Author Archives: mrswhatsit9

What IS “Build Back Better”?

We keep hearing about how the general populace’s support for the Biden/Harris administration’s Build Back Better agenda is weak, uncertain, below 50%, how this-that-or-the-other voting block (Black folks, women, young people) are disappointed, GQ Grandpa Joe’s poll numbers are going down, etc., etc., etc. horse race bullshit.

What we’re NOT hearing is what’s IN the Build Back Better plan.

Looks like the media isn’t planning to, you know, COVER that, so it’s on us to get the word out.

So what’s in it?

  • More than 4 million children lifted out of poverty due to the child tax credit
  • Universal pre-K
  • Increased federal funding for school modernization
  • Child care stipends that will save the average family nearly $15,000 a year
  • Free community college
  • Plans to cut carbon emissions by 45% via modernizing the electrical grid and increased investments in renewable energy, plus financial incentives to switch to electric vehicles
  • Relatedly, more than 700,000 new, good-paying, union jobs in the clean energy sector
  • Medicaid expansion that will cover 2.2 million more people
  • Reasonably priced options under the Affordable Care Act that will save enrollees $600 a year per person
  • Expanding Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing
  • Lowering prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices
  • Capping out of pocket expenses for prescriptions for seniors at $2000 a year
  • Expanding support for home care so more seniors can age in place
  • FINALLY getting MANDATORY FEDERAL paid sick, family, and medical leave (12 weeks a year)

Most importantly, how are they going to pay for all this awesomeness?

  • Getting corporations to pay their fair share.
  • Getting rich people to pay their fare share.

That’s it. Make less than $400K a year? Your taxes won’t go up – and in fact, with all the items detailed above, you’re very likely to see MORE money in your pocket every year, whether it’s from the family-friendly policies, reduction in your health care costs, or earning a degree or certification that leads to a career FOR FREE.

(Now before folks go all: “But Mrs Whatsit! $400K a year is not rich!”, let me just point out that Spouse & I make about half that, live in one of the highest cost of living areas of the country, pay fairly high state & local taxes, and are doing just fine.  “$400K a year is not rich!” my sweet round ass.)

ALL of these things are INCREDIBLY POPULAR, once people know about them. So you know what to do: SPREAD THE WORD!

Hat tip to @tify330 for doing the work to compile all this information.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

 

It’s Go Time!

As Hecate is fond of remarking, Virginia loves elections so much, they have them every year.

After successfully flipping BOTH houses of the state legislature in 2019, Virginia is leading the way in the New (Blue) South. And, again quoting the wise Hecate, “elections have consequences.” What have those looked like in Virginia in the past two years?

  • Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour
  • Making It Easier to Vote
  • ACA Medicaid Expansion
  • Protecting LGTBQ+ Rights
  • Protecting Reproductive Choice
  • Raising Teacher Pay
  • Abolishing the Death Penalty at the State Level
  • Fighting Climate Change
  • Sensible Gun Safety Protections
  • Passing the ERA

In short, DEMOCRATS DELIVER!

Does all that sound good to you? It sounds pretty damn good to me, too.

Thing is, all that progress is in danger right now.

Despite the fact that the Republican candidate for governor is basically a mini-Trump, Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe is ahead but currently running within the margin of error. Which means he’s not – at least at the moment – pulling up the rest of the ticket.

In the meantime, many of the Dems in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are defending their seats for the first or second time, so their victories are far from assured.

And all the low hanging fruit in terms of flippable seats has already been plucked, so the remaining red seats are MUCH tougher targets. We can’t bet on a bunch of pickups this time around.

What can you do to help?

I’m so glad you asked!

Write postcards to voters with Postcards4VA.

This one is EXTREMELY time sensitive, as early voting is already underway, and the deadline to request mail ballots is October 22, two weeks from today. We’re pushing GOTV big time, because “if we vote, we win,” but to do that, we gotta get Dems and Dem-leaning Independents to the polls.

Ten minutes per day can net you five postcards written, which means in a week, you can write 35 postcards to encourage inconsistent voters to make their voices heard. Do you have ten minutes a day for the next week? Yes? Then you know what to do!

What ELSE can you do?

