Categories
History Politics Theater Women

Gloria: A Life Review

My friend Chris and I went to see Gloria: A Life, the Gloria Steinem one-woman show. The play is closing in New York City at the end of this month, but it will be traveling to other parts of the country that Gloria changed during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have met Gloria at dinner parties in the Hamptons, where I found her to be soft-spoken and not bra-burning at all. And, while I’m 66 and should have had her as the fabric of my life as an influencer, I spent the better part of the ’70s at the University of Nebraska, where Nixon’s resignation was on page two. I’m sort of not exaggerating. So, she wasn’t on my ‘friends’ list.

Gloria: A Life takes us through the trajectory of not only Gloria’s personal journey through her journalism career, harassment, and enlightenment to the plight of women and the opportunity to change the outcome for the next generations, but also the sisterhood of the women of color, who really started it all and embraced her as their token white woman. Who knew? History unfolds before us — not the “war to war” history that men have always injected into our education, but rather cultural history and women’s history … and it’s Glori-ous! I thank her and those less well known for their commitment.

Abortion and women’s rights over their own body take on a predominant role in the unfolding of the journey we are still navigating. The play’s actors pointed out that each of us in the room had our own experience around “Glorias.” This was true for most of us in attendance, as the majority of the audience members were women, and more than half were over, let’s say, 50.

During my days at the University of Nebraska, I dined each night with my sorority sisters in the Pi Phi dining room. Every now and then, a hat was passed, and everyone put in whatever money she could spare. No one knew whom it was for, but abortion was only available in New York City in the early ’70s, and the hat’s bounty would pay for the flight for one of our “sisters” to fly there and have the procedure performed. By herself. Alone. Because that was all that was available to us. I put in whatever I could with pride and commitment to her right to choose. I can honestly say that in the three years I called that sorority house “home,” I don’t recall anyone having left school to have a baby (which women would have had to do back then), but I do remember a number of “pass the hat” moments. Yes, we all have our own experiences of that time in history, and my only regret is that it wouldn’t be for years that I would join the movement to commit to my own gender’s growth and equality.

I never subscribed to Ms. magazine. Never read it. Thought burning a bra was silly (and still do). But I also didn’t realize what the play so gently but powerfully lays out: how male dominance over our lives and our views of ourselves has been nurtured since birth. And I didn’t have a prayer of knowing how to silence that as I charted my own course. A man close to me said to me on the phone yesterday, “You have no trouble speaking truth to power.” That may be true now, but throughout most of my adult life, I was clueless as to what that truth was. Gloria and her gang of girls helped each other out of the darkness of their indoctrination. And being present in the play helped me see how I gained clarity as well.

IMG_4395For me, one of the best parts of the night was a group of six young girls, maybe 8 or 9 years old, who were sitting across from me in the top row. They loved the play. They hung on every word, and when two of them spoke in the ‘chat with the audience’ afterward, they were articulate and cool, but more importantly, excited about the future they could fashion. One of them said of another: “She’s the president of our group; I’m like the vice president.” This was cause for some concern, because one of the moments of clarity in the play was when the light bulb went on that we women need to participate with equal input in roundtable discussions. This stands in stark contrast to the pyramid paradigm established by men, in which a king sits at the top of those who are climbing over one another to get to his position. Like a board room table that always has a seat of power. Not all men. And especially not those in the audience. One man’s daughter told us her father had asked her to see the play with him.

Thank you, Gloria, for all that you’ve done. Thank you to the girls in the top row for all you will do. It was nice, in this moment of our history when I have little hope, to leave feeling like maybe there is hope, after all. Women are the answer. How cool is that?

Categories
Fashion Government History Politics Women

Women In Congress Wearing White to SOTUS

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 2.59.27 PMWe sell visually in today’s world. How one presents a product or service is all about how another (your potential client) feels when looking at it. I’m a strategist and like to always consider the view from the other side of the railroad tracks when putting together an image or a video or any message. It’s why I was disappointed in the women of Congress, who all showed up in their white suits and jackets to signify the unity of women by wearing the uniform the suffragettes wore when marching to secure the vote. Yes, I am aware it’s the 100th anniversary. I think it is a mistake to present themselves as a “united front of women” in a chamber that is supposed to represent all Americans. I think it divides, rather than unites. I think it misses the point and diverts from the conversation, which is and should always be, “What does our country need to serve the American people?”

