Excitement Is In the Air (almost)
By Malik Turley
The news (on my Facebook feed, anyway) is full of excitement about the women newly elected to serve in the House and the Senate, and the announcement of a woman running for president. I want to be excited, too.
I’m not – yet.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s wonderful to see women – especially women of color – in the foreground. Where I’m stuck is that getting elected (or saying you’re going to work towards getting elected) isn’t enough. What you DO with the power, placement, and notoriety is the important part.
I need to see these women making changes happen. I need to see these women focusing on intersectionality and doing “politics” differently. I need to see their good ideas supported and their problematic ones challenged. I need to see the men in the room working WITH the women. I need to see the people (us regular peeps) listening, engaging, and fighting to maintain the momentum these elections (and campaigns) represent. I need to see the focus shift to seeing these women as senators and representatives and candidates without the focus on their “likeability”, looks, age, and all the other things commonly used to minimize the power of strong (threatening?) women.
When the stories shift to highlighting their actions over (or alongside) their gender I’ll be able to join in the virtual parties. For now, I’m working on coming up with my personal action plan for how I will participate in the change I want to see. Will you join me?