  • Phone bank
  • Text bank
  • Canvass
  • Donate

Ah! But to/for whom?

I mean, there’s little point in putting your limited volunteer energy and dollars into Republican seats that WILL NOT flip, nor into Democratic seats that are a lock.

The Virginia Public Access Project has a handy-dandy listing of “lean” of current Virginia districts.

What you’re looking for is races in the Competitive or Leans Republican categories.

Hecate would definitely urge you to volunteer for and/or donate to Paul Siker, working right now to flip HD-33. The Republican currently occupying the seat is a total jackass, so this shouldn’t be as tough as it is, but a lotta folks are happy to vote against their interests for a candidate who gleefully enables their racism, sexism, and homophobia. Paul could use our help.

I’m personally working on Del. Joshua Cole (HD-28, the most “red” district currently represented by a Democrat, who is up for his FIRST re-election), Katie Sponsler (challenging in HD-66, the most “blue” district currently represented by a Republican), and Briana Sewell (running in HD-51, to hold the seat Hala Ayala vacated to run for Lt. Governor).

But honestly, any of the races in those Competitive or Leans Republican ranges is a good choice. Pick one – or more! – and dive in!

Virginia can keep making progress, or it can, in the blink of an eye, turn into Texas. Which way it goes is up to each of us, and the work we put in in the next 25 days.

Image from Network NoVA, which is another great resource for ways you can help elect Dems in Virginia this fall.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

 

Dems ARE Doing Something

I know a lot of us are online, perhaps excessively so, and the always ill-informed “DO SOMETHING” caucus has turned their panic buttons all the way up to “infinity,” and a lot of people are very publicly losing their shit.

But I need us all to take a breath.

The Dems are NOT in disarray.

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are not going to destroy the Biden/Harris agenda. Neither is The Squad. Nor the Blue Dog Dems in Congress.

Yes, Mitch McConnell and the GQP have gone full “burn it all down, piss on the ashes, and salt the earth” nihilist.

But GQ Grandpa Joe knows what he’s doing.

So does MVP Momala.

And Nancy.

“Big fucking deal,” complicated, paradigm-shifting legislation does not get made overnight. Everyone pushes hard for their priorities, as they should. There’s a lot of negotiating. It’s messy and contentious, and it takes time.

THAT IS HOW THE SAUSAGE GETS MADE, PEOPLE.

Please, I beg of you, put down the Twitters and your phone, hug your kid, pull some weeds, pet your cat, call your bestie, go for a walk, have a glass of wine or a toke, and trust the process. It may not look like it, but it *is* working.

Oh – and get your flu shot. Do your part to keep your ass out of the hospital this fall/winter – medical professionals are dealing with enough right now.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

Update on #Justice4Chrystul

Almost two years ago, I wrote about Chrystul Kizer, a young woman who killed the man who sex trafficked her (and MANY other teenage girls of color).

To quote my original post:

Many states have also applied an existing legal concept called “affirmative defense” for victims of sex trafficking. To quote the Cornell law school, affirmative defense is:

a defense in which the defendant introduces evidence, which, if found to be credible, will negate criminal liability or civil liability, even if it is proven that the defendant committed the alleged acts.

In other words, if a girl is being trafficked, and she commits a crime to free herself, she can argue necessity, that she did what she had to do to prevent the further and continued harm she was facing at the hands of the adult man who was trafficking her, and her crime may be negated or her punishment ameliorated.

As of December 2019, the judge in the state of Wisconsin was not permitting Ms. Kizer to use affirmative defense.

Did I mention she’s Black?

Quelle surprise.

As I wrote then:

She needs our help. She needs our compassion. She needs counseling and a mentor. What she doesn’t need is to have her actions viewed through a lens of racism and have the proverbial book thrown at her for taking desperate action.

Well, it turns out, Ms. Kizer’s lawyers have kept working her case, and this past June, a Wisconsin appeals court said she could indeed use affirmative defense.

The prosecutor in her case appealed, and now her case is going to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

(I do not have enough time right now to go into all the ways that prosecutors often have too much power and too little accountability, but if you want to learn more about that, and about the role prosecutors play as one of the main drivers of mass incarceration, check out the work of Fordham University Professor of Law John Pfaff, particularly his excellent book Locked In.)

