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The Year of the Woman Amid a Divided Government

The Year of the Woman Amid a Divided Government

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in Congress

What a juxtaposition we find ourselves in. A time of such progression under such oppressive leadership. How can the two coexist? I venture to say they can’t. And what we saw yesterday, on one of the most historic days this nation has ever seen, and what we’re still witnessing today, as the government shutdown saga tarries on, is evidence of this turmoil, that in my opinion, is on the brink of eruption.  

It’s been deemed “The Year of the Woman,” 2018 that is, for more reasons than one. Based on a historic number of women that ran for office last year, there are more women that were sworn into congress in 2019 than there have ever been in the history of this country — more than 100 — many of whom look like you and me. But it’s not just young women taking the helm. At the age of 78, Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the house, who the New York Times has coined “the Icon of Female Power,” reclaimed the gavel, making her the first lawmaker in more than half a century to hold the office twice. Specifically, Pelosi is only the fifth person to ever hold the position twice — another first for women.  

I have to wonder though, that in the midst of what should be a time of great transition and celebration, all of it, and I mean all of it, was completely blanketed by what appears to be a never-ending shutdown, in which 800,000 Americans are being held hostage and used as “pawns.” Meanwhile, the leaders of this great nation continue to chip away at this conundrum of a system they had a direct hand in creating — while continuing to merrily collect a paycheck I might add.

Side note: Get some Latinas in there — I bet you this government shutdown ends today. Wait — oh no — you’re trying to keep us out — that’s right. Thus, the basis for this political impasse. How could I forget?

How could I forget when every news station is just regurgitating what Washington is feeding to them, which amounts to a lot of confusing nothingness. “The House Votes to Reopen Government but No End in Sight to Shutdown,” … what? Am I the only one confused by this headline?

A floor divided, a vote divided, a congress divided, a nation divided, all because of a single request by a man whose intellect amounts to that of a 12-year-old kid who throws tantrums whenever he doesn’t get to play his way. A man who in no way, shape or form has taken his oath to the American people seriously, to say the least, but has been given the power to affect every last one nonetheless — and continues to do so at his leisure.

What kind of nation is this that has allowed the seat of the highest governing power turn into a circus show? What kind of nation is this that elects someone who has openly professed bigot, sexist, racist, misogynist (and on and on) viewpoints from the highest seat in the land, yet turns around and also elects the most diverse body of congress this country has ever seen?

The two don’t go. And I am convinced more than ever that as progressive as our current times may seem, we remain a very confused and divided nation, being led by a seemingly dictator whose intent is to only further that division by sending us back to a time and place we’ve fought so hard to get out of.  

I’m not naive to think that we all will ever be on the same page or have the same viewpoints. On the contrary, every system needs opposing opinions that challenge people’s bias and in turn, serve to create change. I just know that “The Age of the Woman” now stands face to face with “The Age of Buffoonery,” and I for one, am convinced that this will be a fight to the death.

And maybe, just maybe, in this new year, on the brink of a new era, and perhaps even the brink of yet another “Year of the Woman,” women will be the catalyst to that change. Because the bottom line is, we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.

And divided or not, this nation, and world is going to have to get used to it.


Feature Image Courtesy of: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News / Getty Images

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