United State of Women
I am very happy that I had the opportunity to watch the first ever Annual United State of Women Summit organized by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. It was an incredible event. Had I known about it before hand I would have flown out and attended it in person. As fate would have it by the time I learned about it the event was already sold out. 5,000 women attended in person and I am jealous of all 5,000 of them. Every second of the live stream all I could think was these individuals are so amazing and I wish I could be there. I wish I could have been in the room to have soaked up all of that energy, optimism, support and emotion. How, powerful that must have been for those who experienced it? It must have been incredible because I felt moved from it sitting at my desk watching it on Youtube.
In the wake of the Stanford rape case and the Baylor rape cases I think the timing of the summit was very important as many have felt a lot of frustration with the culture of rape and the consequential lack of enforcement under the legal system. It is easy to feel like the voices of women are unimportant and that the decks are stacked against progress. Opposition to basic rights over one’s own body and an ever present onslaught of dehumanizing, sexualized images of women in the media can wear away at the spirit. Don’t even get me started at how depressed one becomes when you start reading comments on the internet about any woman. Rape threats and death threats against anyone are fair game in an anonymous cyber verse.
Sometimes it is easy to feel frustrated. Easy to feel that the championing of women in entrepreneurship or the education of girls or healthcare access for mothers or the rights of sexual assault victims is like being a small guppy in an ocean of ambivalent whales. So, if you ever feel like I sometimes do I suggest you watch the recording of the Summit because it was monumental. Then you will see that there are a few big sharks on our side with big sharp teeth. You are not alone. You are in amazing company. The summit covered a variety of topics from women’s health, access to education, equal pay, employment opportunity, access to childcare, media bias, and much more. It is a very long at 12 hours, but you don’t have to watch it all at once. Over the next few days I will be blogging summaries of what I thought were some of the highlights of the event.
I hope our future president, whomever that may be, will continue to have this Summit Annually. The White House State of Women Summit 2016.