I spent the summer asking a small group of women if they felt valuable. Trump’s campaign had taken something from me. It had signaled, at every turn that I - as a woman - was not as important as a multitude of other issues. And then he took office and seemed to implement a systematic and targeted effort to devalue women by rolling back protective policies. He instituted the Global Gag Rule, withheld funds meant for the UN Reproductive Health and Rights Agency, and undid Obama era efforts to close the wage gap. And it hasn’t been just women, of course. It’s been anyone Trump deemed other. Other than male and white. Other than heterosexual and heteronormative. He has attacked immigrants, Mexicans, and Muslims. Just two days ago, Trump proposed legislation to define gender at birth in an effort to invalidate transgender individuals. But because I am a woman and it is the lens through which I see the world, I wanted to use that lens to get at the issue of inequality. I was particularly interested in why policies don’t seem to reflect women’s value. Was it because women didn’t think actually think they were valuable? Months of research and months of writing yielded results that are both obvious and astonishing to me. I am prouder of this article than most things I have produced in my life. In many ways this research is my love letter to women. It Is my declaration that things must change and my incredibly hopeful resolve that they will. And it’s a love letter to men too and to this moment they are in - in which change is upon all of us. This is for anyone who feels other or feels constricted by a limited definition of what is allowed of them. A better future awaits us. But it demands change. And it demands we vote like hell.
Midterms are in 13 days.
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