I decided to start a detox cleanse the morning of Election Day. Not the best move I’ve ever made. I felt horribly from noon on due to caffeine withdrawal. By evening, the raw fruits and veggies in my gut and horrible election updates coming from my husband caused an all-out take down of my being. I went to bed early hoping the outcome would be different. I woke up a couple of hours later to the election results.
After watching CNN’s version of how did we get it so wrong, I tried to go back to sleep, unsuccessfully. With my tummy no longer aching, my headache gone, I seemed to be very clear. I felt an internal war cry to protest everything DJT. Everything.
Something even more important, though, emerged in the stillness of the night. A question. Why are we, women, still so powerless? Why do we tolerate less pay? Why do we feel fortunate to get 6 weeks paid maternity leave for conceiving a child? Why so few spots on executive boards? Why continued under representation in Congress?
I happened to see Michael Moore’s documentary, Where to Invade Next, just before the election. The movie reminded me women in Europe are anything but powerless. Further, they are respected. Many of our counterparts around the world are powerful and respected. Just think about the fact that American women voted for DJT, even though he said he could grab their vaginas if he felt like it. I’m sure there were many other reasons behind their decision to vote. But the fact remains, the US just elected an unqualified misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, pathological liar, climate denier instead of highly intelligent, capable (and powerful) woman. Why?
We are the largest and most powerful group of consumers, not our 18-24 year old sons. We are entrusted to give birth to children, not our husbands. We have tremendous capacity (and inclination) to create short and long term solutions to problems. Period. We are educated, concerned and engaged. And truly powerful.
Deep down we must be afraid of something. (Men must be afraid of something, too.) This fear must give rise to our complacency. Why don’t we organize? Women overseas would never tolerate 6 weeks paid maternity leave. Many get a year. Seriously. Why are we so complacent with less pay for the same job? Why should women have to give up or limit having children in order to maintain career advancements? (Of the S&P 500, 20 CEOs are women, just 4%.) Why do we continue to tolerate less, like mindless drones? There have to be millions of queen bees out there.
The first problem is we aren’t organized. This needs to change. Collectively, we are extremely powerful. Second, we often distract ourselves with petty grievances. We get caught up in bullshit nothing that we somehow convince ourselves is the end all be all. Our neighbors, that child in my son’s class, a perceived slight, office gossip, a coach, the principal, a posting and on and on we go. The election brought me focus. No more bullshit. No more hashing out old grievances and scenarios in my mind. I don’t have time for it any more.
I understand many women accept financial trade-offs at work for the flexibility to work from home, leave early or continue being involved at school. But again I ask the question, “Why?” Why should we take less? Why should we have to compromise? Who’s making these payroll, advancement and quality of life decisions? It isn’t some authority in the sky. Men can’t go out and have their own babies. So why should we compromise? If anything, we should be compensated more. Many of us are HR executives. 50% of women are in leadership roles, right? I know that the powerlessness isn’t just about maternity leave. I am not suggesting it is. We will be equal when we are done accepting anything less than total mutual respect, compensation and full participation in key decision-making. What will it take for this to happen?
A universal, united female shove. We need to organize now. We need to support one another. We need to get to know each other professionally, creating income-based alliances. We are far more likely to support women and enterprises we know. We need to root each other on. Period. We need to shop intelligently. We need to drop the pettiness. I recommend everyone see Michael Moore’s movie. It literally lays out a blue print for us. Join women’s circles. The election happened and we can’t go back to sleep. I am not.
I could be wrong but I think we would be sadly mistaken to think anyone is going to hand us the rights we so deserve. We need to fight for them. We need to hunker down and head to the trenches, united in our mission. We need to take to the streets again and again and again until our demands are met. In Europe women refused to work until changes were made.
Many of us have been physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually hurt by men. There are solid reasons for these deeper fears we hold, not to mention our history. We must look at our fears. The only way out is through. The way through is literally through feeling the feelings (and now through action). The fear and panic will subside when you make the decision to focus your efforts, so this part of history no longer repeats, for it is no longer relevant. We have no time to waste as our Mother Earth is also in need of our support.
As a result of the election, my weekly meditation and healing is completely dedicated to restoring power. We lose power due to difficult experiences in our lives and limiting belief systems. Once power is restored, fear and limitations become irrelevant. We can change everything for our ourselves and future generations. The world will be a much better place when the United States of America is governed equally by women and men. We have nothing better to focus on, frankly.
Do you know what your true life’s work is? If you are on that path, I would like to support you. If you don’t know what it is, start asking how you are best meant to serve now. I would like to support you as well. I can help with vision, strategy and limitations holding you back. The time is now for our uncompromising commitment to change.
I believe in you.