Leave gender at home, ladies. It has no place in the chamber. And, yes, I know that we have never had real representation in government, and that we clearly made progress in this last election. You want to continue to make progress? Then stand together as Americans in politics. Ask people to vote for the right person, and when those people are elected to government, let them show up in the chamber wearing appropriate attire that makes what they wear the adjective, not the noun.

In speaking with a friend this morning, who pointed out that the congresswomen were simply acknowledging the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, my answer is, “Celebrate it by working your asses off to stop gerrymandering and attacks by those who would prefer that people of color and the economically disadvantaged not vote. Fix that, and then wear a solid color to the chambers celebrating that. We are taking steps backward in people having the access and ability to vote. The women’s right to vote is so yesterday.”

How would I feel if I were a man who voted for those women? Would I feel they were a reflection of me and a window into that which I aspire to be? Giving the president a standing ovation when he mentioned them sitting there in a sea of white was demeaning to themselves. They are people elected to congress, not women elected to congress.

I know. I feel the onslaught coming. We have waited so long. Of course our female gender will enter into our decision-making. And so will our religious beliefs, the economic circumstances in which we grew up, and our college experience. That doesn’t mean we wear our cross front and center, or the McDonald’s uniform that we wore working our way through college, or our university-logo sweatshirt. We show up in chambers ready to do the work of the people. Ready to listen carefully to the president’s words and mark them in our memory to ensure we can follow up when he doesn’t.

If we—as women, as people, as Americans, as humans—want to succeed in bringing the country together to build great tomorrows, then leave things like wearing matching white outfits to other people.

Categories
Business Women

My Voice is it Anyway?

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 2.47.07 PMI was with a group of women the other night and a conversation woke me up to the plight of some of us who seem to believe our quotes or thoughts would be better received if we attributed their origin to someone else.

So-and-so thinks …
I was talking to … and she suggested …
 
I can’t remember where I heard this but …
 
I finally said, “How about we all give our opinions instead of making someone else’s opinion our contribution?”
 
Then the truth erupted.
 
One of the women said that she always credits her father as having taught her this, that, and the other thing through a great quote (I’ve heard many of them, and they are great). She went on to say that her husband took her aside a few years ago and told her that he believes she has made up her own quotes over the years, and yet still credits her father. She then admitted to doing so.
 
And, then there’s me and my methodology: “I’m not sure where I got this, but …” I am such a liar. I am sure where I got this; I made it up. And it was good. But giving the credit for it to someone else seemed to make it “better.” Note to self: Never do that again.
 
I decided that I don’t want anyone else’s opinion from the mouth of another. That’s heresy anyway, which we all know is not allowed in a court of law, so why should it be allowed in my think tanks? Come with your own thoughts moving forward, say I to all women. Incorporate others in your overall presentation if you want and build off what they say to make it your own, which is very different from attributing your voice to someone else who you believe has more credibility than you.
 
So here is my opinion: “My opinion has value if it’s brilliant, not because it supposedly came from a source who you think is smarter than I am.”

 

Categories
Parenting Personal Essays Politics Relationships Women World

Sharing on Thanksgiving

FullSizeRender-2This Thanksgiving, my favorite daughter, about whom I’m not allowed to write, is trekking in Nepal. She sent me this picture this morning. She told me about the wonderful people she is meeting and how hard their lives appear to be. The only reason I can post it is that I’m counting on the fact she won’t see it.

It took me back to a memory I’d forgotten. Another Thanksgiving.

When Sarah was seven, it was an especially cold Thanksgiving. My friend, whose daughter was Sarah’s friend, and I decided we would take the children on an adventure on Thanksgiving morning. We put them in my SUV and went to Dunkin’ Donuts, where I bought one hundred cups of coffee, one hundred cups of orange juice, and two hundred doughnuts. We drove down to the Port Authority, where many a homeless person finds shelter when it’s just too damn cold outside.

I asked a police officer to spread the word that we were there to other officers in the Port Authority and ask if anyone would like to have a doughnut and cup of coffee. My friend and I sat in the back seat of the car for two hours while those two seven-year-olds handed out coffee, OJ, and doughnuts.

There was a moment. There always is.

Sarah was helping a man who couldn’t decide between two doughnuts. Here is their conversation as I can best remember it:

“You can take both of them. We have enough — and if we don’t, my mom will go get more.”

