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Post-Election 2012: It's Going To Be Alright

Election results mark a huge social paradigm shift in American society which seems, to some, like the chaotic end of everything. But, is it? Not at all!

“The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

- Dalai Lama

Today is a new day with a new term, and it's all changing. The big-buck PACs are squabbling with each other over spending some $369 million and getting nothing. The Repubs, who thought they could dig in their heels and get rid of our black President and all he stands for by lording it over the less-than-wealthy, saw dark people coming in droves to support Obama and to make a statement about empowering all Americans. Even yesterday, House Speaker Boehner said they're ready to work together -- providing, of course, they get the 'right deal'. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

All my adult life, I’ve heard men moaning and decrying the situation, any situation. ‘It can’t be done,’ they’d say. ‘No way; it just wouldn’t work.’ And then they’d proceed to give a long litany of their statistics and reasons. I heard a lot of that negativity yesterday on post-election analyses, and I’m seeing it on Facebook today.

Meanwhile, the women would quietly move along, making everything work out well through compromise and sacrifice. My mother raised six children, making do on war rations during one of the Big Ones, learning to sew and make hats so that we girls could all look the Southern ladies she envisioned for us. My Dad was on the upward ladder in  life insurance management so, as he moved up we all moved on. Mom, primarily, moved our household 11 times before I reached high school. 

And it wasn’t easy. On one Friday morning when she was nine months pregnant, with diapers in the washing machine and no dryer, my Dad came home and told her, ‘We’re going to move this weekend.” No, he wasn’t running from anyone; he traveled and he’d just forgotten to tell her another change was coming. That’s how good my Mom was. She was raised in an era when women didn’t complain; they just dealt with the hand they were given, and they did it with grace and grit. We moved that weekend, Mom found another obstetrician, soon afterward delivered my sister, and  our world kept turning.

In later years when I asked her how she could do all that without getting upset, she said, “Well, honey, that’s just the way it was.” 

That was her reply, also, when I asked her about the almost unimaginably huge social metamorphosis she underwent over her 95 years, having grown up in pre-Civil Rights Birmingham, AL and progressing to enjoying black people as close friends. If you haven’t lived through some of that, you just can’t fathom how far she had travelled, just moving with the times.

Today, Mom’s not here to see it, but our nation is undergoing a social earthquake. It’s like two huge social plates under the surface have shifted, leaving what looks like chaos in its stead. And men are wringing their hands saying, ‘We’re doomed; it’s all falling apart!’ 

Nonsense! It’s just starting to come together the way it’s supposed to, and guess who the American people have put in charge? More women in Congress and other offices throughout the land, than ever before! The women are going to provide a stabilizing influence, leading us through  this massive shift in paradigm from power by wealthy whites to power of all Americans because we know that we can find the way. We ordinary women, of course, are hugely influential in our own little worlds.

Admittedly, this is a simplistic approach, and new Congressional lawmakers from the full range of formerly disenfranchised parts of society will also bring balance to our new social emphasis. 

In summary, though, now it's not the Right or Left, the rich or poor who will dominate, it will be the Middle - and that's what's so exciting. Huge paradigms are shifting to create a new reality. Change is hard, and it’s so scary, but that’s the way it is and, don’t worry, fellows; it’s going to be just fine. 

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Cheryl Miller November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Molly, thank you so much for pointing out the increases in women in Congress. I may not have known about it otherwise. During the election, I wondered many times why there seemed to be this Republican "war on women," and now I understand. They felt threatened and the reaction was to bully, intimidate and attack at what they see as a threat. Sadly, many of them must have forgotten that they have mothers, too. And when times are tough, it is often Mom who provides the glue to keep things together. Women are communicators by nature and now, more than ever, our country needs to find a way to compromise and plot the best course for our future. I am glad you do not take the earlier comments to heart as they only prove your point further about those who think we can make things better and those who only want to win at all costs. Thank you for your insight.
JM Hurricane November 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Whatever, you're giving me a headache. Currently, Women hold 16% of House & Senate seats and about of 4% of Fortune 1000 C-Level positions. Go Girl power!On the international stage those stats get much worse for women. However, keep on, keepin' on demonizing the White American Male. It's all their fault. I do have some free birth control pills for ya. Anything to keep you from repopulating!
Molly Darden November 10, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Cheryl, thank you for your understanding support. Women working together can achieve excellent results!
Cheryl Miller November 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Hey JM, sweetie, don't worry your pretty little head about it.
Barry Flanagan September 21, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Steven J Gould once said that the biggest contribution that women make in a society that permits their full participation is their sheer numbers. That is, whatever differences there are in emotional make-up of the genders or varying approach to problem solving, neither attribute is as significant as the numerical doubling of the population that is engaged in the wider world. I can't argue with that. I don't believe however, that having a women in full participation means a wholesale change of societal trajectory - lord knows that the Maggie Thatchers, Golda Meiers, and Michelle Bachmanns have done nothing but reinforce the status quo - a very poor status quo at that. But whatever the outcome, women are to be in the wider social/economic/political world by right - and not by polite male gesture. Having said that, the world is not going to be fine - it's not fine now, not by a long shot, and it will inevitably get much worse. Just this year, carbon that humans dump into the atmosphere went over the 400 parts per million threshold for the first time in millions of years, if not the first time ever. This IS and will continue to have serious ramifications for all of us - and our children and our children's children, ramifications we are just beginning to see and feel. Patching - Republicans supported Romney because they wanted to restore the nation to the good old days of the W presidency - war, bankruptcy, and a white first lady. It could not have been to fix the economy because Romney promised nothing but a continuation of Bush economic policy. Hurricane - You may have a point on Obama - half biologically European-American and raised by a white mom and grandparents. Nonetheless, in this country, if you have any African ancestry in you whatsoever, you are considered black - those are the racist roots of the nation. Obama may have had to learn how to be black - but for sure he felt it long before. Sorry for the late reply.

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