We’re gonna keep this train a-rollin’
We ain’t gonna break down on this highway
We could sit here waitin’, worried, wonderin’
Wishin’ we were somewhere other than right here
But we’re right here
“Keep This Train A’Rollin’”, Doobie Brothers
Well, we are right here, aren’t we?
And we’re all witness to the infancy of a historical revolution.
Ladies, I’m looking at you.
A distant voice is calling, growing in volume and intensity. It’s the voice of millions of women – of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations – standing together to say emphatically, “TIME’S UP!”
Women are speaking out against sexual harassment from powerful men, finally revealing secrets they’ve kept for years under threat of swift and severe consequences.
Women are speaking out against pay inequities at work, along with other forms of discrimination they experience on a regular basis.
Women are speaking out against the body shaming culture that denies their right to simply be themselves, and be happy with that.
Oh, yeah, the revolution is happening. This train is a-rollin’.
And I’m on board.
This week’s Grammy Awards ceremony gave us two definitive moments in that revolution.
First, there was artist Janelle Monae, issuing a clarion call for the just treatment of women in the music industry, holding out an olive branch in an ironclad fist with the unequivocal declaration, “We come in peace, but we mean business.”
Immediately following that was recording artist Kesha who, backed by an all-female chorus, delivered a devastating performance of “Praying”, an anthem for every woman who has endured the worst kind of treatment, only to emerge victorious.
Mind you, this follows on the heels of Oprah Winfrey’s energizing speech at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this year, which was inspired by the #Me Too movement, which itself emerged from the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Put coal on the fire, and the train gains steam.
You fellows that have terrifying visions of armies of militant, man-hating bitches marching down our street, ready to castrate every male they see, like so many bulls down on the farm:
Honestly, get over yourselves.
If you feel threatened, welcome to their world.
Women aren’t looking for dominance. They’re not looking for supremacy. They’re simply asking to be treated with respect. Aretha was right all those years ago.
When I was a lad, pop singer Helen Reddy released “I Am Woman “, a confident, self-assured statement which became a huge hit song, and was adopted as the anthem of the Women’s Liberation Movement. The lyrics remain amazingly relevant, I think:
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
From the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the 19th century, all the way to the present, the struggle for women has been long and arduous; at times, disheartening, at times, rewarding. After all, just two years ago, a woman was nominated for President of the United States.
If there’s one thing you should take from that, guys, it’s this:
They ain’t givin’ up.
The train is a-rollin’. Get on board.