“Oh, no — do you see the line behind me? I want to make sure we all get one. Maybe I’ll wait and see if there are any left over at the end. And your mom already did a lot for us.”

I saw her look at him. I watched her take in the message that this man, who had absolutely nothing — including a winter coat (I remember him vividly) — was not going to take more than his fair share.

Seeing Sarah’s picture today reminded me of Thanksgiving and sharing around a table an abundance of all things — especially stuffing, in my case.

And then I thought about our country, and how, as a country, we used to be like that homeless man. We used to know when each of us individually had enough, and when it was time to share with our fellow countrymen. All those working for large corporations had benefits. Health care. Retirement. And the shareholders were fine with returns that had slow growth to help them when they retired rather than wealth through stock at someone else’s expense. We didn’t simply buy the cheapest things; we bought from stores where we knew the purveyors. We waited while they gift wrapped the presents. There was enough for everyone, so on Thanksgiving, most Americans could sit back and be thankful for the opportunity our country provided to all its citizens.

We can go back to that. I believe that the 1 percent that I think has taken over my country for their own personal gain — and dollars in the bank that they couldn’t spend if they tried — will be brought down. And this Thanksgiving, when I say my silent prayer before eating my turkey, I will pledge to do what I can to make sure of it.

God bless my broken country on this Thanksgiving.

Categories
Government Politics Women

Reason Speaks Softly But Screams to be Heard – Kavanaugh VS Ford

kavanaugh_ford_1538077234646_6129688_ver1.0_640_360A friend asked about my perspective on yesterday’s hearings from a “female” point of view.

The contrast between Dr. Ford’s “I’m so sorry; I don’t remember” and her efforts to make the people questioning her “like” her was magnified 100 percent by Kavanaugh’s belligerent, arrogant, disrespectful behavior. Every male pundit who praised the way she presented herself showed he had no understanding of what it takes to win in this environment. She was believable because she made you like her. She was believable because she apologized. She was believable because she was overcautious in everything she said. Most important, she was believable because she was not threatening in any way.

He was not believable. And it didn’t matter. With his bullying and by instilling a fear of reprisal, he silenced those who would’ve stood up for her. It’s easy to lull a group into silence that way. You can hide in plain sight in silence when there are others doing the same thing. And no one was afraid of her reprisal if he or she didn’t come forward to support her.

Many of my friends contacted me during the testimony to say they were weeping — and in some cases, they said they didn’t even know why. A few said they were crying because they felt so badly for her. Empathy is a great thing — and she certainly won the empathy contest — but unfortunately, that wasn’t what yesterday was about. For those of us who weren’t quite sure why we became so emotional, perhaps it’s because the disease to please appeared alive and well in Ford. And the attack, attack, attack to win exhibited by the candidate for the highest court in the land still stands in our society as a methodology that can’t be countered with any semblance of decency. Our desire to please and to compromise, to bring consensus to any major decision will always be my preferred methodology. But when going up against a GOP type of fighter, it’s like going into a Wimbledon finals match with a badminton racket. And what makes it all worse is that I’m not willing to do what it would take to fight their way.

So the hope that things have changed since Anita Hill testified 27 years ago were dashed yesterday. I believe Kavanaugh will be confirmed. I believe his wife will lose any sense of self-respect she might have had. I believe that most of the men in that room have zero respect for women. I believe we don’t know how to demand or earn that respect. I believe the gender differences are greater today than they were 30 years ago. I believe that we have to take it to the polls. We will never win in a fight like the one we saw yesterday. We will only win when more decent people are in office.

This same friend often tells me that ‘reason speaks softly but screams to be heard.’ Yesterday, Dr. Ford spoke softly, filled with reasoned certainty. Sometimes it’s hard for reason to be heard over the bullying raised voices of men like Kavanaugh and Graham. We’ll see.

Categories
Government Politics Women

Abraham, Martin & John

downloadMartin Luther King Day.

There was a song from the sixties, Abraham Martin & John, that personified the racially-charged times in which we lived back then. I used to listen to it over and over again. It occurred to me this morning, Martin Luther King Day, that it points out what is possible when leaders step forward to help us rise to our best selves.

