Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 6 of 10 Days of Great Women

In the final days leading up to the Women's Marches across the nation, I'll be highlighting the GREAT Americans I know who have fought for our progress as a nation. I'll specifically be looking toward the women in my life that have impacted my ability to see progress, women who have inspired me, women who have pushed me to be better.

My aunt Carole was the woman I wanted most to be like when I grew up. I wanted to be like her because she was infamous for being the smartest woman many people knew. I love smart women and I wanted to be like her. She read voraciously and people said that was some of how she knew so much. So I've read voraciously. She taught me to play cards and that taught me teamwork and strategy. I loved being her partner, largely because we always won but also because she knew just exactly what you should do in each situation and taught it to me.

She was a lawyer and she used that big brain of hers to do a lot in the world. She never backed down from an argument if she knew she was right which was most of the time. She was always right. I saw that as such a desirable attribute because she backed her arguments with lengthy examples of her knowledge. Her arguments were based in fact. Her positions were based in compassion. But she was unrelenting.

I have many women lawyer friends in my life and I like to have arguments and discussions with them. They tend to come with facts and information and do not typically back down easily. They WILL change their minds with a discussion. I tend to be a driven by information and logic and so I appreciate people who are this way and who do not take it personally if I disagree with them.

To understand an issue, I need to argue it, to examine multiple angles. I will often take a side in a discussion just to see how it holds up against another person's thoughts or opinions. Some people take that as a personal attack, but rarely lawyers.

I have an intense need for fairness. Lawyers seem to understand this and remain even as I get more heated in my pursuit of equity. I appreciate that.

So today, Day 6, is for the Lawyers in my life.

For my friend who out of college worked for the Attorney Generals office and has written law book chapters and taught law school and hopefully will one day be a judge.

For my friend who has fought for asylum seekers and heard in deep detail the horrid stories that have sent us the weak and the weary to this great country.

And most of all, for my late aunt who shaped my life in such major ways. She had to overcome gender stereotypes and work most of her career with men who she had to reprove and reprove her worth and knowledge to. She was so incredible and paved the way through the boy's club for all of us.

Today is for you, Lawyers.

Thank you for arguing with me, for following up your arguments with facts, for responding point-by-point instead of sidelining a discussion for a piece of random information that is unrelated to the point at hand. For legislating and shaping the law of our communities, for defending those who need it and prosecuting those who need it. I love to think and fight through ideas with you, whether I agree with you or not. I learn my way through it because of this type of discourse.