Within four days, this single hashtag had been tweeted an astounding 1.2 million times.
As of this post in The Breakroom, the tweets are still multiplying and the global conversation about the pervasiveness of violence and sexism against women continues to intensify and grow. It’s hard to keep up. Just try searching the hashtag, and you’ll see for yourself.
Writers struggling to figure out what might have motivated the tragic and senseless murders in the Isla Vista rampage have touched on so many reasons for the attack that it’s possible to give just the short list: Too many video games. Too much violence on TV. Pervasive misogyny in music lyrics. The banality of consumer culture. Mental illness. Male entitlement. Too many guns, too easily acquired. The list goes on, and the picture it paints is pretty bleak. Each and every item on the list is one more enormous stone in the massive wall that often stands between a woman and the many ways that she can contribute to her community, society, and the world.
Caroline Center trainees, as so many women, are all too familiar with the enormous wall built from sexism and violence. They have experienced this wall and so many more obstacles that stand in the way of opportunity, education, and meaningful employment.
But, I would also like to think that our trainees’ courage and tenacity, their personal grit and determination – qualities that I observe each and every day – are not only helping to break down this wall, but are also linking them to a vast global sisterhood that is awakening and enlightening the world through the sheer power of a collective voice.
For every woman who finds herself standing before a seemingly impenetrable wall, the women of Caroline Center offer these words from “Here I Stand,” a poem from What It Takes.
This wall, this deck that’s been stacked against me . . .
. . . I no longer accept it. It’s indefensible.
This fortified blockade. This callous deck. This house of cards that I’ve been dealt.
It’s time to blow right through it. Bring it crashing down.
I can do it, too. Don’t bet against me.
‘Cause I’m a force of nature.
All women . . . all of us . . . working together, have what it takes to make positive change and to make it last. Caroline Center works hard every day to educate women, to empower and prepare women for work, and to make positive change possible for women and their families. The results of this work can be seen in the more than 2,000 women who are working in sustainable careers in Baltimore because Caroline Center opened a door – because we know what women face and we care.
Caroline Center acknowledges – YesAllWomen confront obstacles in their lives – and Caroline Center affirms – YesAllWomen have the power to bring a seemingly insurmountable wall crashing down. We know that Caroline Center graduates definitely have what it takes.