Owning Your Ground
Can I be candid about something? For the first time in my adult life I've been obsessed with the presidential debates. Even though I've always been really curious about and invested in our political process, I never watched the debates before--this time was different.
Part of my curiosity was to see if the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump could be fashioned into something smooth and reasoned--could he shape his arguments to reach people more interested in ideas than bombast?
Honestly though, what I really wanted to see was how Hillary would respond to a non-stop attack on her entire career. Would she be rattled? Would she falter in her responses?
I (like every other woman on the planet) in one way or another have been subjected to an energetic pile on when trying to get my point across or verbally defend myself--being talked over, being told to pipe down, being ignored, or even having the landscape of what I'm talking about changed mid conversation (e.g. gas lighting).
I knew the debate would be a pile on. I wanted to see how this battle scarred veteran would hold up to someone who on his best days is a bully and on his worst, a sex offender. How do you debate someone who has by his own admission license to do whatever he wants to whomever he wants? Someone who is also not restricted by consistency or facts.
It was a master class not only on how to hold your ground, but to own it.
That's hard to do. To own it. It's a muscle you have to build. Not everyone you encounter is going to be on board with that. To stand in your own belief that you have a right to be heard and a right to be present and a right to a place a the table--even when you are being shouted down and called a "nasty woman" (or worse) takes backbone. And backbone is developed by standing up for yourself again and again and again.
I want every girl and young woman to watch these debates to see what thirty years of owning your ground looks like and the backbone it can build.
The Democratic nomination wasn't given to Hillary. From the day she took her Bar and was told that she was taking a space that a man should have, she knew she would have to continue to show up no matter what was said about her or what she was threatened with.
Do you have dreams that seem like they are a long time coming? Do you wonder if the difficulty is worth it or if your dream is even possible?
Despite any obstacles or resistance you face, you can look back on October 19th 2016 and know that what you want can be had. The difficulty you face is growing you. And when you own your ground, you've made it easier for the next woman to own hers.
Thanks for reading.