The future is female and our boys are watching, too


My son, Archer is next to me -- my eleven-year-old son, who months ago wrote his own presidential speech and has been Hillary's biggest fan from the start. My daughters scamper in and out of the room as we sit transfixed -- every now and then they gather on my lap and we explain to them who we're watching and what they're talking about. 

Every time I explain, I get choked up.

"Mom. Why are you crying?"

"I'm just... really moved, I guess. All of this is just... "

"Long time coming, right?" Archer says.


He nods and goes back to watching the DNC. He sits with me as we watch one woman after another take the podium -- powerful women -- strong, well-spoken, game-changing women, women who unite to celebrate the power and accomplishments of another WOMAN. Together we watch mothers. Sisters. Movers and shakers. We also watch fathers. Brothers. Strong well-spoken, game-changing men also celebrating the power of women. Of WOMAN.
This is a celebration of Hillary and her life of service and accomplishments, but the more we watch, the more it starts to feel like something else. Replace her name with SO MANY women of yesterday, even today and tomorrow... women who have worked ten times as hard as their male colleagues only to be discredited, discouraged, brushed aside. Women who for centuries stood in the shadows, pulling strings, changing the world without credit.

Watching, I feel the spirits of our foremothers and their brilliant potential -- a history of muted voices suddenly LOUD. I try to make out what they're saying. The ghosts. The wives. The mothers. So many names we'll never know, and I desperately want to hear them all.

"Think of all the women... through time. The women all over the world who are screaming without stages. Who are orating without microphones. Our history is dark with oppression. But this -- THIS -- your life -- you get to witness what feels like REAL CHANGE."

THE FUTURE LOOKS so different than the past, Archer. The PRESENT looks so different from the past...

I was recently out with my kids when a stranger approached my son. His sister was wearing her FUTURE IS FEMALE shirt and he cocked his head to the side and squinted with disgust.

"Is that your sister?" he said. "What do you have to say for your sister's shirt?"

"What do you mean?"

"I hope you have a shirt at home that says 'the future is male.'"

"I actually have the same shirt she's wearing," he said. "Mine is just in a bigger size."

I smiled.

"This isn't a pissing contest, sir. A more female future means a more equal future. Equality benefits the brothers of the sisters wearing the shirts AS MUCH as it benefits the sisters wearing the shirts. There is plenty of room for men AND women at the table. And yet, for thousands of years men have taken up most of the seats. Have you done anything to change that? My assumption, after listening to how threatened you are by four words on a little girl's t-shirt, is no..."

I wish I said all of those things. What I said was far less eloquent. I stammered, got defensive, tried to cover his voice with my voice. I did say something about the table though. And I did storm off in a very stomp-footy-stormy-offy-way.

The thing is, that man was not alone in his thinking. There are plenty of men (and women) who have commented on my posts throughout the years who feel that PRO-FEMALE means ANTI-MALE. And I get it. I used to be one of them.
I wonder, though, how many of them -- of you, if you're reading -- have been excluded from your own conversations? I'm not just talking about women whose rights have been dictated by men since the beginning of time, but people of color whose rights have been dictated by white people...  LGBTQ people whose love has been questioned by heterosexual leaders who cannot possibly know the struggles they have taken it upon themselves to define.

This is why we need ALL voices -- diverse voices -- leaders, spokespeople, teachers, writers, artists, actors, presidents of the United States of America.

For centuries, white men have called the shots in this country. Trump represents what feels like the patriarchy going out with a wet fart. And if it wasn't so terrifying, it would almost be poetic -- biblical even -- Here we have a more inclusive, more female future battling closed-minded white men who live for the past  -- men who represent the very worst the patriarchy has to offer.

And the whole world is watching....
You can read my post in its entirety, here. Go, Hill!