The Rise of Fearless Women
In the past three weeks we’ve seen judges halt an unconstitutional executive order, an Attorney General put duty to country over job security, a Sheriff stand up to a Governor, lawyers run to the defense of refugees, and lone Senators stand up to their entire party. What do these people all have in common? They were all women.
One thing is for sure, the fearlessness that is emerging among women these past few weeks is inspiring and contagious. We’ve seen it here at GenderAvenger through more of you speaking out!
From the highest echelons of government to grassroots movements, day in and day out, women are leading the charge in ways we haven’t seen in awhile:
- Four of the five judges who put a temporary halt to the Muslim ban were women – Ann Donnelly, Leonie Brinkema, Allison Burroughs, and Judith Dein.
- Sally Yates was fired as interim Attorney General when she refused to enforce the ban. She chose to uphold her oath to defend the Constitution, consequences be damned.
- Travis County, Texas Sheriff Sally Hernandez stood up to Governor Greg Abbott over the county’s new sanctuary policy, refusing to flag inmates for possible deportation.
- The volunteers who showed up at airports to fight the detentions when the Muslim Ban first took effect? They were estimated to be 70% young women in one location.
- The only two Republican senators who opposed the president’s nominee for Education Secretary were women: Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren began a reading of Coretta Scott King’s 30-year old letter about AG nominee Jeff Sessions, but she was told to sit down (and, thus “shut up”) by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Despite this, her male colleagues were permitted to continue reading from the letter. McConnell’s response — “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted” — has given rise to the hashtag #ShePersisted, which is now flooding twitter with reminders of all the women who have refused, and continue to refuse, to be silent.
We have seen women’s courage here at GenderAvenger too.
We have seen women’s courage here at GenderAvenger too, and we are gratified and awed by it. Avengers are sending us photos and creating GA Tallies at a faster pace, pointing out all the places women’s voices are not represented. They are tweeting to us and TV news producers. They are posting to Facebook and calling out event organizers by name. Previous hesitancy to speak out has given way to bold voices saying “We will be heard.”
At GenderAvenger, we cheered the swell of voices that resulted in this fast victory: CNN hosted a mostly-male panel on the Women’s March, and an avalanche of tweets caused them to make a quick change in the number of women on-air.
Each and every day, more of you are leading the GenderAvenger charge, pointing out the lack of women’s voices and reaching out to us to rally the GenderAvenger community to create change.
Each and every day, we are building stronger voices. Together.
We will be heard.