A Promise Our Readers

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keep-america-kind_samantha-hahnThis world we live in feels a little different today. I woke up in a terrible mood and didn’t want to get out of bed. Twitter brought on a mini rage stroke, so I deleted the app and decided to take some time to pull myself together. Knowing that doing something makes me feel better than doing nothing, I came into work in my pajamas. A small protest against business as usual, I suppose.

As I drove to the office, I thought about the 30+ years I’ve spent alongside my female counterparts. On a day where the future seems unsettlingly ambiguous, my fear has given way beneath an unshakable hope– a hope reminiscent of what I felt on this day eight years ago. This hope exists; It’s right here, between you and me, a light sparked by a common ground that unites our different interests, backgrounds, experiences, religion and political party. Our experiences as women– as human beings, no matter how different or similar, unite us. It is no longer about our paving our own way and fighting for the life we want. We know the stronger our relationships are with one another, the better our chances for success.

When you start paying attention, you’ll notice how many cultural touchpoints are rooted in women vs. women dialogue. Telling each other they’re not marriage material, or that being married makes them more qualified for a job. We think it’s in our best interest to tell each other what not to wear, what not to watch, and how we should behave. I’m tired of women looking down on each other because they’re into pop culture or they want to stay home with their kids. I’m equally intolerant of the shade thrown at “coastal elitism.”  I’m tired of the slut-shaming and the name calling and the backhanded compliments we throw at one another because it makes us feel better about ourselves. I’ve been here. I did these things. They only made my problems worse. I see this moment as a time when this dialogue changes.

2016 reminded me how influential blind distrust can be. When our collective experiences begin to narrow and the truth is debatable, it is up to each of us to not let intolerance for hate fall to rhetoric and complacency. As the owner of a website with a large female readership, I have the responsibility to promise you a safe space to examine our differences free from scrutiny. Should we encounter a comment that threatens this dialogue (not to be confused with presenting a counter argument or healthy debate), I will remove it without notification or response. This rule applies to not only my own writing, but to our contributors.

Activism will take many forms in the coming years ahead, and while small acts of kindness and empathy may seem weak in the wake of such monumental threats, they change people. And if they change people, then they can change a community. We can do more united than one man or a government. You get the idea.

So, my friends. It is a new era, but it is far from the end of hope and change. It’s the beginning of a time when our individual actions matter more than ever before. Only so many of these posts can be written before they become tired and their words less powerful. Let our action reflect the change we want to see in the world. One small connection at a time.

PS: This artwork is by Samantha Hahn. Download her posters here.

BY Kate Arends - January 20, 2017

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16 Comments  +

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  1. Mailinh

    January 20th, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Kate,
    This is why I keep coming back to your blog every day. Your words and perspective are always on spot to me. I agree. We have to keep hope as a key part of our daily lives and support one another. The change and direction we want will only occur with us fully participating in the change.

    Thank you again for your words. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Carmen

    January 21st, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Same, couldn’t have said it better!

  3. Kate

    January 21st, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Mailinh! Always appreciate your comments.

  4. Jo

    January 20th, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I keep repeating these words to myself “the audacity of hope”. I can hear his voice saying them it gives me comfort. Thank you for this wonderful post and for your wisdom. God take care of everyone who walks tomorrow.

  5. Karen

    January 20th, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I was feeling hopeless and helpless this morning and then I listened to Michael Moore speak and felt empowered. He’ll be speaking again tomorrow in Washington. We really do have the power to change. I’m back to feeling hopeful.

  6. Jani Jensen

    January 20th, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I hope to see you at the march and rally tomorrow!

  7. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    January 20th, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I love your positive attitude! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  8. Karen

    January 21st, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Thank you for this. I’ve been feeling anxious, irritable (just in a fabulously foul mood) all day. Tomorrow is a new day and a very BIG day. I shall embrace the words, hope and change, standing tall with my sisters. Kindness is king. Love always wins. Thanks again for candor and wise words.

  9. Kate

    January 21st, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Karen!

  10. Lisa C in Dallas

    January 21st, 2017 at 8:12 am

    “A safe place to examiner our differences”? I don’t remember how I found your blog and started following you but it ends today. Your entry today was written because you felt terrible over the new president. I feel exactly the opposite – and I am the first person to say so in the comments. The only thing you appear to be examining today is how terrible you feel but your hope will go on. My hope just started. I hope we’re both pleasantly surprised at the end of his term. Is he perfect? No, but he’s what God put in the office for this time and I will support him and trust.

  11. Kate

    January 21st, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Hi Lisa,

    I think you missed the point. My hope was renewed yesterday as well. Best of luck to you!

    Kate

  12. Gretchen Brant

    January 21st, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I guess Lisa C in Dallas just proved many of your points, Kate.

    Yes, Kate did just express her opinion because, after all, it is her blog. Apparently, Lisa C., you only want to follow blogs that agree with your point of view. Kate is offering a place where you are welcome, as long as you are respectful, but you’ve excluded yourself.

    Supporting Trump and his misogynistic views is not supportive of women. The same can be said of Trump’s views on the disabled, people of color, of different faiths — I could go on and on. Add that all up and it means supporting Trump does not support humanity, decency, honesty, compassion, non-judgement — all of the things that the God you (Lisa) and I believe in asks of us and for us.

    Good luck with that, Lisa.

  13. Kate

    January 22nd, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    <3

  14. Sandi

    January 22nd, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you, Kate. Your post is inspiring, as always, and builds on the renewed hope I felt yesterday at the march in Boston. So many of the signs I saw there were about kindness. I appreciate the safe space for respectful discussion. I’m also really glad you’re writing more this year; I really enjoy reading what you have to say!

    Take care,
    Sandi

  15. Kasey

    February 1st, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Kate, your smart writing always keeps me coming back.

  16. Kate

    February 2nd, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Thank you Kasey <3

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