Have I been asleep? Just hitting the snooze alarm? Over and over and over. For years? I see my girls passionately being activists. Where did I go?
Things I rallied for as a young woman were obtained. Not everything. Not perfection. By far. But so much so that maybe I sat down. Maybe I went to sleep. Maybe I hit the snooze alarm. Comfy in a world that I had done my small part to help. So I hit snooze. Again and again.
Helped bring safety to victims of domestic violence. My small part. I’m proud to know that in many cities across the country it is now standard for police officers to receive training on domestic violence situations, and the training does not include taking the alleged perpetrator for a walk around the block to cool things down. It involves arrests and restraining orders. It involves protection for victims. This is progress. So then I hit snooze?
With strength and determination, as a single mom, I raised two girls, two young women! Strong, intelligent, creative. Feminist. Humanist. And I was able to cover my daughters on my insurance plan through my gainful employment. Into their 20s. When I lost my job their dad could put them on his insurance, even if they had pre-existing conditions, even into their 20s. I found coverage via the Affordable Care Act. Acceptable. Fortunate. I think I hit the snooze again.
More women today hold positions of power, leadership, locally and nationally, globally, more than ever before in my life. Certainly no woman ran for president when I was a girl. This is progress. Hit the snooze.
While I live and work in cities with populations that are very homogenized and largely white, Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona, through my work, my travels, my experience, most recently, I have witnessed a greater diversity in life situations than I have certainly seen in my fifty or so years. In airports, at festivals, in restaurants, schools. At my daughters’ commencements. At sports events or concerts. At hospitals or the university. At poetry readings or libraries. More representation from more marginalized groups than might have ever been the case in my witnessing. Progress. Hit the snooze alarm.
Wheelchair accessibility, public events that are signed, public signs that are in Braille. Snooze.
Women in the military. Women reaching the toughest levels of combat readiness. Military professionals. Snooze.
I thought things were better. Moving forward. Progressing. My daughters are dedicated to and working hard in areas to continue the fight toward a safer, kinder world for women and minorities. They work towards equality. Justice. Freedom. And there’s mom. Snoozin’.
I’ve been comfortable enough to choose snooze, sleep just a little longer pretty certain that when the alarm went off again, the world would be the same, everything would be okay, and I’ll be a little more rested. Progress, a pace too slow, but still.
Comfy in that there was progress at all in issues I find important. Human rights. Civil rights. Health rights. Women’s rights. Granted, still a world where mainly white rich men are in power, and white colonialism seems an acceptable way to run the globe. But again, a bit of progress. I accepted its pace. Snooze.
I slid back into the warmth, into the dream, there it is. A few more minutes. Sleep. Perfect. and then I awake and I am donning a pink pussy hat.
The snooze alarm, the whole damn clock has been tossed across the room. My daughters actively take a role in resisting change that defeats and destroys human and women’s rights that they grew up respecting. Honoring. They learned this, in part, by me! They are not snoozing! Well, neither am I. Not anymore.
Someone threw ice water in my face. In fact, millions of people did. Millions of my fellow citizens who hate the progress I love. Hate the work I did, the work my daughters do. There are millions of people in the U.S. who are offended and find deplorable the progress that makes me so proud. There are people who equate health choices with murder; equate marching peacefully with terrorism. Wake up I say, to me.
Cuz’ now they have a leader in office.
“I can’t believe we’re still fighting for this,” the signs raged. No, I couldn’t either. But I can now.
Why didn’t you vote? Trump asks those who marched. Well, we did. And I think none of us, even many of his supporters, believed that he would so blatantly blend misogyny and racism and narcissism and fascism and sexism with world power, easily and smoothly. Couching it all in making a great country, great again. The definition of “great” was frightening. Now it is our reality.
We just didn’t believe it. Well, I didn’t. I hit snooze. Snooze no more.
Good Morning America!
Let’s do this.