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Letter: Women are making their voices heard

Forum readers board member Josie Danz Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Forum readers board member Josie Danz Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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Kevin Cramer is a senator of North Dakota, Donald Trump is still our president, and Brett Kavanaugh is a U.S. Supreme Court justice. As a woman, some days it’s hard to have hope.

It’s been a rough few years watching the political landscape of our country (d)evolve as it has. I heard a joke on New Year’s Eve about how crazy time zones are – in India it was already 2019, in France 2018, and here in the U.S. 1950. It would have been funny had it not felt like a joke with too much truth to it. I’m exhausted, and a lot of days, I feel defeated. I find myself wanting to do what others have done, unplug. Maybe a break from social media, news stations and the morning paper would allow me to feel less rage and anxiety. Unfortunately, I’m a news junkie. As hard as it is to listen to sometimes, it’s important to be informed and challenge your own opinions with those of others.’ After all, if you live in an echo chamber, or are disengaged, you don’t have much merit to voice your complaints and opinions. Turns out I have a lot of opinions I want to vocalize.

I’m not alone. One great thing that’s happened over the last several years is that women are making their voices heard. It’s not easy – it takes guts, strength and a lot of persistence. I’ve learned the hard way that just because you use your voice, doesn’t mean you’re heard. Often you’re silenced.

I’m lucky to know a lot of smart, strong women. It’s been a saving grace to be able to surround myself with these women. They, along with plenty of resilient women nationwide, have taught me to be proud to have opinions, and have encouraged me to use my voice. They say there’s a silver lining in every cloud. I would say that the wave of women standing up, getting engaged, and creating positive change both nationally and locally has been that silver lining. I know that these strong women, myself included, aren’t going anywhere. If we’re silenced or ignored, we’ll just come back stronger (and louder) the next time.

Despite how hard the news is to bear some days, there are reasons to have hope. First, both nationally and statewide, the mobilization of women to run, and win, political races will change the political landscape. Next, there continues to be powerful grassroots activism occurring across the country. Third, when things hit rock bottom, the only direction to go is up. Finally, there has to be hope, because it’s really the only option. It’s what sustains us. There are a lot of good things happening – both big and small – that will eventually add up to something great. That something great is change. With change, maybe then people like Cramer, and Trump, and Kavanaugh will be silenced rather than given a platform.

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This column was submitted for consideration in The Forum's search for "the next great columnist."

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