Within the past month, at separate events, I’ve met Cecile Richards and Nancy Pelosi and I can tell you this – they both wear terrific shoes.
I pay attention to shoes. In fact, I craned my neck to see what kind of shoes Nancy Pelosi was wearing today with her white silky-ish suit. She wore baby blue pointy-toe pumps with maybe a two-inch heel. Cecile Richards’ heels were higher, nearly stilettos. Neither had bought into the sensible shoe, roomy toe box thinking and I was glad for that. There was a beautiful fierceness about their shoes that I love.
When I met Cecile Richards, it was at a fundraising event for Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin held at a friend’s house. When I came, I immediately espied Cecile Richards standing at the top of the driveway near the garage. I’d already decided that I had one mission: to shake her hand, tell her my story (in the briefest possible way), and thank her. I talked to her almost in code. She knew what I meant when I said I survived life before Roe v. Wade, details weren’t necessary. And it felt wonderful and fulfilling to thank her for her work for women, like I owed her maybe and had paid some of my debt.
Meeting Nancy Pelosi today was much different. The event was a press conference highlighting the Republicans’ plan to drastically slash Medicaid and Medicare and gut the Affordable Care Act. She spoke after six other people, one of them a great friend who is also very involved in our League of Progressive Seniors. I was starstruck the entire time, like Stevie Nicks had dropped by to sing a tune, and I kept trying to catch Leader Pelosi’s eye which actually wasn’t hard because I was in the second row, wearing a t-shirt that said: This is What a Feminist Looks Like and holding a red sign for League of Progressive Seniors.
Leader Pelosi (yes, that’s how she is addressed) started her talk by acknowledging League of Progressive Seniors, saying, “I’m a progressive senior!” I yelled “Yes” and waved my sign in the air like a crazed teenager at a rock concert. I wanted her to sign my sign. I saw the other folks sitting quietly, smiling.
When the press conference ended, audience members rushed to speak to her but I still managed to take this picture of her and my League of Progressive Seniors sister.
And a picture of my wonderful comrades.
I love women, strong women with great shoes, women who don’t hold back who they are or what they think, women who forge ahead despite legions of naysayers, who fight off sexism and ageism, who show up where they’re not wanted and take the seat someone’s been saving for a man, who say what’s true, who talk about their beloved children, who lean in to listen to people in wheelchairs, who smile at awe-struck strangers, who analyze the challenge and organize the fight. I love them, us.