Today I am thinking of all the women I know.
My Grandma Lynda, who, at seventeen left home, and, despite all odds, as a single mother with no college degree, went on to become one of the most influential business & marketing moguls known to (wo)mankind. Now she gives her time to philanthropy: spearheading a movement towards bettering the lives of others by providing free education and healthcare to thousands of families a year. She has single-handedly enriched the lives of over 60,000 Central Valley youth.
My mother Diana, who, at eighteen, left Mexico for California with nothing but her dog, who, again, with no college degree, went on to join a band, work 5+ jobs, and post-divorce raise two children all on her own. Now, she’s a citizen, jovial restaurant-owner, and has dedicated her life to Nonprofit Animal Rescue, rehabilitating and finding homes for stray dogs in Southern California.
I am honored to know them and share their (period) blood — but not many share their stories.
Today I am also thinking of my Nana Rosa, whose alcoholic husband beat her down, who went on to develop Parkinson’s, who couldn’t afford healthcare, who left us four years ago.
I am thinking of the last gift she gave me: a teddy-bear she had sewn by hand, who my then-abusive boyfriend tore up and left in a dumpster to punish me for “being a whore.”
(She died a few weeks later.)
I am thinking of all of the victims: of abuse, of assault, of rape, of violence.
I am thinking of my dear friend Carolyn, who we lost at the hands of an angry violent man.
I am thinking of how history repeats itself, and how today we have a chance to re-write it.
Today we choose between an abusive, misogynistic, rapist, or someone who fights for our rights.
Someone whose healthcare plan would have covered my dear Nana’s. Who will confront violence against women, like what happened to Carolyn.
Who will confront sexual assault and rape. Who will promote women’s health and reproductive rights, including Planned Parenthood, who provided me with Plan B the morning after I was raped. Who will fight for addiction and substance abuse, which Nana’s husband so badly needed. For mental health access, so more victims can heal. For affordable education, so women like my mom and my grandma can actually get their degrees. For immigration reform, so more women like my mother can come to this country and comfortably start anew.
Someone who, like my mother and grandmother, managed to fight her way up to the top, and, like my mother and grandmother, is working her hardest to take the rest of us with her.
Please, please, please make the right choice today.
November 8th, 2016
by Danielle Sinay