I had a vision of an army of young women who would rise up and seize political power. Yes, I mean seize, as in forcibly take. And yes, I was advised not to use the word seize, since it has an aggressive connotation.
At the time I felt like seizure was what needed to happen. We were coming off the 2010 elections, women had actually lost seats in Congress and legislatures across America, and I was angry and frustrated with it all. But I heeded advice and avoided bad words like seize, lest they make me seem angry to funders. I made the case for gender equity as a means to improve democracy (which I also believe). And I got IGNITE started.
So here we are six years years later, thousands upon thousands of young women have been trained and are starting to run. And I am reclaiming the word seize.
Here's the deal: our democracy is broken. There is no civil discourse. Our federal legislators don't listen, they don't negotiate, they don't compromise. If our democracy were a company the folks who were responsible for this grandstanding and poor management would be fired. And after they were fired the HR department would say, "Hmmm... Maybe we should hire some people who behave differently? People who might put their own egos aside for a minute to focus on making this company profitable instead of posturing like baboons during mating season?"
Well guess who those new people are? They are women! They are old women and young women, women of every race and ethnicity, large women, small women, tall women and short women, liberal women and conservative women. Doesn't matter - women just know how to get stuff done. They don't have time for posturing so they behave more practically. I'm tired of tip-toing around this: women are just more effective.
(And if you doubt me guess who ended the government shutdown in 2014? And guess who gets more bipartisan legislation written and passed?)
America is actually in crisis now. The world is a scarier place than ever. We have legislators and candidates who are talking about the size of their boy parts (and yes, I mean boy). It's time for women of all ages to rise up and seize power. We will only see real change when women are declaring their political ambition, running for office and stepping into elected leadership at all levels. #DeclareYourAmbition today.
Anne Moses, Ph.D.
IGNITE President & Founder