A few months before November’s election, the current and more importantly OUTGOING president, seemed to think the vote of the American suburban woman was easily in his tiny, tiny hands. I think it’s safe to say the image of the American suburban woman blissfully ensconced in his muddled brain was that of June Cleaver or Donna Reed. You know, right back there in the good old days of America when white people ruled supreme, segregation was A-OK! and women did what their men told them to do… in pearls. Kids also roamed around outside unsupervised from dawn till dusk and no one had to worry, but we’ll get to that another time.
Except for Dear Leader, the times have a-changed—and since the country’s greatest stable genius doesn’t believe in reading, he likely missed the memos over the last 60+ years. Women are not unequivocally in the hands of anyone—especially these suburban ladies that do indeed, determine elections.
The suburban woman of 2020 and now 2021, is educated (in more ways than just a university degree, but we do have a lot of those), she works inside and outside of the home often juggling side-hustles to her main gigs, she is married, single, straight, and gay. She is young, old, and in-between. She has biological children, children born of surrogates, and children born in her heart through adoption. This woman approaches faith on her own terms or doesn’t. She is a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, even a hermit. She is no June Cleaver for she comes in all shapes, sizes and COLORS. And she has a voice she isn’t afraid to use.
I was among many suburban women these past several months who found ways to get involved in Anti-Trump activism during a pandemic. That’s right: I wrote postcards! I started with 100 cards, hand-written no less, to swing voters in Wisconsin. When it became apparent Wisconsin had flipped blue, I had to wonder if my cards had anything to do with it. Ha Ha! Maybe they helped just a couple souls find their way to the polls to vote in favor of someone who cared that they had good schools and access to clean water (among so many other issues). Maybe they wondered who this strange woman with a weird name was and decided to humor her.
But when Georgia called run-off elections for this month, I was at it again. One hundred cards went to voters in the Peach State signed by some woman named Wilo asking them to help Jon Ossoff and Rev. Warnock do better for Georgia than what they had. And as of this writing, there are two blue senators heading to Washington. Did we do that? (Steve Urkel voice, please).
Let’s be honest about Georgia for a minute. There is one name that will go down in history as synonymous with the greatness that occurs when people of color and their allies show up and show out. Stacey Abrams. Take a moment, please. This woman. Oh, my goodness, THIS WOMAN.
This woman and millions of women inspired by her, have embraced activism in earnest in these past four years since Donald Trump backed his considerable caboose into the Oval Office. We’ve stormed the gates of Michaels (hard no to Hobby Lobby, thank you) in hot pursuit of poster boards and giant sharpies for our multiple protest signs. We’ve written the post cards, got involved in text and call-banking, wrote and called elected officials. And talked to our children (no small emphasis can be placed on that). You see, we’ve gone above and beyond kvetching on social media, folks.
And somewhere along the line others have listened, thought hard, and made some different choices than before. We’ve finally spoken out to our racist and sexist relatives, refusing to just smile politely to keep the peace. Voices that were previously silent, have been unleashed.
And some red states went blue with a Jamaican/Indian American WOMAN as vice-president.
There is obviously so much more work to be done, but it’s clear that big things happen when we women dig in and get involved. And on that note: To the Black queens who brought Biden to victory. THANK YOU!
So, for those still hell bent on returning America to its “golden days” of the 1950s, please go watch your reruns of Leave it to Beaver. Because that’s as close as you are ever going to get to that again.
Especially as long as we suburban women keep doing what we’re doing.