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Chairman Mom is easily the best job I’ve ever had. Granted, I was an investigative journalist before, which is fun in a sick way, but mostly a pretty horrible way to live. But even without such a comp, CM would come out on top.
It is absolutely as inspiring and fun as you’d expect to spend all of your time building things to delight and help badass women become more of their true amazing unfettered selves.
But among all the things I’ve gotten to be part of in the Chairman Mom community, the thing that makes me the most happy is when I see a Needhop booking come in. Lindsay Piper Shaw got three after her brilliant event on podcasting this week and you should have seen me. It was like I’d won the lottery.
“I think you two would hit it off…”
That’s what a former business partner told me about Jennifer Justice just before he intro’d us. He said it in this weird way. The hesitation wasn’t so much about whether we would hit it off. It was more about…What will these two women getting together unleash on the world, and as a man, am I ready for that terrifying alliance?
He wasn’t wrong.
Jennifer Justice—as the name suggests—is just a terrifying force of total badassery and one of my favorite women I’ve gotten to know in the last few years of dismantling the patriarchy.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was in an emotional free-fall where I wondered how I’d get through the weekend let alone 2020. Kids—at home all day??? Zoom calls constantly??? Waiting in line to go inside a grocery store?? No one ever leaving our house??? SO MANY F***ING MEALS TO COOK???
It was clear I needed a major mindshift in how to survive this if it was going to be a marathon, because I was in sprint mode.
I started to LIVE by to-do lists and I put everything essential for me to thrive on that list. Work out. Meditate. Read 50 pages of a book. Tidy for 30 minutes. Organize this room. Order all groceries for the week. Meal plan. And, you know, do all of the actual work that pays my bills. All I had to do was focus on that list. And if it was on the list, it was a non-negotiable.
Major international news organizations wrote volumes about one thing in the vice presidential debate last month. (Was that just last month!?) It wasn’t the fly; it was Kamala Harris repeatedly, firmly and politely saying “I’m speaking” every time she was interrupted.
I recognized it, and it made me feel the importance of having someone like me in that role, because I say that…a lot. But in the aftermath of the debate, I spoke to several women who said such a simple and effective and clear way of dealing with being talked over had never occurred to them or they’d never had the strength to pull it off (let alone multiple times on live TV with gender and racial bias running rampant all around her).
Today’s intro comes from CM contributor Adimika Arthur, a public health expert, hospital executive, and founder of Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M). She fiercely advocates for vulnerable populations and loves to help people better understand health equity, healthcare, and health technology through storytelling, connection, and sisterhood.
Third time’s the charm. That’s how the saying goes, right? In this case, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems likely to withstand its third challenge at the Supreme Court. The backdrop of this critical decision has been the polarization of the presidential election, the rushed appointment of conservative Amy Coney Barrett, and the obvious fact that COVID-19 has left many millions who have lost their jobs uninsured or underinsured and—therefore—at heightened health risk. Here is the math: Coronavirus pandemic + economic downturn = Affordable Care Act is the only safety net for the millions of Americans who’ve lost their job (over 11 million in October 2020). That’s because loss of job = zero health insurance as a benefit of being employed.
Yes, there is a sad attempt at a coup going on here. I’m not saying it’s not serious. I am just saying it’s not as serious as it could be. It’s not actually as serious as I feared going into Election Day. I think there’s a big enough lead in enough states that this can’t actually work. I think it’s a sad and pathetic ego soothing of a would-be dictator who’s actually just a coward. Maybe it’s a good thing that the GOP is distracted with this while we focus on Georgia? I’m going to let the Biden team handle it, and I’m gonna go on with my life.
I always remind my kids that words bought our 100-year old Victorian in San Francisco. Their mom’s words. Words that she got paid a lot of money to say or to write. And words that had a huge impact. Words that, in many cases, people who hated her, who underestimated her, had to listen to.
Words are one of our most powerful things we have, and underrepresented groups get gaslit out of using them so often.
Our words over the last four years were HEARD this past week. And now, the rebuilding begins. The rebuilding of our personal lives, our communities, our schools, our companies, and communities and country.
Wow. I needed last night.
I almost didn’t show up to our virtual event about unpacking what just happened in America and how to talk to our kids about it. I am so exhausted with the same circulating “how did this happen?” conversation.
Not only was there a funny exploration of our own fan fiction over the hidden lives of MSNBC and CNN correspondents, but Adimika Arthur came in late and LIFTED US ALL UP!
She not only pep-talked our members like @tweenmom who has put in INSANE hours in her home state of Colorado only to see a lot of local upsets. She also assuaged my concerns about reports that Mitch McConnell is not going to “allow” a potential President-Elect Joe Biden to staff his Cabinet with powerhouses like Stacey Abrams and a lot of other women of color; I guess it just so happens to be women of color who are disrespectful to the GOP. News outlets are already contemplating an alternative “more moderate” slate of…mostly white men.
Newsletter editor Lily here, coming at you live from the deep trenches of my living room couch, where I’ve sat for the last three days with the exception of the 15 hours I’ve slept total this entire week. (Don’t worry, I’ll be moving around more tomorrow!)
Understandably, there’s been lots to stay about the past 48 hours. The thing I was immediately most struck by is the surprise from a lot from liberals—particularly white liberals—about the fact that this election hasn’t been a widespread repudiation of Donald Trump. While it’s looking like (as of this newsletter’s publication) that Biden has a higher probability of winning the presidency and Democrats will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, outcomes are looking a lot dicier across the board. Democrats didn’t make as big of strides in the state legislatures they were hoping for, and they also didn’t decisively take control of the Senate, not to mention several big congressional winners of the 2018 Blue Wave lost their seats. And then, of course, there’s the fact that we’re literally waiting on pins and needles for a state like Nevada’s six electoral votes to see if Biden is victorious in this tight race.
So how was your Tuesday?
Who even knows what we’ll know by the time you are reading this. But it looks plausible that we are entering a period when we’re going to have to figure out how to get along again as one country. Not only because people are going to have to accept results they may not like, not only because there is years of stoked division and violence that has to be healed. But also because both parties will have power in the government.
As a liberal, I am relieved that it looks like Biden and Harris may win. But I’m saddened that they’ll be back in a haggling-with-Mitch-McConnell world. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll take that over other outcomes. But I was hoping that we could finally make real change on things that the majority of Americans agree on, like common sense gun control or climate change or gay and transgender rights. Things that make us outliers in much of the rest of the world.