Friday, February 10, 2017

Nevertheless, She Persisted

By now, you've all heard and read about what happened on the Senate floor Tuesday evening. During a session debating the nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, Senator Elizabeth Warren (tried to) read a letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986 to Strom Thurmond, then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, detailing her opposition to Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.


Senator Steve Daines interrupted Warren, citing Senate Rule XIX which states that "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator." The Senate voted along party lines, Warren was silenced, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell gave his now-famous explanation, 
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

Despite being told to be quiet by a bunch of men, Senator Warren did read Mrs. King's letter outside the Senate chambers, did not sit down and shut up in the following days, and Mitch McConnell unwittingly gave women a rallying cry that we will be remembering, shouting, and taking to heart for years to come.


I would be willing to bet that every single woman has been told to be quiet at some point in her life; I know I have. Sometimes it's a direct interruption, "Here, let me explain that" from a colleague at a meeting; sometimes it's a more subtle aside like, "Things would be so much better if you could just try to be a little more agreeable" spoken by a male. Women have heard these messages innumerable times, for much of their lives, which is why McConnell's words spoke to all women. He was so very clueless that I don't think he even understood how or why his own words about a woman reading the words of another woman would be used against him.

Luckily for all of us, Senator Warren persisted, as she always has. Unluckily for all of us, Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, which is just one reason why all of us can not let this rallying cry become just a meme or simply words on a protest sign. There is nothing wrong with those, but I think it has to mean more. We've all been resisting, without much change to show for it so far, but "Nevertheless, she persisted" could not have come at a better time. Persist we must.


11 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of Senator Warren. I called her office on Wednesday to thank her for her persistence.

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  2. Yes. We MUST (nevertheless) PERSIST!

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  3. Excellent call to all women! And persist I shall, we must, we will!
    Cheers~

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  4. Every time I think that a new day will be "boring" news I am wrong. I love her persistence and how everyone is uniting in a wonderful way!

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  5. Every.single.day! And, yes - if I had a nickle for every time I heard those words... (Also, Hillary's tweet last night was epically wonderful!! (https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/829846842150096896)

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  6. A very timely post, Bonny. We all must persist!

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  7. I do not know a woman who hasn't been stopped mid-sentence. We persist because we must. Things may not change in the short term, but persist we must! Thank you for the video and the letter, Bonny!

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  8. #ShePersisted has been my internet highlight this week. Sad....(but true!)

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  9. Scary times we're living in here! But we will...persist away! I hope the one thing that is not persisting is your cough!

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