- Jill Rafferty-Weinisch
Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
I’ll be honest. I expected it to be something of a “victory lap.” A symbolic display of fireworks in celebration of a war that was long past its climactic battles. I serve on the board of my local Planned Parenthood affiliate and I was thrilled at the prospect of forming a group of donors who would contribute AND PUBLICLY declare their support for reproductive rights. It was the public declaration that had me so excited.
I thought the real enemy was stigma, antiquated ideas that few people even subscribed to any more– a “last gasp” of the Christian Patriarchy. I thought the list would be a triumphant opportunity to be fully “out” in our support, that we’d be delivering a final rebuke to small minds and rigid dogma. It seemed like a great opportunity to network, to start marshaling energy toward a broader social justice agenda….
And then the 2016 Presidential election happened.
Like many of the people I know, the outcome and its aftermath has been a cocktail of horror, disbelief, and intense anxiety. I realize my relative privilege will shield me from the worst of it but I have spent a lot of time despairing these days.
Yesterday the list was published. A full page of names. Mine alongside more than one hundred seventy other accomplished, committed, endlessly impressive women. And now it seems so much more like a revolutionary act, a digging in of my heels. I feel as if things have shifted a little. My life is organizing itself around a new reality and my role in it is very clear.
I am part of something big.
This fight is for MY lifetime.
We are so much stronger than anyone has imagined.