My generation is really lucky. We have lived and watched the racial equality growth led by three of the four men in the song; Martin Luther King, John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. My daughter’s generation doesn’t have this historical context. She doesn’t realize that it takes just one leader to rouse the sleeping giant that is our nation.

This time in which we are now faced is one step backward. But I have lived through three steps forward. This is nothing.

We have a larger leadership pool than the sixties. Women have entered the fray. Oprah’s speech last week moved a nation. There are leaders who will rise to this occasion who might have remained silenced.

How to begin?

Don’t click on any link that has the word Trump in it. Don’t let the news outlets get paid for your eyes reading that which solves absolutely nothing. Click on links about who is running in the 2018 elections, what laws are being passed each and every day while we are looking at the shiny object rather than real change. Get to work building, not screaming to the wind and elevating DT’s message across the nation.

I say it again. Do not share one article with his name in it.

#MakeTrumpIrrelevantAgain

Abraham, Martin, Bobby and John will applaud from the shadows.

I thank Martin Luther King for memories I have of watching him lead a nation in a way I had no idea would mean so much so many years later.

We can do this. Yes, we can.

Categories
Government Politics Religion Women

Three Wise Men?

jm_NTRCH47d.p-P1.tiffWhen I leave my house to go anywhere this holiday season, I drive by the Nativity scene set up in East Hampton. It’s the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the three wise men, a shepherd (maybe two) with some sheep, and a few other men who don’t seem to be of much use at all. Whenever I glanced over, I experienced this uneasy feeling, like I’m missing something or something is out of place. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Yesterday, I had some time, so I stopped the car to get out and think about it.

Here is what I have for you:

First, of all, if the inn keeper had been a woman, she would have brought Mary into the inn and been her midwife during delivery so all of the stress could have been avoided. There’s no way a woman would send another woman in the middle of labor to a barn. Nope. I don’t think so.

The “wise” men, had they been women, would have asked for directions, and they would have gotten there on time. Instead of bringing the most expensive gifts (which made them look like creeps), they would have brought practical things that could have been used, like a Babybjörn (that you strap to yourself and use as a harness to carry the baby), or diapers, or something of real value for a new family facing hard times.

The shepherd would have brought a blanket she’d made from the wool of the sheep she tended, realizing that since sheep actually eat things, they would cost the family money. Jeez.

So, after sixty-five years of my not questioning the Nativity scene in the least and finally coming to my senses after a year of middle-aged white men patting themselves on the back while surrounding a ridiculous excuse for a president—after they have taken something or other away from our country, including our global dignity—it has finally occurred to me that women need to step up and take charge of running things.

How could I have missed that all these years?

Merry Christmas.

Categories
Relationships Women

Me & Harvey Weinstein

XY_161956414There were four ten-year-old girls playing in a field in Bosnia in the early nineties. A Serbian jeep pulled up with four soldiers in it. The soldiers got out of the jeep and called the girls to come over, in a strong soldier kind of way. Three of them stepped toward the men. Their obedience was immediate. It was a reaction to years – generations, actually – of men telling women to do something, and the women doing it without consideration. Reaction. The fourth, the one I met, turned and ran into the woods. She is the only one who survived.

Flash-forward to Harvey Weinstein. “Wait,” I hear you ask. “Are you seriously equating the raping and murdering of Bosnian women by Serbian men to Harvey Weinstein?” Yes. Yes, I am. I think the tenets of how women react to men’s directives are all part and parcel of our DNA – and something we can and must program out for future generations.

So women went up to his room for meetings. At last count, more than ninety women have now told this story, and as far as I can tell, the ending is mostly the same: they ran away, got away, pushed him off, or put him off with a delayed promise of succumbing after an Oscar win. Not one has said they did as asked. Without judging these accounts, would it have changed the way you viewed their stories if they had? If some of the women said, “I did what he asked, and I don’t know why. But I didn’t think about it, I just did it.” Is it possible the ones we’re hearing from are the ones who knew to run? Like the one young girl in Bosnia who was the only one to react against what she was told to do? Is it possible there are so many others who didn’t, and because of the ‘shame’ of their actions, aren’t speaking up?

Repulsive as this might sound in this particular context, is it possible that there could be something in the female DNA – the same DNA that inclines us towards nurturing – that when called upon to obey (do we have to re-visit hundreds of years of marriage vows?), we might just do it? If I’m honest with myself, and I’m truly not proud of this, but if I’d been in the shoes of these women (thank God I wasn’t), no matter how disgusting it would have been, I fear I would have done it. I would have watched him take a shower. I would have done it. I would have then put it out of my mind and tried very hard to not “go there” and evaluate my own behavior, let alone his.

