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Submitted by Virginia Watts on Thu, 11/10/2016 - 12:30

We certainly had them, didn't we? So many great and grand much hope..

We knew the gift we had been longing for, working for, was really, really within our reach and we just had to wait patiently until we could open it. Until we could own it.          medium_P1160104.JPG

Then the day came. We lifted the lid, and no, it's not at all what we wanted. It is a Pandora's box, pretending to be liberation and empowerment. Instead we got patriarchy, prejudice, and disdain flying out of that brightly wrapped package. Not what any of us wanted, not at all.

We worked so hard and had been so patient. What we got was a return ticket back to 1960s complete with all the baggage we thought we'd left behind for good.  

We've already been back there. We've already fought the battle for the right to make decisions about our own body, to make sure everyone in our community, our world, is valued, appreciated. We already know what it's like to be invisible in the conversation politic. And we really, really thought there was no going back. We wanted something very different to be in that beautifully wrapped gift.

Then we realize that it never should have been something that was a reward for hard work. It was something that should have been ours from the beginning. A fully enfranchised, equally powerful energized person in this big world was what we wanted not just for women, but for everyone. True, too often we heard the words, even from our mothers or our sisters, "Well -- you're a woman. That's just how the world works. You have to cope with it, it's going to happen." IT being any kind of abuse we had to suffer from belittling, unwanted touching, lower pay, being second or third in the economic struggle, taking orders, shutting up, not getting a place at the table. We knew these things were true for so many women and men who were disenfranchised. 

This year, for sure, we thought things were changing. We knew there was going to be such a mighty change in the world that there would be a clean sweep of prejudice, separation and hatred. We thought there was going to be a symbol of such strength and power at the very top of the political spectrum that generations of wrong-thinking would be set right.

So now we grieve. Our bodies feel stunned, numb, violated.

How many times do we have to fight this battle. How many times do we have to struggle to dig ourselves out of this hole, only to be pushed back down?

Will there be a bright future in my lifetime? Or will the only meaning be the very act of struggling? We've pushed that rock up the mountain for so many years. If we can't come together as one people and make some deep changes, it will one day crush us all. Then what?

I am trying to put my battle gear on once again. Maybe, after I get my wind back, I'll find a place where what I can give will be useful. We'll see.