Never One for Heroes
Updated: Jan 21
Never one for having heroes, finding our commonality in the failings of human beings, I recently have had to rethink my position on the heroic and find these women more than able to hold up the unnatural weight of hero.
Let us designate every day of 2021 as Women’s Day. Fair Fight Founder Stacey Abrams delivered not simply Georgia in the 2021 special election Senate race but a converted to blue Georgia to the U.S. Senate, precipitating the collapse of McConnell’s obstructionist reign, Abrams in all her glorious black aspect and powerful, evocative voice.
I cannot forget Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of BLM, inordinately brave and smart
best-selling author of “When They Call You a Terrorist,” at a moment in history when racism is finally firmly in the conversation when we have the means to do something about it.
While octogenarian Nancy Pelosi deftly holds the gavel as Speaker of the House, the diminutive woman an intellectual and political giant, a dynamo, a quick-witted, deeply knowledgeable and compassionate leader who shatters with her words, not wooden mallet as male speakers have too often done.
More than 100 women entered the U.S. House chambers in 2019 as newly elected representatives after the mid-term elections, a long way from 1917, when suffragist Jeannette Rankin joined the Chamber as its first and only female member while male Congressional “leaders” today continue to shout louder, cry harder, and deliver hysterics for the cameras.
And who does not love and admire the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg who justly earned her moniker, “The Notorious RBG” for representing fairness to power in petite size coupled with outsized intellect, and quietly burning spirit until her death in September 2020 that did not go unnoticed, but whose glorious life was devoted to the law and defense of the powerless.
A young Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex also earned the moniker AOC for her straightforward brand of politics and uncompromising honesty, joining her elder stateswoman Elizabeth Warren in calling it like it is and earning our respect.
And not only the first women, but the first woman of Asian and African ancestry elected to the Vice Presidency, not of a corporation but the United States of America.
I can never forget Karine Jean-Pierre, senior advisor for MoveOn.org, who stood in front of candidate Harris to prevent a man who rushed the stage from harming the future Vice President.
Titans Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton have stood on the biggest stages and come away with grace, dignity, and resolve in the face of daily assaults in order to inspire or as Clinton has said, "resist, insist, persist, and enlist."
And I will never forget Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, 22-year-old poet and activist, whose powerful poem "The Hill We Climb" and incisive, dramatic delivery inspired hope, and fostered a sense of purpose. In her words, "We've learned that quiet isn't always peace...and "there is always light if are are brave enough to be it."
Yes, an orange-haired man still sucked the oxygen from our air, but these and millions of other women across America delivered and delivered, and finally, may deliver us all.
Nancy Avery Dafoe