WashCo Dems op-ed articleSpringtime Gratitude, Thoughts, and Women’s History Month

By Karolina Newcombe, WashCo Dems Communication Committee Member

As Women’s History Month winds down, I find myself reflecting on where we have been and where we are now.

For all those of us who identify as female, it has been a difficult couple of years, to say the least. We have a man in the White House who has openly bragged about being able to assault women any time he feels like it.

Perhaps even more chillingly, this same man has appointed judges to the Supreme Court who are chipping away at women’s reproductive rights, and he and the Republicans in Congress have been steadily working to destroy a social safety net which helps women lead stable lives and get ahead in the workplace.

We have every right to be depressed. And yet… I started this month off at the Womxn’s March in Portland. On a beautiful sunny day, I marched with other protesters who were equal parts angry and optimistic, waving witty anti-Trump signs and loudly declaring their resolve to take action in their community. It was a smaller crowd than that first march after Trump’s inauguration, but the energy was…no pun intended…huge.

And so, despite everything, there is a quiet hopefulness budding within me this spring. I tend to be very cynical about all those Internet memes exhorting me to be grateful, and yet I’m feeling some…could it be…gratitude?

So let me do this quickly before the moment passes:

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for putting Donald in his place and treating him with the cold disdain he has earned.  Half the time, he doesn’t even realize when he’s been outfoxed by you.

Thank you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for scaring the bejesus out of the right wing.

I have never seen this many old white men shaking in their boots. ­The more they call you silly and a ditz, the more they fear you and your intelligence.

And a big thank you to all the other new Congresswomen shaking up the House this year. You have brought Congress a small baby step closer to representing the true cultural diversity of our country.

This naturally leads me to also say thank you to all the great female presidential candidates running in the 2020 race.

I’m so grateful for the variety of qualified and accomplished women we get to pick from in this election. Kamala, Liz, Tulsi, Amy, Kirsten–you rock.

Thank you, Notorious RBG, for hanging on and still fighting the good fight in the Supreme Court. To put it bluntly, thank you for staying alive. But let’s not forget to thank Justices Sotomayor and Kagan for not giving up the battle, either.

On the home front, a big thank you to Kate Brown for winning despite all the naysayers who thought you weren’t charismatic enough or likable enough or whatever it is that they always say about female candidates. And for making our little corner of the country a haven of sanity from the Trump madness.

Finally, let me express my gratitude to all the Democratic activist women in my life who constantly impress me and encourage me and motivate me to act, even on those days when I would rather just hide in my blankie fort with a bottle of wine and never come out. Sometimes sharing a positive Facebook post or a few kind words is all it takes. We don’t always realize just how much we can do for each other.

These are tough times for women, but we’re not down and out yet. And like the seasons changing from spring into summer, this too shall pass.

We can get through it with resilience…and gratitude.

Happy Women’s History Month!