I support strong women.
I do not have to agree with everything a strong woman believes in to support her.
I do not have to agree with everything a strong woman believes in to know she can do her job.
I do not have to agree with everything a strong woman believes in to vote for her.
This is not just a statement about Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren. This is about all women. My family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, my fellow church-goers.
I do not have to agree with everything a strong woman believes in to love her.
I have great affection for and deep love for many strong women with whom I disagree on very big topics – abortion, guns, health care. And yet I think those women are fantastic mothers and grandmothers and aunts and cousins and lawyers and doctors and students and educators and artists and caregivers and professionals. They are fantastic women. They are fantastic humans.
Some vote red, some vote blue. Some don’t vote at all. Some have children and some don’t. Some have faith and some don’t. Some have had an abortion. Some have been the victim of violence. Some have battled disease. Some cannot be alone and some prefer to be alone. Some like men, some like women, and some like both. Some are wealthy and some are poor and some are in the middle. Some are seemingly always lucky and some are seemingly always struggling. Some have great regrets about choices they’ve made in their lives and some live with more acceptance and love for themselves.
I can disagree in very key areas with a woman or have very different life experiences from her, and still recognize that she is a good person and stand in solidarity with her.
I expect more of women than I do of men. That has been a truth in my life since I can remember. I don’t know that I even understand all of the reasons why. But I know it’s not just me. As a nation, we are “harder on” women than we are on men.
We are especially “harder on” female candidates than we are on male candidates. And that’s because, at least in part I think, of our expectation that women must do what women are supposed to do in addition to the stuff of the job/office they want to earn. We expect men who run for office to do their job if they get it. We expect women to do the job if they get it, on top of all the womanly stuff we feel they must keep doing in order to really be a woman.
But it has got to stop. Strong women need to support strong women, especially in this time when women are being called nasty simply for having the audacity to have an opinion. Especially in this time when people are questioning one another’s faith because of how we vote. Especially in this time when our nation is led by a man who has mistreated women, and that man is supported by millions.
I choose to support strong women, focusing on the ways in which we agree instead the ways in which we don’t. Because one thing I have found to be true of all strong women, regardless of their background or beliefs: they get stuff done.
P.S. I also choose to support strong women who have a little sass. I have no idea if AOC is good at her job or represents her district well – I don’t live there. But I do know she knows how to stand up to a bully like a boss.