Tales From Pantsuit Nation: What My Mother Taught Me

by Sarah Cottrell
Originally Published: 
Housewife Plus
Housewife Plus

My whole life, I have been witness to what brave women can accomplish despite sexism and glass ceilings. My mother divorced my father when I was a small kid. Through GREAT pains, she busted her ass to get a job as a secretary at the local university where she worked for 20 years in order to keep food on the table and a roof over my head.

I watched her get passed over for promotions and instead take second and third jobs to make ends meet. I watched her struggle to find decent childcare and at times in my childhood was forced to make me a latch-key kid. I watched her sacrifice a personal life, sleep, and sometimes even eating just so that I could have something slightly better than what she did.

My mother showed me that no matter what life throws at you – and it will throw a LOT of shit some of which can maim you, some of which can kill you, and some of which will just simply throw you off balance and force you to start over – that when that junk starts flying in your direction you swing at it with all your goddamn might. THAT is the power of women.

Last night I sat and cried on my couch while thinking about all of this. My two sons have a much better life than I had, they want for nothing, they are loved, they have the luxury of being white boys. They asked me why I was crying and I tried to explain to them that tomorrow I get to walk into a polling station and vote – something women have not had the right to do for very long – for a woman. For someone who has fought hard all her life to make a difference in all our lives the way my mother fought so hard to make a difference in mine.

I don’t own a pantsuit, but I am filled with pride. In me walks the lives of countless generations of women who fought for the right to vote and who wanted nothing more than to see a capable, intelligent, talented woman have the same shot as a man to run our country. I will cast my vote and send up a prayer of thanks to them for getting me to this place in history.

To say that I am grateful and privileged to write these words is an understatement. I could not be more proud to stand with Hillary.

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