Last weekend, Vanity Fair released a video suggesting a new hobby for the first female to be nominated for president by a major political party: Take up knitting. Vanity Fair’s message isn’t new; in fact, many of us know it quite well. Perhaps that’s why personally addressing it to the one person who came closest to shattering the glass ceiling is so audacious. Yes, Vanity Fair. Yes, America. We hear you. We’ve always heard you. Sit down. Be quiet. Bake cookies. Make tea. Go knit. Look pretty. Smile.
There’s no doubt that women got the message. If the data bears any indication, 2018 will be a year of reckoning in this country. 369 women are planning to run for Congress next year, according to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics. Over 22,000 women have reached out to Emily’s List about running for various offices. And if the nastiness of the 2016 election and the resounding defeat taught us anything, it was how to knit pretty pink hats to decorate the heads of some three million women who participated in marches all over the country last January and who will be the first in line at the polls next November.
You see, we can’t keep quiet, and we won’t stay seated. The legacy of the United States of America demands that its citizens not sit idly by when our country is headed down the wrong path. Our democracy gives us both the right and the duty to do more than just complain about inequality and injustice – it compels us to take action. We know without a doubt that our tomorrow can bring affordable healthcare, superior education, and a vibrant economy for all of our people, not just those at the top. We care deeply about this country and our institutions, and we will fight to protect this democracy for the future of our children.
As I write this, a bouncy, vibrant three-year-old girl is running across our living room, yelling, “I’m brave, fast, and strong.” It’s one of her favorite phrases. And it’s one of mine too, along with a few others: Stand up. Be proud. Dream big. Make change. Don’t quit. Believe.
There are many lessons my daughter will learn over the years, but there is none I’m prouder to teach her than that she’s worth fighting for.
The countdown to 2018 is on. I can’t wait to see what it brings.
After all – it’s our tomorrow.