Who knew I would cry in despair for 2 days after the election?
Who knew thousands of women across this nation would be crying over the results?
Who knew dozens of those women live in within 20 miles of me?
Well, I didn’t know any of that. It took several days before my sobs ended so I could hear other sad voices expressing their grief.
The surprise for me was and is that there are so many of us ‘here’ who took the loss so personally.
Those voices have been quiet, often silent, because of fear: fear of financial repercussions; fear of judgment; fear of retaliation. Many of these women are in business, and knew if they publicly proclaimed their support for the Democratic candidate customers would vanish, disappearing behind a veil of disapproval and distrust.
As small business owners, they couldn’t afford to reveal their preferences. Their livelihood would be threatened.
Apparently we have the right to vote…but not the right to say who we support out loud.
Most didn’t put signs in their yards. They didn’t talk to others about their choice. They didn’t engage openly in the process. They couldn’t afford the consequences.
So, I was so surprised when I received an email from a friend, who had a friend, who had a friend, who had a friend, who had a friend who was feeling the same thing I was feeling. I passed on the email to another friend, who passed it on to their friend, who passed it on to their friend, who passed it on to their friend. Suddenly, there was a community of friends who didn’t know about each other. They had no idea that there were other women concerned, frightened, nervous, and alarmed.
A moment had come. A light was beginning to flicker. Women were finding their voices, as they have done throughout the ages, uniting in support, believing in each other, seeking solace, solutions and answers together. They no longer felt isolated from one another.
What will come of this realization?
Maybe just the awareness that there are other tribe members. Maybe the courage to speak out. Maybe knowing there is someone else who is worried.
I don’t know what the results will be. But I do know that when women come together they accomplish great things. When they find their voices, when they listen, plan, act, and speak they change the world. After all, women are now allowed to vote, thanks to a small group of dedicated women who risked exposure, imprisonment, disappointment, and abuse so women could cast a ballot for their choice. They spoke out, so all women in this country could be heard. It took courage, fortitude, vision, support, and unity. But they were successful.