Why I am wearing a diaper pin
I am wearing a diaper pin. If you don't understand the significance of the safety pin, it was a gesture begun in Britain signifying that the wearer offered a safe space to those who feel threatened. I appreciate this movement because it is a way to offer solidarity without being invasive.
But why am I wearing a diaper pin?
I am a mother. I stay at home with my children full time. I do not do this because it is my place. I do it because I am good at it, and I am good at it because I think and study and work and evaluate and reevaluate what I am doing and why. And it takes every ounce of strength, patience, and intellect I can scrape together.
I am committed to them and to myself as their mother and educator. I never accomplish the amount of presence and calm I envision, but I know that what I am doing is important. But I am not a stay-at-home parent and home-educator because I am a woman.
I chose this.
Over the last year I have seen, out of the corner of my well guarded eyes, a troubling dialogue. Certain persons claiming that women should be satisfied with staying at home because it is an important job.
Do you want to be told to be satisfied? What about the counter-dialogue. Men should be satisfied out of the home because it is an important job.
I am wearing a diaper pin because I want to offer a safe space for women who have been wounded by the shrapnel of a ugly fight for power. Nothing was off limits. Women became nasty, non-academics became ignorant, refugees became terrorists. Even those trying to empower women created a narrative wherein choosing to stay in the home was unempowered. This year, the scramble to the oval office came at a great price.
I have discovered a strange thing. One day after I watched television pundits frantically zoom in and out of district maps, trying to reconcile the projected outcome and reality, I realized I have been waiting my whole life for someone to hand me the next page in the script. I have been patient and compliant. I have trusted that the world would fulfill my hopes if I did my best in my corner of things.
Not so, indeed. I have never felt the need for and the power of my voice until now. Yes, I have never had a career, but I refuse to be dismissed or disregarded because of that. I am not a failed woman or a woman who knows her place. I am a woman who has taken her place in history.
I believe in women.
I believe in mothers.