Every cloud has a silver lining. I've heard that expression my entire life and have learned that there are times when it just isn't true. With the horrific daily news that is coming out of our nation's capital right now, it would seem that this would be one of those times. But in fact, the dark cloud of this presidency has produced the brightest silver lining that I have seen in my lifetime.
After the election I was concerned that women might be discouraged from running for public office and having a bigger voice in their communities. Witnessing the (often baseless) daily assault on Hillary Clinton was disheartening at best and infuriating at worst. I should have known that women will rise. Immediately after the election the organizations She Should Run and Emily's List, both of whom train women for public office, saw a meteoric rise in applicants. And of course the worldwide Women's March made history. Trump and his people dismissed the colossal event as a waste of time, a non-event. Women and girls continue to prove them wrong on a daily basis.
Organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) have received record dollars in donations. Women are attending town hall meetings, we are organizing, we continue to protest, and we answer and make calls to action. Clearly women are neither giving up nor are they going away. And it isn't just grown women who are energized. An entire generation of young women, many of whom aren't even of voting age, are engaged.
This story is but one example of hundreds of thousands of girls who will almost certainly be politically active for years to come. From Courtney in California:
"Harkening back to that horrible morning when we awoke to the dark dawn of the Trump presidency, what was most difficult and upsetting for me was how shocked and perplexed my 15 year old daughter was. How could this have happened? She was so upset in fact, that she didn’t want to go to school, or even leave the house. The deflation of this vibrant young spirit was heartbreaking to watch. In response, I thought it would be a good idea to find a gathering of like-minded souls to attend. Perhaps some comfort could be found. There was one such gathering scheduled to take place in a neighboring town that evening. I proposed attending, and she quickly accepted. As we arrived, we were met by many tiny lights in the darkness emanating from those gathered in the square in their sadness and fear. We joined the circle. People were taking turns sharing their feelings of incredulity, but also of hope and resolve given the events of the previous day. Finally the turn to speak came to my daughter. She is generally a pretty shy person, not one to draw attention to herself. She started to speak. She was angry, she was articulate, she was passionate. As I watched this young girl bravely and emotionally speak her truth in front of the gathered crowd, my heart swelled with hope and pride. I was watching an activist being born before my very eyes. This feeling has only grown and widened as we attend protests and marches promoting love, acceptance, and the rights of women along with the most vulnerable among us. The Women’s Movement has been a bit quiet over the last couple of decades, working to fully realize the new opportunities resulting from the battles fought in the 70’s and 80’s. Now, a new surge forward has begun, and our daughters will be at the head of the offensive, pushing us all forward to a new day."
The Women's Movement is experiencing a re-birth in a way. Young women and girls in this country have grown up with the general feeling that their rights are protected, that they are equal, and that for the most part those battles have been fought and won by bold women before them. It is unfortunate, to say the least, that they had to learn through the election of their president that misogyny is not only alive and well, but thriving in this country. Many girls didn't even know what that word meant, but now hear it on a nearly daily basis.
The four waves of feminism refer to the historic campaigns women have waged for equality, self protection, and value. The fifth wave is described as the "concept of future feminism." It looks as though the fifth wave has arrived and it will be a tsunami. Girls today are the silver lining and the future of feminism. A force has been awakened and they have the power, the knowledge, and the passion to resist and persist. An unexpected and absolutely necessary revelation.
Thank you for reading!
A special thank you to Courtney for submitting her story of a bold girl awakening. While she beautifully wrote her meaningful story herself, that is not a requirement for submission. If you know a girl or woman who is doing something bold, please submit contact information and tell me what she is up to by going back to the previous page or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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As always, please feel free to leave comments or suggestions below or via the email noted above. I'd love to hear from you. Please keep it positive and clean! If this isn't a vision that you share, just don't read it and certainly don't reply. This is a post for girls as well as women, not a place for political dissent, anger, or nastiness in any form. Thank you!