so they’re not accused of being a bitch.

I know this, I feel it, I see it. But sometimes you have to take a breath and feel it before you can start fighting again.

When I went to read my daughter her bedtime story I told her that I was glad she’s a girl and that we need more women like us in the world. Brave, strong and smart. I cried and she hugged me. She said she was glad she was born in a time when she’s allowed to go to school and I told her that still in this world there are girls who have to fight for that. We talked about Malala and I told her Malala was in university now. She was shocked that Malala was still alive and I realized that she thought that story happened long ago. I told her that Malala is about 20 right now, and that she was 13 or 14, I thought, when she was shot.

“So… that wasn’t really that long ago?”

No, my love, it wasn’t.

2 Replies to “There is only the trying”

  1. I want you to know how very much I appreciate this post.

    It's excellent.

    I am exhausted.

    I have vowed to be more outwardly positive (as is my nature, really) in 2018. This does not negate the fact that I am exhausted.

    Thank you for sharing this post.

    A teeny FYI: There is a Children's Lit version of Malala's story. My daughter and her best friend loved it to pieces. It tells Malala's story, but (perhaps, obviously) doesn't go into the same level of detail as "I am Malala". Highly recommended.

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