As women marched yesterday for greater respect, representation and equality, it was difficult to not hear them. Yet, President Trump tweeted credit for the last twelve months of his administration. He invited women to march in celebration of his economic policies. Rather than congratulate women for their peaceful expression of democracy and exquisite determination to elicit change, he did what those women abhor — he ignored them and their message. The president’s actions reflected two types of dysfunctional behaviors commonly used to demean the contributions of women — patronizing and exclusionary patterns of talk.
But let’s not dwell on that. It was not surprising. What we should do is celebrate the women who were marching. Two of our nieces were there. It made me smile to see them and young women recognizing that this time, this time indeed, we need to make respect and equality for women stick.
We can’t take for granted that women before us got the job done. This is a job that will not be done for many years to come. It will only get done if we keep at it. That will require not allowing ourselves to be splintered by false schisms as was the case with the Mommy Wars years ago that pitted working women against stay-at-home moms as if they were two distinct groups. That was a false dichotomy. Women should be wary of such efforts to create “cat fights.” Men don’t fall neatly into groups. Women don’t either. Yesterday was a tribute to that fact.