On February 6th, twitter conversations looked a little rowdy and extremely controversial. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out against President Donald Trumps attorney general nominee Jeff Session. During her speech she was cut off by, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. He claimed that Warren was speaking negatively of Session which was a violation of senate rules, and she could not speak any further. Later McConnell made a comment about Warren’s speech that became an internet sensation. “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech,” he said. “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Why did it take McConnell’s comment to trigger this conversation among women and others?
Well to being, I think that McConnell’s comment had completely the opposite effect of what he had actually intended. This comment lit a fire within women around the world as many of them came together in support of Warren. This was an all too familiar feeling for women and many can relate to Warren’s position. Sick of feeling as if they are not heard or to an even greater extend that they are silenced by men. Warren defied this feeling all together. Regardless of the rules that she was supposed to follow she challenged this rule refusing to sit down and stop talking.
This phrase has laid a platform for women and many others around the world to speak out and keep fighting for what they believe in, even if McConnell’s comment was not the intent of this. I am sure that many women around the world would want to thank McConnell for what he said because of the door that has opened that has been closed for many years. Hashtags such as #ShePersisted, #LetLizSpeak and “Silencing Elizabeth Warren” were some of the top trending topics. Through these hashtags, pictures and tweets have stirred the conversation and has even taken us back in time.
Although we have to recognize that Warren broke a senate rule, the comments and the way her situation was handled speaks volumes about how women who have the courage to speak their opinion are treated. Can we honestly say that if this was a man who made this speech that the situation would have been handled the same? It’s very hard to say.
One thing I do know and history proves this is that women who have made impacts on the world spoke out and faced adversity head on. Where we are at in our society I think the least we can do is thank them for what they have done and the progress that they have made. We need to recognized and be grateful for the men and women who do listen to what we have to say and support us. No simply dwell on the ones who shut us down.
The only way we can rise is by lifting others. Women we must do the same for men as well. They need our support just as much as we need theirs.
I challenge you to not let this door close again, but continue to push for change because there is no force more powerful than people who are determined to rise.