Women Who Make America Great

14 Nov

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

While we deliberately work to not politicize here as we write for all women (and men) of diverse cultures and political beliefs, it’s no secret that we here at Lady Smut are deeply emotionally affected by the results of this year’s presidential election. We had planned to do a whole day celebrating the anticipated first female POTUS of America, but we, as it turned out, wisely decided to wait for the results “just in case”.

Like other women who write romance, I’ve found it difficult to focus on writing about love after an election that cemented a large part of America supporting hate, and I had a similar difficulty when pondering what to write for today’s blog.

And then I thought, why not? Why not writer that post I’d had planned to contribute to our celebratory group blog post heralding a few of the woman who already make America great.

obamas_october_cover-essence-copy

Couple in Chief.

For our planned group post, I’d chosen to write about the enviable love story that is the marriage of FLOTUS and POTUS–Michelle and Barack Obama. A model couple to all extents and purposes. Not perfect; none are. But clearly two people not only continually in love with one another, but also who deeply respect one another and value each other’s accomplishments. Even under the eyes of the world, they make sure to carve out time for their relationship. Being bereft of inspiration to write romance (which, incidentally, is not a requirement. Inspiration, that is.) I sometimes think of our Couple in Chief and how fortunate we’ve been to watch their relationship play out.

Michelle Obama, it must be said, by her own right is a wonder of a woman. Her speech at the Democratic convention was nothing short of remarkable. She’s raised two outstanding daughters under the unkind eyes of a rabid media and sexist populace. She heralded the resounding call at the Democratic convention that became more and more apporpos the opposition got dirtier and dirtier: “When they go low, we go high!”

 

This month, Michelle Obama was featured in Vogue magazine with a photo spread by the great Annie Liebowitz. Already, haters have posted claiming she’s a sell out for doing such a glamorous portfolio. I say, why did it take this long to put these two together?

michelle-obama-vogue

 

“Everything we do is by choice,” she will tell me. “I could have spent eight years doing anything, and at some level, it would have been fine. I could have focused on flowers. I could have focused on decor. I could have focused on entertainment. Because any First Lady, rightfully, gets to define her role. There’s no legislative authority; you’re not elected. And that’s a wonderful gift of freedom.”

quote from Vogue magazine interview with Michelle Obama.

And let’s not forget her infinite cool factor, best embodied by her ride in the carpool karaoke

 

Mike. Drop.

Michelle stands tall–statuesque–at the top of the heap, but she also stood side by side with Hillary Rodham Clinton in the push to election. She may have lost the election, but Hillary finished her run with the same class and example she exhibited throughout her campaign. Even in her concession speech, she urge disappointed voters to keep pressing on for change, to remain unified, and to work towards a better world.

“We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone. So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.”

 If you think she’s going away from American public service, boy, are you in for a surprise.
catherine-cortez-matso
Amidst the hullaboo of the election, I’m sure I’m not the only one who missed that the first Latina senator was elected to office this year. Lady Smut blogger Madeline Iva pointed this out last week alerting me to this glimmer of hope amidst tragedy. The granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Mastro won a close race in Nevada.

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“Our government is built on a system of checks and balances, and I will promise you this: I will be one hell of a check and balance on him,” she said during her victory speech on Wednesday. “Tonight we start our fight together… The diversity here is our strength and we will continue to be strong.”

“It’s not my voice I’m taking to Washington, it’s all of yours.”

–Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Mastro victory speech

26 Jun 2013, Austin, Texas, USA --- Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, begins a filibuster of SB 5 a bill that would tighten regulations on abortion providers in Texas, on the last day of the special session --- Image by © Bob Daemmrich/Corbis

26 Jun 2013, Austin, Texas, USA — Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, begins a filibuster of SB 5 a bill that would tighten regulations on abortion providers in Texas, on the last day of the special session — Image by © Bob Daemmrich/Corbis

Let’s not forget warrior Wendy Davis who tackled practically the entire establishment of Texas when serving as a state senator to fight Senate Bill 5, which included more restrictive abortion regulations for Texas women, in an eleven hour filibuster. While her run for governor of Texas was ultimately unsuccessful, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see her making a push on the national level soon.

And last, but never least, Senator Elizabeth Warren, that battle-ax who kept chopping and chopping and chopping away at the Republican nominee’s every absurd tweet and ignorant statement. Elizabeth Warren takes no shit from anyone–man or woman, and especially not men like the one recently elected. She will be laser-focused on this administration and may even lead the charge in the 2020 elections.

“We will stand up to bigotry. No compromises ever on this one. We will fight back against attacks on Latinos, on African Americans, on women’s, on Muslims, on immigrants, on disabled Americans, on anyone….Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.”

–Elizabeth Warren at an AFL-CIO meeting last week

elizabeth-warren

These are the women who already make America great. Right here. Right now. They are setting the bar into the stratosphere. As politicians, as advocates, as fighters, and as women they are leading the charge, a charge that we need now more than ever.

Follow Lady Smut. We’re already stronger together.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

4 Responses to “Women Who Make America Great”

  1. Kate November 15, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    Thank you for this inspiring post. I was devastated too and am trying to dig myself out of the dark hole of despair. I’m pleased, at least, that I helped make calls at a campaign office on behalf of electing Hillary. I also deeply hope that clearer heads will prevail and stop some of the most heinous plans promised by He Who Shall Not Be Named (in our home). If they really press forward (after already spending upwards of $30 million on the hill alone) with trying to find something, anything, criminal to charge Hillary with, I will raise my fists and come out swinging. This woman has worked her entire life on behalf of others (from minorities to special needs kids to all kids who need health care). She’s not perfect, no one is, but she cares about this country just as much as the winner. I admire her very much.

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  2. Elizabeth Shore November 14, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    Excellent post, Kiersten. You’ve added a drop of hope in the swill of negativity that’s swirled around me over the past week. Hillary’s defeat is a bitter pill to choke down, but we’ve got to adhere to Michelle Obama’s words about going high when others go low. That’s how I feel about the election, that it went low, particularly when the person elected received less votes than the one who should be in power. But such is the way of our system. Now we have to move forward and continue to stand up for the country we believe in, even in the face of someone who believes only in himself.

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  3. Madeline Iva November 14, 2016 at 6:56 am #

    I’m a bit teary reading this post. But like the rest of our cohort, trying to put on my big girl pants and soldier onward.

    They say that people who turn to each other and really respect each other, and who are open about their admiration of each other publically, (aka Potus and Flotus), are the ones who stay together. Such great role models in all ways.

    Like

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