If Ever There Was a Time for Women’s Stories to be Told, This Is It

Last night, First Lady Michelle Obama told her story to the nation at the Democratic National Convention, adding:

If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire…if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores…if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote…if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time…if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream…and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.

Because in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country – the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.

That is what has made my story, and Barack’s story, and so many other American stories possible.

[Image credit: The First Lady (2012, M.A. Reilly)]

Soraya Chemaly asserts that all women should be telling their stories:

Today, it is especially important to tell specific stories that every girl should know — those that explain that every girl’s and woman’s body is her own and not the property of others or society. This has nothing to do with political affiliation. Stories about our street harassment, rapes, our second rapes, our abortions, our domestic abuse , our risky and frightening pregnancies, our more likely impoverishment, our specific health concerns, our pregnancy-related imprisonments and seizures, our ambivilient motherhoods. We need to talk about the real, tangible effects of EVERYDAY SEXISM. We need to share stories of the entrenched biases we encounter, the subtle sidelining at the hands of condescending benevolent sexists, the male norms that marginalize us and the ways in which we adapt.

One of the most valuable aspects of Chemaly’s piece is the list of Women’s Storytelling Resources at the end. I’ll be adding these to my inside pages.