Yesterday, at school drop-off, I saw a wall of collages called “Profile of Me” hanging outside Mazzy’s classroom. Above is Mazzy’s collage. You’ll notice that along with a unicorn, a doughnut and a puppy is the word WARRIOR in large letters on the bottom.
Well, WARIOR to be exact, but same thing.
This word wasn’t just cut out of a magazine. It was so important to Mazzy that she cut out the letters to form the word herself.
If you look closer and blow up the little red rectangle right above warrior on the left, it says, “RISING” in all capital letters. That’s what my daughter thinks of herself, even when she is at school and I am not around.
She’s a “RISING WARRIOR.”
When I was in fourth grade, I would have cut-out unicorns and magic to represent myself too, but this language of empowerment is something new we are teaching this generation of girls.
When the phrase “the future is female” became popular a few years ago, I loved it and used the hashtag, but I’m not sure I really believed it. Now that my daughter is almost nine, I see the impact of our words on how we are raising our girls. The promise is REAL.
This morning, Mazzy walked into the kitchen as we were watching the news, which happened to be talking about how the Democrats didn’t gain control of the senate. She stood there for a little, taking it in and then turned to me with a look of concern.
“Mom, we’re losing,” she said.
I got down to her eye level and spoke firmly.
“Mazzy, you listen to me. Over 100 women were elected to represent us last night. That is more women winning than ever before in history. We are not losing. We are right on track.”
Obama once told us that change doesn’t happen overnight. Real change happens slowly. So, yes, it is very disappointing that Beto O’Rourke and Terry Gillum didn’t win their Senate races. It is awful that we won’t ever know if Stacey Abrams would have won Georgia if Kemp hadn’t made it so difficult for minorities to vote.
But make no mistake— the Democrats won last night. Women won last night, by a long shot. Every time I looked up at the election coverage, another female Democrat was taking a male Republican’s seat. Republicans may have kept the Senate but Democrats GAINED the house. That is going to make it much more difficult for Trump to continue pushing through his agenda without oversight.
We didn’t win everything, but that’s not how real winning works.
The Republicans have been playing the long game and if there is anything we can learn from them, it is this— DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. Do not give up on Texas, Florida and Georgia. We have not heard the last of Beto, Gillum, or Abrams.
If anything, the country has just been introduced to some of our new Rising Warriors.
Women and people of color and the LBGTQ community and everyone who believes in basic human decency all just took a huge step forward in the long game.