When I was 20, I worked as a janitor for a subway system. I was sexually harassed on the job and filed a complaint. The process took me to the tippy-top of bureaucracy. In the final meeting, I watched my accused get the proverbial slap on the hand, then blinked in disbelief as the moderator seemed to wink. I remember thinking, “Oh, I’m in a man’s world.” It did not feel good.
Today as I cast my vote, I stand in total awe of the women who impact my life every day. My aunt who was one of 2 women to graduate from her medical school class. My sister-in-law who is a CEO. Those openly transitioning in the face of prejudice and violence. Friends making their marks inside male-dominated industries. Friends who are mothers. Friends who work. Friends who are mothers and work. And my mother who suddenly found herself a single mom in the 70’s, and raised me to believe I could be anything.
I am not political, but I am grateful. Grateful to live in a time of empowerment and change. To be inspired by women like Hillary Rodham Clinton who admitted last night in her final message that she may not always get it right, but she will never give up. More than ever, I need to hear that message.
It is shocking how much I can take for granted as a woman today. Suffragettes. Bra-burning. Hillary. Thank you. I am so proud to be a woman today. Today, I can show up in red lipstick and heels to vote not because I have to, but because I want to.
Today, it’s a woman’s world. And it feels great.