Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Future is Female

"I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now." -Hillary Clinton
It was hard to face my students today. (Since there was no school yesterday, today was the first day we were all together since the election.) "Trump won," a student said in Second Hour, her eyes wide behind her glasses. I nodded. "I'm not happy about it." I agreed that few people around us were. We're lucky - we live in a very blue city, one that now feels safer for me and my black, brown, LGBTQ, Muslim, and disabled students than my home state does - but that doesn't mean we're off the hook for making changes in our communities.

Tomorrow, I'll start sharing the resources I've been collecting to help anyone else who refuses to sit back and let our country erase years of progress. Today, small victories and reasons why the future is female.

First, some good news. Six women who DID shatter the glass ceiling when they were elected on Tuesday. Hopefully one or more of them make a presidential run some day. 2020 wouldn't be too soon.

"Sitting on the sidelines and not participating is not an option, even when you’re afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing."  As a white woman, I have to own up to the fact that white women are a part of the problem - especially in the mess of this election. We're not above reproach just because we're still fighting for our own rights. In fact, it's even more important for us (white women) to be allies to people of color while recognizing they've been fighting for women and minorities longer and harder than we have.

Watching this history of women running for president first made me tear up. Then it made me angry. Then it made me want to do something. Like write this. And encourage every qualified woman I know to run for office.

Someday this Milennial map might become the norm, but first young voters need to show up. I'm heartened by the fact that many of the 8th grade students I work with will be old enough to vote in our next election. And while it was hard to see all of their confused and angry and disappointed faces today, I know they're counting down to 2020 right along with me.

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