Land of the free and the home of brave women
“Look at me when I’m talking to you.” These words, directed toward a high public official, could not be spoken in just any country. It requires living in a relatively open democracy to have the freedom to challenge a sitting United States senator to listen to the legitimate grievances of another American, an American woman.
It takes a great deal of courage to tell an emotional, gut-wrenching story of personal horror to a friend. For an abused woman to tell it to a powerful man, in this case, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, while he is standing in a government elevator takes an extraordinary amount of courage. And this was done by not one, but two women on Friday in Washington, DC.
Most people probably know by now that the outcome of this dramatic moment and the drama of women (and a few men) swarming all over the capital asking why women can’t be taken seriously when they make credible allegations of sexual misconduct by men, has resulted in the reopening of the FBI’s background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he is considered for a seat on the United States Supreme Court.
Perhaps the culture is slowly changing and women are moving toward being the first-class citizens they should be, rather than the second-class citizens they were at the founding of this country. I’ve never forgotten that my mother was born in a country that did not allow her to vote, the most basic right of citizenship. As women find their voices in greater numbers than ever before, there is hope that true equality is possible. It’s way past time for this to happen in the land of the free and the home of brave women.
Lamar W. Hankins