If the Wisconsin Supreme Court allows the appeals court ruling to stand, it could, to quote a recent Washington Post report on the case, “have national repercussions on the way that trafficking victims involved with serious crimes are treated…” potentially benefiting trafficking victims across the US, among which Black and brown girls are over-represented.

It’s taken years, but hopefully, soon, there will in fact be #Justice4Chrystul and other survivors of trafficking.

Image of Chrystul Kizer from The Independent.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

 

 

Turn, Turn, Turn

As I write this, we’re just over five days from the autumnal equinox here in the magical Mid-Atlantic. And as Hecate is so fond of reminding us: “A Witch’s Job Is to Turn the Wheel and Round and Round the Wheel Must Turn.”

Mabon is the “witches’ thanksgiving,” where we draw in and count up our harvest, and celebrate our hard work and the bounty of the earth, the universe, and the deities we revere.

But this particular harvest season has me thinking a lot about loss and endings.

It’s partially because this week, the United States passed the dreadful milestone of  670,000 people dead of COVID. That’s 1 in 500 Americans. Wives and husbands. Mamas and babas. Tias and tios. Nonnas and nonnos. Bubbes, abuelas, play cousins, friends, lovers, children. Dead.

Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg planned a memorial to the dead on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and by the time she could get it installed, it was already outdated.

On a more personal note, a close friend of mine of more than 25 years was just diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. They caught it early, in part because he was experiencing other health problems so was working with a medical team and being closely monitored already, and he was able to have surgery right away, because thankfully our hospitals here in Blue America are NOT overwhelmed with selfish idiots. But the five year survival rate is, basically, zero. His daughter just started college three weeks ago. His wife threw together a last minute birthday party for him just before surgery comprised of a tiny group of vaccinated people because, his relentlessly positive attitude notwithstanding, we’re all worried it will be his last.

At the moment, it’s hard to feel celebratory, or joyful, or even particularly thankful.

Then again, there IS a time to weep, a time to mourn, even, in fact, a time to die. Because that’s a part of turning the wheel, too.

And I hope we are all able to find a time for peace this Mabon.

Full lyrics to Pete Seeger’s lovely Turn, Turn, Turn:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

War on Women

They’re not just a cool feminist punk band from Baltimore.

With their vigilante, forced-birth bullshit, Texas has declared all-out war on women.

(Yes, I know: pregnant people. Because of course trans men and non-binary people can – and do – get pregnant. I’m neither stupid nor ignorant. However, rigorously insisting on talking about pregnant people in abortion politics just obscures what’s really driving the pro-forced-birthers. It’s not concern for babies, and it’s not sticking it to trans people – it’s MISOGYNY. Something experienced by WOMEN.)

And Texas is just a little out ahead of a pack that includes most of the old Confederacy (have I ever mentioned that racism and sexism often go hand-in-hand?) and large chunks of the Midwest – the Washington Post has a very clear graphic that clearly lays out the disaster that lies in wait for millions of women across the US when Roe falls.

Because, despite the DOJ doing what is in their power to do, Roe is going to fall. They have the numbers on SCOTUS and, as many, many of us warned LOUDLY and REPEATEDLY in 2016, that’s it. Game over.

I know Hecate just wrote about this, but:

  • If you think you want more kids but not now, and you’re pre-menopausal, get long-acting birth control.
  • If you’re done having kids and you’re pre-menopausal, get sterilized.
  • Purchase Plan B and condoms and store them according to package directions.
  • Do the research NOW on pharmacies outside the US that will discretely ship mifepristone and misoprostal to women across the border, no questions asked.
  • Make sure your passport is current in case you need to get to Canada or Mexico to get healthcare.
  • Relatedly, if you have the means, donate to abortion funds – these help women in wannabe-Gilead states who need abortions travel to places where they can get them. (They also help poor women in women-friendly states afford abortions – thanks a lot Hyde amendment. Everybody wins!)
  • Donate to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other groups that provide abortion care and advocate for women’s rights to bodily integrity and self-determination.
  • Keep fighting to elect Democrats, particularly at the local and state levels. The GQP has been planning this since 1978. We’re going to have to have a similar level of dedication and focus to claw this back someday.

