To say 2020 is a pivotal year is something of an understatement. The language has shifted from climate change to the climate crisis as more of us wake to the effects of the planet heating up from California to Australia and hear the UN message to act now. The US presidential election looms large where both Democrats and Republicans feel democracy in the US will join the koalas (and humans) on the endangered species list if the other side wins. The Democrats are afraid of a fall into Fascism and the Republicans are afraid of a slide into Socialism. Peel back this histrionic rhetoric and what do we really have?
A debate about economics, ethics, and healthcare! Who is going to decide this epic battle, who has the power to make a difference? Drum roll please…are you ready…? Women over 50!
According to a Harris Poll commissioned by the AARP women over 50 are going to decide the election. Let’s say that again: according to a Harris Poll women over 50 are going to decide the election. Why? Simply because 87% are definitely going to vote.
To boot according to the survey most of these women are still deciding who they will actually vote for. We have power and we are careful with it it seems. While this sinks in I am reminded of something else, I am forced to ponder the power of 53%. 53% is the percentage of white women who voted for the president-elect in 2016. Lots of pees.
It seems that female power may have already swayed an election. I need to understand this group of women’s why. If you did vote Republican in the last election, please leave a comment below, let me know if anything I say in this article resonates as you read on. Share anything you feel inspired to do, I’d love to hear from you.
Women over 50 hold power and I think we should all take a deep breath and take this in. We are the first feminine generation in millennia to have access to education, the vote, and choice over our reproductive lives. No wonder some white males of privilege are so desperate to turn back the clock. They know they don’t really have the power that they have always loved having, that has brought them mind-boggling fortunes.
Let’s take another breath and allow ourselves to understand complexity.
The political elite, since the early days of the colony, has always been very good at understanding how to maintain power, so good, they know how to create smokescreens to divert attention from the fact that they don’t have it anymore. They have always been afraid of losing it and always been ruthlessly protecting it. Check out the classic Howard Zinn book “The People’s History of the United States” if you want to really tune into this.
A part of the elite’s strategy has been encouraging and enabling a sense of powerlessness in the rest of us. They need us to feel weak. So women let’s have a thought experiment and ask ourselves do we really realize how much power we hold, and even if we do are we perhaps afraid to use it?
How could 53% of white women vote for a self-proclaimed sex offender? Is it because of deeply ingrained oppression?
I can think of many scenes in movies where the male villain is in a compromised situation looking into the barrel of a gun held by our heroine who appears unable to pull the trigger. Her conditionings prevent it. Is this what happened in the last election? Will this be the case this November?
I heard a story on a podcast that has become my latest party trick. I am sorry I can’t remember where from, maybe someone out there knows and can fill me in and I’ll update the blog. It goes like this. A father and son are in a car crash and the father dies, the boy is taken to hospital only to have the surgeon declare it not possible that the surgeon operates because the patient is also the surgeon’s child.
What? Isn’t the father dead? Who could the surgeon be? Head scratching follows, uncle, grandfather, who?
Can you guess?
Brava for those of you who have, it’s the mother!
If you didn’t get it the Indian woman who told the story also said she didn’t get it and her mother is a surgeon. The only person I’ve told that actually gets it right is my darling husband, so don’t worry sisters if you didn’t, or perhaps do worry. This is the depth of the grooves that tell us we are not as grand or as beautiful or as educated or as whatever as we actually are.
I ask again women do you know you have the power and are you ready to use it?
I see all women over 50 reflected in J-Lo. How awesome was she at the Superbowl? She mirrors all of our magnificence. On SNL she bragged about being the superstar she is right now – singer, actress, mother, lover. Good on her. It’s so life-affirming to see her celebrate her five decades of achievements.
Naomi Klein, another super cool woman just about to turn 50, writer and social justice activist unites people. She can see a clean new era of fresh air, creativity, and prosperity for absolutely everyone. She sees people learning to listen to themselves, one another and the planet, and she sees it across all ages and demographics.
“Countless numbers of working people are starting to actually believe that they could exercise transformative power… It is an awakening, in the truest sense of the word.” she recently rejoices. Jane Fonda calls Naomi her hero.
Jane and Naomi, in all their wisdom, believe not just in women over 50 they believe in everybody, they believe in our collective power to co-create a really cool planet, a really great place to keep on living. The power of everyday people. I do too
Thanks for reading, if you’ve made it this far, I invite you to leave a personal brag and a 50+ woman’s name in the comments that reflects your brilliance. Let’s make a garland. I am going to start it with Michelle Obama. Peace!