It’s not over: we have work to do

This past Tuesday, I dug a long- forgotten pantsuit out of my closet to wear to what I thought – what millions of us thought – would be a momentous celebration. We all thought we would be celebrating the election of the first woman president of the United States.

My pantsuit, and those of millions of other women in this country, represented so much to us. It represented the power of women. It represented the cracking of that glass ceiling. It represented the knocking down of so much misogyny and discrimination.

I can’t say what went wrong. I am not a pollster nor a data statistician. I do know that I spent as many hours as I could – without ruining my marriage – at the Hillary campaign office, making phone calls and typing data. Again, millions of others just like me also volunteered hours of their lives to ensure that Hillary would enter the White House.

I can’t say that we were too sure of ourselves. We worked until the last minute. We urged people to get out and vote. We were hopeful, but that’s not a bad thing.
When I finally got back home on Tuesday night, I was sick to my stomach.

I was dizzy and nauseous. I was shaking. But at some point during the middle of the night, I woke up and told myself that I could not go on like this. Yes, I was terribly disappointed. But I would not allow “that man” to dictate how I would live my life. I would not allow him to push me down to the depths of despair.

I personally don’t have patience for doomsayers. At this point, none of us
really knows what will happen. I do know that we will have work to do and I am ready for the challenges. For now, I’ve decided to take some time to spend with my husband and to regroup. I think we all need to take a short break. We need time to mourn and address the major loss we have just suffered. We will know soon enough what we will have to deal with. For the future, I believe that the best way to move forward is to work on a local and state-wide basis.

I am 66 years old. I’ve lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, the Kent State murders, Watergate, and George W. Bush. I’m not naive enough to think that Trump will be a walk in the park. I do think we have to be realistic and be ready for what lies ahead. I believe that the best way to move forward is to work on a local and state¬wide basis. I’ve been suggesting to people who ask that they should get involved with their local Democratic Parties, and to join organizations such as NOW and the Federation of Democratic Women.

In 1972, I went on a job interview at one of the tire factories in Akron, Ohio. I was 21 years old. During my interview, the woman in Human Resources asked me how bad my cramps were each month. I needed a job very badly, but I walked out of her office. I have heard stories just like this and worse from other women.

It is so heartbreaking that we haven’t finally broken that glass ceiling. Yes, Hillary was judged differently because she was a woman. I do believe, however, that this campaign has been a wake-up call for women. So many women – especially young women and girls – got involved in Hillary’s campaign. These women and girls are not going away. We need to mobilize and organize.

I plan on going to Washington, D.C. for the “Million Women March on D.C.” on January 21st. I hope you will join me.

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