A Boy Scout & a Woman Walk into the White House


Do you know what’s truly heartbreaking? Women who know, firsthand, how capable women leaders are, and yet believe, still believe, however regretfully, that it’s too soon for a woman to be elected president.

When it comes to oppression, I often find myself turning toward race to illuminate that which is hidden around gender.

Listen in on Desmond Tutu:

I think we have very gravely underestimated the damage that apartheid inflicted on all of us. You know, the damage to our psyches, the damage that has made — I mean, it shocked me. I went to Nigeria when I was working for the World Council of Churches, and I was due to fly to Jos. And so I go to Lagos airport and I get onto the plane and the two pilots in the cockpit are both black. And whee, I just grew inches. You know, it was fantastic because we had been told that blacks can’t do this.

…And we have a smooth takeoff and then we hit the mother and father of turbulence. I mean, it was quite awful, scary. Do you know, I can’t believe it but the first thought that came to my mind was, “Hey, there’s no white men in that cockpit. Are those blacks going to be able to make it?”

And of course, they obviously made it — here I am. But the thing is, I had not known that I was damaged to the extent of thinking that somehow actually what those white people who had kept drumming into us in South Africa about our being inferior, about our being incapable, it had lodged some way in me.


The time is now. The time is always now.

Did you think that a man with the name Barack Hussein Obama would be elected as this nation’s President?

What truly scares me is that women weren’t recognized as full citizens (ie. with the vote) until fifty-years after black men (who had been slaves.)

I don’t have 50 years. Do you?

I promised my great-grandmother, born in 1898, who went to college and became a teacher–without the vote–that I would elect a woman leader.

I promised my grandmother, who came of age with the vote but without bodily autonomy (ie. including reproductive rights), that I would see a woman to the White House.

I promised my nieces who are surrounded, at every level of society, including the youngest children, with the fall out of #METOO along with the unrestricted rights of men to inflict mass murder in classrooms and churches and fill–in–the–blank, but don’t blink.

I promised my grandaughters, not yet born, a world where the body feminine would be sovereign–at home, in school, in society, and in the workplace, including the larger body feminine–our home–her waters and soil, her air and energy.

It’s time for a woman in the White House. It’s always been time. It’s always been past time.

Until we have re-balanced society so that every voice, including the boy scout assaulted by his troop leader, is heard, ours is a human rights’ obligation.

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