I am a woman with a voice . . . (listen).

This spoken word is about discovery, about men and women, our present and our future. It’s an invitation to men to man-up with love, and to women to risk being more of who we really are. It’s about me and you. It’s about the power we all have, no matter what we have faced, to take a stand in love. (It’s also about the fruits that can get harvested as a 50 year old woman!)

When Gillette asks men “Is This the Best a Man Can Get?”, what happens next?

Following in the footsteps of Nike’s Colin Kappernick commercial, Gillette recently released a two-minute ad that, recieving wide viewership, calls on men to step forward into manhood in a new way. A friend who knows I write about gender and social change sent it to me. Tears welled up as I watched something happen on a screen that offered a much longed for window into how our broken culture may yet be able to offer a pathway forward for my twin, 9 year old boys. Finally.

For a mother concerned not just with the modeling my sons are getting from the White House, but with the abounding crisis of masculinity largely responsible for Trump’s election and the alarming (and related, to my mind) climate change denial, it is hard not to fear for my children and the world they are inheriting.

The election of Donald Trump created — or perhaps highlighted — a man-shaped-hole at the core of our country. Trump’s election, described by some as the “last gasp of patriarchy”, begs a question I have been asking almost from the day after he got elected: What kind of new man might fill that hole? What does post-patriarchal masculinity look like?

Continue reading “When Gillette asks men “Is This the Best a Man Can Get?”, what happens next?”

Calibrating the Civic Heart

Time to start taking our lessons from those who’ve been there and done that for decades.

Movements are about more than moments; they are about thoughtful networks of dissent built over time.

These words shared in the New York Times, by Blair Kelley, a professor of Civil Rights History echo sentiments I shared in an article I wrote in the fateful weeks after Trump’s election.

To say it has been hard to hold the vision for justice in America through Trump’s steady, aggressive onslaught against it — the defining signature of his presidency — is, let’s just agree, an understatement. But understanding the long arc of commitment in the civil rights movement does give me faith. Continue reading “Calibrating the Civic Heart”

Judge Kavanaugh, You Say You “Will Not Give Up.” You have my word. Neither will I.

Brett Kavanaugh. Angry. Defiant. Defensive. How, after seeing Dr. Ford’s testimony this morning and the media spin that couldn’t imagine how Kavanaugh might hope to gain ground, how does his angry, defiant, defensive performance leave people finding him believable? He began the hearing pursed lips, eyes fierce, forehead creased, deeply offended for being attacked. Within minutes he was hailing his mother, a lawyer, herself, as inspiration to him in his career, then, behind tears, he recollects the impact on his children and his wise daughter who said “we should pray for the woman.” An indignant, noble, family man. It is all too painfully familiar… Continue reading “Judge Kavanaugh, You Say You “Will Not Give Up.” You have my word. Neither will I.”

A “Moment” for our “Movement”: The Work of Creating a More Perfect Union

Following the now-famed Women’s March on the day after President Trump’s inauguration, speculation mounted about whether we were seeing a real “movement” or simply a “moment” of reaction from an outraged electorate. Since that day, there’s been no dearth of citizens speaking up, in town-halls, airports and on city streets. People who never imagined themselves “protestors” have seized the reigns of citizenship suggesting that surely something is galvanizing America. But the question is an important one, does this yet qualify as a movement?

The Civil Rights movement has arguably been America’s most powerful testament to the power of citizenship in action, redefining the politics and consciousness of our deeply divided country in the 1960s. Unlike the civil rights movement that stood for values, (peace, de-segregation and an un-self-righteous faith in the intrinsic value of all Americans), the protests in recent weeks since Trumps election have largely been defined by an “anti-Trump” sentiment. As one among tens of thousands of women at the Women’s March in Oakland, I witnessed impassioned Americans filled with raw conviction, clearly seeking to take a stand. But the mobilization as a whole seemed to lack coherent leadership, values and a message. There was definitely something there, no doubt, but it felt young, like we were cutting our eye-teeth — not what I would call a movement. As the pundits have ventured, I would call upon us to see that we are in a moment – but an important one.  A defining moment. Continue reading “A “Moment” for our “Movement”: The Work of Creating a More Perfect Union”