Of Persistence.


On December 11, I posted the following to the national Facebook page, Pantsuit Nation:

Like some of you, I’m honored to cast my vote for Doug Jones in tomorrow’s election. I was struck today with a certain element of irony.

Having been raised in a conservative, Calvinist background, I was brought up to believe that women are supposed to remain under the authority of their fathers until they are married, at which time, they are to submit to the authority of their husbands. I was taught that feminism is a sin, that a woman’s “calling” is to be a wife and homemaker, and that women’s suffrage was a blight on history. When I was about eight years old or so, I asked why the women in my family and church still voted, since it seemed like an action contrary to the expected “submissive” character women were to espouse. I was told that women’s right to vote is a “necessary evil” and that, “in a perfect world, women would not be able to vote, but since the opportunity is present, women can vote in order to confirm the opinions of their fathers/husbands.”

Today, I identify as an unabashed Episcopalian, Democrat, feminist, and advocate for human rights for all. 
It’s bizarre, sometimes, to look back and recognize just how easy it can be to silence countless people under the banners of power, fear, and shame.

Tomorrow, I will proudly vote for Doug Jones. When I do, I will be thankful, as I am now, for every voice which has paved the way for me to do so. 
Progress may not be fast or easy, but I believe it is absolutely achievable. I am grateful to every one of you, for working towards a future with greater empathy, respect, and support of every person, regardless of race, creed, sexuality, gender, religion or creed. #stillpersisting

I was overwhelmed, humbled, and grateful for the response it elicited in less than a day. I’ve heard several requests for elaboration on what my journey from conservative, patriarchal Calvinism to liberal, feminist, Episcopalianism has looked like. The people, information, and stories which have influenced me are multi-faceted, and I’d like to tell my story in greater detail here, in the hopes of providing a more specific context. I intend to write a bit about the ideology and rhetoric which was pervasive while growing up, the voices and experiences that have been so influential in my journey, and how those factors currently influence my relationships and decisions on an individual level.

I’m grateful for anyone bearing witness to my story. Whether I know you personally or not, please remember how much your own individual narrative has potential as well as present power. Don’t be afraid to use it.


7 thoughts on “Of Persistence.

  1. My husband and I were married in October 1976. That November was our first “married” election day experience. The hissy he threw when he found out I was supporting his candidate’s opponent was eye-opening to say the least. To this day, I have never divulged who I have voted for in any election…to anyone!


  2. I look forward to bearing witness to and garnering inspiration from your narrative.
    The future is bright and full of potential.


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