Last Friday morning I was driving to work and found myself suddenly really angry.
This is not normal for me. Honestly, time alone in the car is some of my favorite time. I have control over the temperature. I get to pick the radio station (or flip through stations wondering if I’d really prefer to listen to the next song). I think through issues at work or the schedules for my kids. It’s Me Time. But Friday, I was angry.
And then I got to work and was given the gift of Ellen DeGeneres talking about Bic for Her. Pens for ladies.
Thank God for Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen helped me laugh. She nailed my anger and annoyance with the level of dialog about women and reminded me to laugh and continue to struggle.
As a woman and in my role at A Woman’s Place(AWP), I find myself hurtling through a range of emotions on a near daily basis as I listen to and watch the dialog about women. I am in awe of the strength of women like Tewa Women United, who despite a history of genocide have built a collective intertribal women’s voice committed to ending all forms of violence against Native women and girls. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with feelings of pride as I hear about the accomplishments of women recognized on Makers.com, a digital showcase of compelling stories from trailblazing women. I follow Half the Sky on Facebook and get to be connected to women worldwide like Edna Adan Somalilander who are working to improve maternal and infant health and fight the practice of genital mutilation. Then I turn on the news and am subjected to the inane debate about how much government should or should not be involved in the treatment and care of my female body. (In my opinion, insisting that I or my teenage daughter treat a brutal rape and resulting pregnancy like turning “a lemon situation into lemonade” seems like way too much government in my body and a real minimizing of rape.) Commentary like that rips me from my feelings of pride and plunges me into anger.
So thank God for Ellen Demergers who could pull me back into a productive place. Into a place where I remember that there is a movement of women who are demanding better treatment; a movement of women who are demanding equality. I don’t want to live well at the expense of anyone else. I want equal opportunity and access to a life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, Ellen. We still have a long way to go. Thank you for helping us to get there.
What can you do to achieve equality today?
Equality: A Woman’s Place believes each and every one of us must collaborate to create a new society based in equal power and rights.*
*excerpt from the Values Statement of A Woman’s Place
Ifeoma U. Aduba
Interim Executive Director