Wow.

November 15, 2016

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Soooo…it’s been quite a week. Anybody else make the mistake of taking their daughter voting last week? “Nevermind! Turns out the country is a lot more sexist that we thought.” Whew! Glad I’m not the only one who screwed that up.

My 9 year-old cried bewildered tears Wednesday. This was a very black and white issue for her, and she is a sensitive soul. Naturally, I felt like crap for having exposed her to needless sadness. I just really, really thought she would value being able to tell her kids that she was there, for this important day. She pushed the button. Yes, I’m that idealistic. Wednesday morning we explained that, though it seems like people liked the bully more than the smart girl, there are many other things going on, and she was safe. I wish every mom could have been able to say that, Wednesday morning.

Policy, anti-establishment sentiment, those damn emails – these were all cited as justifications to vote for Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the multitudes cared more about those justifications than about saying “NO” to racism, sexism and a whole host of other crap we shouldn’t allow out of basic human decency. The prevalence of that mindset was not something I could previously conceive of in my NPR-listening, blue state-living, white, middle-class, privileged bubble. I didn’t realize that so many people actually thought policy was more important than people. Holy crap, America.

Thinking as a parent, since this is a parenting blog (most of the time), I’m offering the following: No, Clinton was not an ideal candidate with an ideal track record. There are NONE OF THOSE. They don’t exist. Ok, maybe Justin Trudeau. #dreamy The problem is that in this election we have journeyed past politics. We are now disassembling basic morality for our children. Think about what we teach kids: You treat people the way you want to be treated. You take care of people. You welcome new friends. Your body is yours alone, it is a good thing, and it should be respected. How about the one preschool teachers keep on repeat, all day: “Keep your hands to yourself!” Dear Donald, “grabbing” means you are doing it wrong. 

Not to mention the tired old slogan, “Girls can do anything boys can do.” *sigh* Hang on, girls. Change comes slow, but it does come. Look at where we started.

Speaking of girls, as Clinton was on Wednesday: “And — and to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” Forget the sadness that we have to state that at all. “Valuable” is my favorite word, here. I’m still more of a believer in the social commentary and symbolism of this election than in specifically electing Hillary Clinton – remember, I just wanted a girl to win, for once. I just thought this was immensely cool to hear. They knew, she knew, that little girls had serious stock in this election. And she asked them to hang on, too.

You know what else was cool? A friend of a friend of mine made a beautiful design of the above quote, and posted it on Facebook. I shared it, and the designer was kind enough to send me the high resolution version. I grabbed a frame, and this actually cheered my kid up. She moved a My Little Pony art project off the wall to make room for this! This was important stuff!!

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Thank you to Nataliemcguiredesign.com for this lovely print. You do good work, girl!

Moving forward, I’m choosing to be hopeful and expect the best from people, including President-Elect Trump and his future cabinet appointees. I’m going to repeat the closing of my previous post. I’m praying it’s still true, though now it refers to a different “someone”. We’ve done enough of tearing people down. It’s my fervent hope as a mom and teacher that tomorrow our nation will raise up someone who will makes it their job to raise up others.

Also, I’m posting a link to a wonderful article containing the names of non-profits. If you liked this post, chances are you will find one whose ideals you agree with. If you’re feeling powerless in the wake of last week, and looking for something to do to feel more empowered, donating to any of these amazing charities is a great way to feel like you, too, are valuable.

Click here for the list of charities. Thank you.

 

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ALL the way up!

November 7, 2016

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At a BBQ in 2013 we were discussing politics. Yes, that was stupid. 

I said that if Hillary Clinton ran for president, as we knew she was planning, I would vote for her. When asked why, I gave the shallow, flippant answer,  “Because she’s a woman, that’s why!” 😛 I may literally have stuck my tongue out at this point in the conversation. I know. I was promptly told that was a stupid reason to vote for someone. By a man….Hmmm…

Flash forward to this torturous election year, and you’d think I’d have many more responsible-grown-up, platform-y justifications for my vote for Hillary Clinton. I do, but that’s not important.

Truth be told, I was a Bernie girl on a lot of policy points. I didn’t agree with Clinton on everything. However, I conceded early that Secretary Clinton is pretty much over-qualified for this job for which she’s applying. Then we got into thick of it, and learned that the republican candidate mocked the body of a woman representing his own organization by calling her Miss Piggy, blatantly insinuated that a well-spoken news anchor must be on her period, and has bragged proudly about sexually assaulting women.

Yeah… I’m gonna go ahead and vote for Secretary Clinton because she’s a girl.

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If I delved into even the shallowest detail of the sexism, marginalization, and disenfranchisement of women – just since the election started – this post would exceed WordPress limits. I’m not going there. I’m going to the polls.

Tomorrow I’m taking my oldest daughter with me to our voting place, first thing in the morning. (She has a doctor appointment at 10:00, and I took a half day off work for it anyway. Hooray for timing!)

Now, my fourth grader has had a small share of crap from boys, my daughter. She’s been told she can’t do/like/play certain things because she’s a girl, mostly. When that happens I remind her that they’re clearly ignorant, and buy her another Mario/Minecraft T-Shirt. Of course, she’s experienced girls’ meanness too, and more often. There’s been Friendship Drama, Cliques and Clubs, you name it. I’m sure my kid is also far from blameless in the girl wars; this is fourth grade. The social affiliations and tear-downs have begun.

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Why bother taking the nine year-old to stand in line at our town’s dank senior center when she could be home enjoying a stolen morning of watching TV? Because women’s rights are human rights. Because this is a behavior I want to model for her – not just voting, but supporting people. Because tomorrow, my kid is going to watch her Mom pull a lever and raise another woman up. ALLLLLLLL the way up.

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We’ve done enough of tearing people down. It’s my fervent hope as a mom and teacher that tomorrow our nation will raise up someone who will makes it their job to raise up others. 

 

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