Watershed. Last night. Met friends at the beach to slough off the long week with an ocean swim. My teenage daughter and her 2 besties joined us. After a beautiful sunset, I took them for cheeseburgers and milkshakes, and their chatter quickly turned to the conversation that’s been dominating the hallowed halls of Templeton High - a woman’s absolute right to choose.
They shared their thoughts and peppered me with questions about the Alabama ruling, what it all means to them. Deep breath. Not sure where to start, I told them that in 1973, not that long after I was born, Norma McCorvey, better known as Jane Roe, mustered up the courage to take on the state of Texas in the highest court in the land. She demanded her constitutional right to choose what happened to her body. I told them that she won the battle, and it set a precedent (had to explain that word), Roe v Wade, that would give every woman that right. So how did Alabama happen? - they asked. I told them there was a kicker: the ruling wasn’t absolute (had to explain that one too). It gave each state the right to apply a ‘balancing test’. Enter the loophole. Through which Trump’s savage, criminal, republican administration is attempting to tear down everything that is good and right in US.
So what can we do? - they asked.
The conversation that followed, with these 3 sparkling, intelligent young woman filled me with all kinds of emotions. Amazement, pride, respect. Also a real sense of the weight of responsibility I carry. Because they’re looking to us - their mothers and aunts, grandmas and sisters, friends and teachers, caregivers and healers - all the women in their lives, and the rock solid men who stand shoulder to shoulder with us. They’re looking to us to lead by example. To stand up and be counted. Fight the good fight. Love what is good in this world, ferociously. So they can grow into independent women who stand up, fight and love. Not just for themselves, but for everyone. And I know they will. They already are.