I had a high-powered job at one of the big eight accounting firms in the early eighties. I had an affair (thought I really loved him) with my boss, a partner. He was being audited by the firm for his expenses (he was fired… we are talking felony avoiding fired) and he asked me to go to a hotel room and help him create the back-up for his expense accounts while they were auditing him. I did it. I never once stopped to think about it. I just did it. I did it because he told me to. He didn’t ask me; he was a mess. He told me. Forcefully. Firmly. And, I did it.

A few weeks later, he asked me to put that hotel room on my company American Express. I refused. My brain kicked in then – putting the expense on my card triggered something that made it feel different (versus my earlier complicity, where I was reacting).

Looking back, I felt no responsibility for my “accessory to a bad thing” status. I had zero ownership of that night in my own head. It belonged to him, and I was another pair of hands. I see now that it’s worth exploring, and that there are oh so many other examples in my life of the same reaction in me to things I don’t wish to own.

We women have really been dealt a psychological blow, forced into playing defense for far too long. Centuries of self-preservation, love for the male species, and/or a desire to be liked, accepted or… considered for a well-deserved role in a movie we worked our whole life to get to, make us react, without thought. Turns out, sometimes, the best offense might just be a good offense.

And just to clarify: whether we act or react, the true shame belongs to the perpetrator. Let’s not forget that.

What I’m interested in is mentoring the generations who’ve come after mine to stop, look, and listen before they act – in a way that might diminish the power of a perpetrator. When I think back to that night in the hotel, my biggest regret stems from the ground I gave in the self-esteem department – a loss multiplied by the possibly hundreds of times I didn’t use my power, or my voice, around men like Harvey Weinstein. I’d like future generations to be spared those kinds of regrets.

That young ten-year-old girl who ran into the woods in Bosnia? Her shame, she told me, was that she didn’t wait for the others to follow – or go back to help them. That they didn’t get away, and she did. So even the one who acted courageously was consumed by guilt, assuming responsibility for the others’ reactions. Over the years, I saw how she punished herself. I believe she never felt that she deserved her survival, when in fact, in my opinion, she should have taken to the rooftops celebrating it.

So, women of today, may the women speaking up serve as the inspiration to us all. Let’s vow from this day forth to obey the better angels of our own voice and power. We might just change the trajectory of those who come after us. And, Heaven knows, there’s no shame in that.

Categories
Personal Essays Politics Women

It’s Women’s History Month and I’m Not Celebrating.

BSSSocialMediaEqualV1bDon’t get me wrong: I’m oh so very proud of the hordes of women who have gone before me. My female ancestor who sailed over in Mayflower times with Thomas Hinckley (she probably thought he was nuts for making her come). My mother-in-law, who taught me that if you need to use the restroom at a friend’s house, you should go home because you have been there long enough. Gloria Steinem. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Meryl Streep (God, I wish I could borrow her facial expressions for business meetings). So many fabulous women to celebrate, and I do it every day, twelve months a year.

So take your month back; all I want is a level playing field. If you don’t have a Men’s History Month, I don’t want a Women’s History Month (who negotiated for just one month?). I don’t need a lean-in or a leg-up. When I insert my “womanhood” into the equation, I’m just as guilty of tipping that level playing field. When it comes to business, gender (fluid as it is) is only valuable, in my non-humble opinion, if you can offer a consumer-based experience unique to your gender alone. (So I reserve the right to pitch Manolo Blahnik on how I think I could market his shoes; and if a male marketer wanted to pitch his experience with a jockstrap, I say go for it.)

Otherwise, in the world of business, I see no need to reinforce the sex divide. Take my gender off your table. Take race off the table. Take everything off except excellence in the product and services at stake. That’s the goal.

And now that I have that off my non-gender-specific chest, I can go back to spending the rest of this month (and year), focused on the quality of my business.

Categories
Government Women

Marching is Good. Changing Our Own Behavior is Better.

isLong, long ago, in a country now far, far away, a man of color took the stage at the Democratic Convention in the United States of America and rallied a nation around the notion that the United States of America is about all of us.

