This post is dedicated to you for describing that moment in our lives that we have in common as girls, young women and old women, all over the world, in every hovel and every castle. It is the moment we recognize our dilemma: Do we accept the vulgar taunt, the terror of a stare, the instant of degradation when a hand, uninvited, touches our bodies? Or do we pretend we don’t notice? Do we carry on in the face of disrespect because, as you said, to do otherwise might seem like we were weak?
No. You spent time with girls at the International Day of the Girl, to “remind them of how valuable and precious they are.” You told them – and from New Hampshire you told all of us—that by their courage over “unthinkable obstacles” just to go to school, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
In Phoenix, Arizona you kept talking to us. You told us “be encouraged.” Hope is what we have and hope will see us “through all the hateful, hurtful rhetoric” of this campaign.
Mrs. Obama, we want you to know that in Springfield, Massachusetts, we have a place, it is our workshop, where we renew our value as women every day and where we claim our right to dignified and fulfilling work. We have created a place where men enter only as equals.
And we will keep this place alive because, as you said:
“… in difficult times, we don’t give up. We don’t discard our highest ideals. No, we rise up to meet them… We rise up to embody the unwavering hope that keeps us going -- day after day, generation after generation. That is the power of hope.”
So, Michelle Obama, we want you to know WE ARE ENCOURAGED!
Nannette, Meraly, Melissa and Pam