It seems to me there is one great and growing result of these wild, raucous, misogeny-filled days. Women are speaking up.
I cheered when one woman after another stood to speak publicly of mistreatment by Trump and others.
I watched with awe as Michelle Obama responded so eloquently to predatory sexual behavior.
And I smiled wide when “I’m a Nasty Woman” went viral on social media.
Women are surging against the bondage of silence and it looks good. When I read that Wonder Woman was named the United Nations’ honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls it seemed timely and fitting.
I knew of Wonder Woman as a child, but I didn’t know how to use words to free myself from bondage on the day I had my first dismaying experience of being eye-groped. I was a proud thirteen-year-old waitress in the tea garden at the local horse show. A man at one of my tables was staring at me. Boldly, blatantly owning and undressing me with his eyes. I froze with the teapot in my hand. I felt naked, helpless, shamed and wondered if I had done something wrong. I ducked my head and went back to the kitchen, my delight in the day dirtied.
I went silent, swallowed it whole. Oh, how I wish I had the power to time travel back and pour that pot of ice tea on his head as I loudly told him, “NO.”
I’ve watched in the village of Rooiboklaagte as women free themselves by speaking up. They break through old walls and habits of silence. When very shy Wonder went to a meeting of the grade school council and heard what the principal was planning to do with a gift to the school, she stood and said “NO.” She reported back to me with such pride. As with so many, she knew what was right, what was true but she had to breach that old well-built wall of silence.
In Africa it was my passion to support the women of Mapusha which grew my voice, broke down barriers and gave me an expanded sense of my own power. I think of my grand-nieces, Marian and Naomi and vow that in my work as a coach and speaker I will to do everything I can to help other women to grow their voice and help smash to smithereens those antiquated walls of silence. Join me!
Wonder Woman knew how to free herself, so do we! Join me, speak up, speak out, say NO, say YES!