“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,”

Barack Obama said that, and the crowd cheered. Much of the nation cheered. I think that’s why I didn’t join the Women’s March on Washington. We are a United States of America, not just Women of America. I also believe that when you march, you march toward something, and I’m not clear on what that is anymore.

I realize now that for decades many of my fellow Americans did not believe there was a United States of America for them, and I can see now that there isn’t. The middle class was lost after Reagan facilitated a free-for-all for large corporations, leaving Middle America scrambling for jobs that pay barely enough to warrant showing up. They fell hard, and neither I nor anyone I know even noticed. Factory doors shut. Jobs were lost. Workers were left with no time to raise their families, working multiple jobs at places that limited them to 30 hours a week to ensure that no health benefits needed to be provided. Oh my God, what have we done? How did I not see this?

I’m so sorry to have missed this development in my beloved country.

And so here we are. The fractured limbs of the Statue of Liberty now hide her face in shame; she calls out to the world to send their tired and poor, but many of our fellow Americans are the tired and the poor. A plaque inside the pedestal under the statue reads, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” but for many it is just a lamp at a door leading to nowhere.

How did we get here? We have to look at the fragility of our country’s foundation. We didn’t notice because stoic Middle-Americans bore it quietly for too long, and now the personification of their rage stands before us: a man with bad hair and a cold heart who heard them loud and clear and gave voice to their silence. But that man needs to serve all the people—the ones who voted for him and those of us who did not.

I go to Aaron Sorkin for my inspiration.

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.”

Donald Trump and his particular group of mostly white men over a certain age are saying things that I will spend my lifetime opposing at the top of my lungs, just as Sorkin suggests. But I also recognize that I have a much larger responsibility than that. And when I ask women what they are doing now that DT has won the election, they answer, “I’m marching on Washington.”

“Oh,” I say, “to what end?” And that’s the end of that conversation.

Let’s talk about the endgame. I am a girl who likes a goal, a finish line, a dance in the end zone.

In the last twenty four hours since President Trump was sworn in, all traces of causes that many of us have championed have been removed from the United States government’s website. Climate change: Gone. LGBT rights: Gone. Disabilities: Bye-bye. Need I go on? You can wipe away a webpage, but not its history.

More disturbing is the directive from the President’s office that all Interior Department Twitter accounts are to be shut down until further notice. You all saw the image that was distributed showing the crowds at Obama’s inaugural compared to President Trump’s. Well, the repercussion for that image by this administration is a total shutdown of social media for the Interior Department, who put the image out there. This means our parks will no longer show images unless they are approved by our government. And so freedom starts to disappear, one Twitter account at a time. It’s ironic, don’t you think, that the first shutdown of freedom by our President is a Twitter account. Ironic … and frightening.

This I will not, cannot tolerate. This is where we have to stop with the marching and pay attention to the details. We must call for those accounts to be open. Wide open. There can be no repression of information. We must be vigilant on this point.

Then we must stop clicking on sensational news and demand that our media give us accurate news about issues that matter, such as votes that are going to take place. The media responds to what we respond to. If you stop clicking on the trash, they will stop writing it. We must be responsible in what we read and respond to. Words matter. Our words matter. Each individual post that we share or write matters.

Start debating the issues and liking issue related posts. Leave the personal out of it. Stop tweeting Trump. Aside from driving him nuts, which will give me some solace, we can change the conversation he controls every time he creates a diversionary explosion with those tweets that take our eye off the bigger issues.  The freedom to debate is foundation of our country. Are we really going to waste it on sharing someone on Saturday Night Live? The stakes are too high to waste our time, and to be clear, it’s what got us in this mess in the first place.

Run for office. Like the Tea Party did. Run for office! In case you didn’t hear me, run for office. Take back government from self-serving people who are truly corrupt, and do the right thing when you have the power. And, vote. For God’s sake vote!

Make no mistake—our freedom is at risk. Not just women’s freedom, but all freedom. And while I have absolutely no intention of giving up my right to choose, or any other women’s rights, it’s only part of a much larger concern: my freedom as an American to speak and to obtain the truth about what my government is doing. We are the United States of America, just as that man said when he became president so very long ago.

That said, march on, sisters mine. Thank you for turning out and inspiring me today. May God bless each of you, and all our countrymen and women. Every single one. And, when the buses pull away, let’s remember the real work begins.