Do these NOW if you live in a Roe trigger law state. Do them soon even if you don’t.

And, I swear to the Goddess, if anyone EVER accuses me of being “hysterical” for giving priority to abortion rights EVER again, I am punching him right in his fat face.

One more, for your listening pleasure, and TURN IT ALL THE FUCKING WAY UP.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

(Yes, I am reupping this AGAIN.)

As we go into this last weekend of summer, it’s a great time to gather friends and family for parties and cookouts – and this weekend I’ll be doing some of both – but it’s ALSO a great time to remember what we’re celebrating with our Labor Day holiday: honoring labor and trade organizations, and having a party for workers and their families.

Not consumers, workers.

We are more than consumers – we’re citizens and workers. This day is for us!

The next time you enjoy things like:

  • An 8-hour workday
  • Paid overtime
  • A weekend

Or think about the fact that your seven year old is not expected (or allowed) to get a job, that we do have a minimum wage (although it desperately needs to be raised), or that if you get injured on the job, you’re owed compensation, remember: that’s all thanks to labor unions.

And did you know that WOMEN formed the first labor union in the US?  Women textile workers in Lowell, MA formed the first union 50 years before Samuel Gompers founded the AFL.

The union movement has been on the decline since its peak in the mid-1960s, with Republican-promoted “right to work” laws encroaching on more and more states and increasing numbers of gig workers who have NO formal protections. But unions still remain powerful guardians of workers’ rights and interests, protecting us from being at the mercy of management, whose only real goal is to make the widget a little cheaper and sell it for a little more, squeezing as much profit as possible out of every step along the way, including the workers.

Unions protect workers’ wages and ensure high quality benefits packages via contracts, help promote equal pay for equal work, allow workers to exercise the power of collective bargaining, ensure that people aren’t fired for no good reason, promote workplace safety standards, encourage civic engagement, and provide a bulwark against the whims of the owners.

As the Economic Policy Institute’s excellent research paper on this subject points out: “Unions are essential to a fair economy and a vibrant democracy.”

So enjoy your cookout and beer and relaxing with your posse on the last weekend of summer – I know I will – but don’t forget to take a few minutes to think about what we’re actually celebrating this weekend.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

Dems in Array

Not that you would know it from the pundits, but things have been going pretty damn well for Democrats lately.

Afghanistan

First, I am no expert on Afghanistan.

(Then again, neither are the vast majority of both professional and amateur commentators who’ve been expressing their ill-informed opinions with impunity the last few weeks, and at least I have a graduate degree in political science with a concentration in international relations.)

When the US first invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks (which, seeing as we’re nearing the 20th anniversary, I will *once again* remind people ALSO hit DC, NOT JUST NYC thankyouverymuch), we had a pretty clear mandate: stop Al Qaeda from operating there, get Bin Laden.

W was successful at the first, it took Obama to accomplish the second, but W and his cronies quickly pivoted to “also, too, American-style democracy, nation building, human rights, etc. etc.” In other words: The Afghan War, The Search for More Money. Maybe I’m being too cynical, maybe W really did care deeply about the human rights of Afghan women and girls. But I suspect what he really cared about was boatloads of cash for Dick Cheney’s Haliburton and all the other defense contractors who make BIG donations to Republicans.

Thing is, the US has tried to waltz into countries where we’re ignorant of their history and culture and impose American-style democracy before. And it never ends well. We pretty much own the term “quagmire.”

In February 2020, TrumPutin made a deal with the Taliban promising to get US troops out of Afghanistan by May 2021. Given that, the Biden/Harris administration started instructing Americans to get the hell out of Afghanistan in April of this year, meanwhile negotiating with the Taliban for a few extra months.

When the US pull out officially started, the Afghan government and military collapsed like wet cardboard, likely having been bribed to do so, possibly by the Russians (who have their own inglorious history there). We were completely fine with endemic kleptocracy as long as it suited our interests, so we really shouldn’t be that surprised that someone else took a lesson.

