This viral photo taken during the Kavanaugh hearing embodies what many of us are feeling
It’s no secret that the past couple of weeks have been incredibly taxing on women everywhere. The Kavanaugh hearing has weighed on us emotionally and it’s been impossible to escape the news. It’s been even more impossible to escape our feelings about it, and it’s proven to be an unbearable emotional burden for a vast majority of us since we first heard Dr. Ford’s agonizing testimony.
A photographer covering the Kavanaugh hearing captured a particularly heartbreaking moment between herself and the subject — and it perfectly sums up how so many of us are feeling.
Moms Demand Action founder and activist Shannon Watts shared the photo, giving credit to NPR photographer Mary Mathis, who had the following exchange with the woman crying in the photo.
Older woman crying in photo: “How are we going to find the strength to keep fighting? Are we going to be out here for another 30 years? I don’t have 30 years left.”
Younger woman taking her photo: “I’ll be here. I’ll keep fighting.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 6, 2018
“How are we going to find the strength to keep fighting? Are we going to be out here for another 30 years? I don’t have 30 years left.”
To which Mathis, the photographer, replied, “I’ll be here. I’ll keep fighting.” I don’t know about you, but this exchange coupled with that photo simply gutted me.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation to a lifetime appointment as a Suprepe Court justice is all but set, with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voting 51-49 to advance his nomination. A lifetime appointment for a man who is in his fifties could easily mean three decades (or more) of Justice Kavanaugh, a man with a history of sexual assault allegations and a penchant for ruling against women’s reproductive rights.
Three decades is a long time. It’s no wonder so many of us feel defeated right now. But because we’re women, we don’t have the luxury of being apathetic like our male counterparts.
Perfectly captures my sentiments as the mother of 3 daughters. But as long as there is breath, there is fight within me... with them and for them!— Deborah Greene (@DeborahLGreene) October 6, 2018
Last night my daughter and her 13 yr old friends talk about politics. Amazing. They are thoughtful, intuitive and damn they are fierce.— Sadaf Muncy (@SADAFCM) October 6, 2018
We’re going to be just fine. All I cared about at 13 was Duran Duran.
The youth will save us. And the girls will lead the way. We got this.
Me too. So tired.... But today I went out and stumped for our candidate in very red Tennessee. Turning my sadness into action.— CherylvT (@CherylvTilburg) October 6, 2018
Many women who have been fighting for years shared similar sentiments — fear of not living to see real equality.
This was me yesterday. I'm passionate about changing our government for future generations. Not sure I have 30 years to continue fighting. I'm an older, progressive, forward thinking woman. This makes me something of an outlier of my generation. Cmon younger generation!— Laura Marovich (@virgoLauraRN) October 6, 2018
I am 69. I feel exactly the same way.— Notinmyname (@NastyNana16) October 6, 2018
I'm 64 and feel the same way, but together we can do this. We elder women have worked to protect the younger and with thier education from our experiences they can continue the battle.— Janice Pestana (@JaniceLPestana) October 6, 2018
Take five, cry, get up and keep marching. I'll be there even if I have to use a walker. pic.twitter.com/ggSauHMTJj— Meg Hill (@meguphill) October 6, 2018
Point blank: we’re exhausted. We’re feeling demoralized. We’re enraged. And we’re allowed to feel exactly how we want to feel about an accused sexual assaulter ruling against women and their bodies for years to come.
Finding any shred of hope for a better future is, at the risk of sounding like a cynical and depressed person (because I am), is almost out of the question for so many of us. But find it we will — in the funds raised for Senator Susan Collins’ 2020 opponent, for one. The midterm elections will show us if we’re ready to elect progressives instead of grey-jowled Republican ghouls who are the crotchety embodiment of why we need term limits.
And we can find hope in the generations that come after us — because even though it shouldn’t be their burden to bear, the kids have proven time and again they’re alright. And they’re ready to fight.