“She’s proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel.”-r.h. Sin
2018 went down as one of the most memorable years ever, being claimed as the “Year of Woman”.
The year started off on January 1, with 300 women forming an anti-harassment coalition called Times Up that sparked the ignition for others to follow. With countless stories of people from Hollywood speaking up on their experiences with sexual abuse and encouraging others to follow suit, a lot of women found their voices through the trauma.
The Golden Globes Awards show was held right after, with many celebrities donning black ensembles in showing their support of the Time’s Up movement or wearing the Time’s Up pin designed by stylist Arianne Phillips. Hollywood had sided with women.
More women started using their songs to uplift others who have dealt with the same trauma as them. After the 3-year battle with music producer Dr. Luke, Kesha emerged back on the music scene with powerful songs that uplifted every woman who was in a dark place. When she performed her hit song, “Prayer” at the Grammys, as she stands with countless women on stage all wearing symbolic suffrage white, it was a moving moment for other women to know, “We stand with you.”
Music artists have also been vocalizing their viewpoints on the women running in politics. Music recording artist John Legend went on social media encouraging the state of Georgia to vote for Stacey Abrams as their governor, as did music artist Monica Brown. Both artists voted for Stacey to be the first Black woman governor.
Grammy-nominated singer and actress Janelle Monae was motivated by her grandmother who did not have the privilege to vote to be very vocal about women’s rights and the importance of voting. She performed at the Voodoo + Music Festival in New Orleans last year, where she spoke to the audience an important message: “Vote for somebody that wants to see this country work for all of us and not just some of us.”
In September, Sex and the City star Miranda Hobbes Cynthia Nixon ran for Governor in New York City, there were a lot of people who endorsed the activist. One of them being fellow New Yorker, rapper Cardi B. With Nixon campaigning for #Schoolsnotjails, climate justice, and ending homelessness, it was not a surprise that the Bronx rapper encouraged her fans to vote for the same woman who questioned the men in New York’s mentality: “A 34-year-old woman with a job and a great home because she’s single, is considered tragic.”
In the November election, it was recorded that four women senators and 24 women representatives were elected in Congress, while 127 women were elected into the House of Representatives and the Senate. With that ignition, we have seen women U.S. Representatives throughout the South make major changes in their states this year.
Women like U.S. Representative for Florida’s 7th congressional district Stephanie Murphy, who has represented every type of America. She’s a business consultant, professor, and politician who is representing the working class who she fights for. She introduced the $15/hour minimum wage bill at a press conference in Florida earlier this year, stating that families’ necessities’ values have increased but their wages have not matched: “No person who has the dignity of a full-time job should face the indignity of not being able to provide for themselves and their loved ones. This bill will finally give hardworking families in central Florida a much-needed raise—putting more money in their pockets to spend at small businesses and helping to grow our economy for everyone.”
As well as U.S. Representative for Texas’s 16th congressional District Veronica Escobar, who speaks against mistreatment of immigrants and women’s rights. She participated in the Women’s March in her hometown of El Paso where she said, “We are seeing a government that still wants to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Unacceptable. Women have every right to do with their body just as men do. It’s an equality issue, and women will not be second-class citizens. We deserve equal pay and equal rights. We deserve to operate in a workplace without harassment, and we deserve a country and a planet worth of our children and our grandchildren.”
U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional District Martha McSally has been balanced with issues pertaining to women and family life. When the topic came up on defunding Planned Parenthood, McSally said that she “opposed abortions in all cases in the exception of rape, incest, and in the nature of a mother’s health and her life.” She is also quoted in saying from the Arizona Daily Star about the education system being controlled by the local government, stating “education for our kids should not be dictated by Washington bureaucrats but by local experts with parent involvement and rewards for excellence. Hard-earned middle-class-taxpayer money should not go to D.C. to strip funds off the top, then return to the states with conditions, paperwork, and mandates resulting in cookie-cutter educational recipes.”
2018 was only the beginning of women standing up for what is right and taking more leadership roles to make their lives, their families’ lives, and their communities a better and safer place. So far, 2019 has been a continuation of empowerment, encouragement, and not stopping anytime soon.
Art credit: Javon Jenkins