Up in their grills

Trump administration silver lining: women standing up for their rights

The author is the feminist author of 14 books and a columnist for Lotus Guide Magazine.

International Women’s Day on March 8 has been observed globally since the early 1900s. You would think facts like the following would no longer be pertinent: A United Nations fact-finding mission in the U.S. in 2015 reported a shocking gap between rhetoric and the facts of “women’s missing rights.” It found: “In global context, U.S. women do not take their rightful place as citizens.”

The report specifically pointed to the increasing barriers to abortion and other reproductive health care, low numbers of women legislators (the U.S. ranks No. 72 globally), and a 21 percent gender wage gap.

Many of Trump’s cabinet appointees voted against the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Pay Act, and are anti-choice and climate change deniers. The silver lining in the Trump administration is that women are at the forefront of standing up for human rights. Think Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Attorney General Sally Yates, plus the large numbers of unknown women who show up at town halls around the country.

Rep. David Brat, a Virginia Republican, told a recent meeting of conservatives, “We’re getting hammered. Since Obamacare and those issues have come up, the women are in my grill, no matter where they go.” During a recent debate on Jeff Sessions’ appointment as attorney general, when the Senate prohibited Warren from reading the letter Coretta Scott King wrote 30 years ago to protest racist Sessions’ then pending appointment to a federal judgeship, a Twitter storm resulted with the hashtag #shepersisted; women posted pictures of heroines like King, Rosa Parks, Margaret Sanger and Ruby Bridges.

Meanwhile, young women globally exhibit great courage in fighting for their rights, as I discovered doing research for a book about them. Think of Pakistani Malala Yousafzai’s advocacy of education for girls since she was 11, awarded the Nobel Peace prize at age 18. Would Trump want to ban her from our country because she’s a Muslim?

One thing is certain—women and allies will continue to be in legislators’ grills. To celebrate International Women’s Day locally, check out the event page at tinyurl.com/womensdaychico.