The incredibly rapid takeover by the Taliban appears to have caught the Biden/Harris administration looking. And shit got chaotic as hell for a minute. And the pundits – and Republicans – publicly lost their damn minds.

Eleven days later? They had evacuated more than 82K people with zero American lives lost.

(That record was shattered yesterday, in the suicide bombing outside the airport that killed 12 service members and many more Afghans. Which, while tragic, doesn’t change my larger point.)

Should they have been prepared with what they’re doing now three weeks ago? Perhaps, but I’m not sure it’s fair to have expected them to predict that there would be literally NO organized resistance to the Taliban from Afghans themselves.

We can’t want it for them more than they want it for themselves.

Want someone to blame in all of this? I’d start with Stephen Miller, whose insane racism led him, among other things, to completely wreck the US Special Immigrant Visa program.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the only president to preside over the Afghan war who actually had a kid who served, knew it was time to go, stuck to his position even when he ran into strong headwinds, and made it work.

The $1T Infrastructure Bill & the $3.5T Budget Reconciliation Bill

As I recently tweeted, “Never bet against Nancy Pelosi when accomplishing important shit is on the line.”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris came into office with VERY clear policy goals related to a whole host of issues.

Some of those are being addressed by the infrastructure bill that Dems in the Senate worked hard to secure enough Republican support to prevent the filibuster and allow it to pass.

Some of those were originally talked about as part of a much larger potential infrastructure package, but that bill would’ve been killed in the Senate had it gone forward with all the items from everyone’s wish list included.

Those additional items – universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, child care for working families, tuition-free community college, funding for HBCUs, expanding Pell grants, creating a path to permanent legal status for the DREAMers and other qualified immigrants, fighting climate change, clean energy development, reducing homelessness – are in the budget reconciliation bill. That bill can’t be filibustered and just needs a straight majority in both Houses of Congress to become law.

As often happens, the Blue Dog Dems and the Squad et. al. were in conflict about order of priority, with everyone playing a game of chicken on “I want my priority bill to go first, so who’s gonna blink?”

The answer: Both of them, because Nancy DOES NOT lose on critical votes.

She’s so good, she’s like, “We’re doing the John Lewis Voting Rights bill, too. Don’t even try and stop me.”

These bills will be the largest investment in public works and social programs since FDR.

To quote GQ Grandpa Joe Biden: “This is a big fucking deal.”

COVID

“Are you crazy Mrs Whatsit? We went from ‘hot vax summer’ to ‘delta anxiety summer’ in about a minute. How is the current situation with the pandemic a win?”

Because the FDA just gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, and it’s likely that full approval of the Moderna and J&J vaccines are not far off.

Look, plenty of Republicans are so locked into their illogical, anti-science ideology that they’ll try ANYTHING – hydroxychloroquine, shooting up bleach, shining UV light up their asses, horse de-wormer, DEATH – rather than take the damn shot.

But with full approval, it just got a hell of a lot easier to mandate vaccines.

Want to eat at this restaurant, shop in this store, work out at this gym, see this movie, attend this school, serve in the military, keep your job? You have to get vaxxed.

OF COURSE any person has a right to refuse the vaccine. But if you make that choice, if you exercise that right, you have to accept the consequence of being isolated and not allowed to do, well, pretty much anything outside your house. You DON’T have the right to run around infecting and potentially killing people willy-nilly.

We’re starting to see insurance companies increasing premiums and hospitals triaging based on vax status, and it’s about time. Sorry, bud, but if you chose not to get vaccinated, and we’re running out of ICU beds, you go to the back of the line. Thought & prayers.

Image found on Twitter, with the BEST image caption EVER.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

What’s Wrong With Performing?

The above sign – or one similar to it – has been posted in my front yard since early 2017. You may have one similar to it yourself (if not, you can get one on Etsy).

Other yards in my neighborhood boast quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or messages like “Hate Has No Home Here” and “Immigrants Are Welcome Here,” and a popular sign has a lovely “Welcome, neighbors” style message in multiple languages.

Recently, someone put a flyer through my mail slot instructing me to take my sign down if I haven’t done “enough” for Black Lives Matter, because it’s just performative.

It got me thinking: So what if it is?

Now, as far as I know, the person – or organization (it was unsigned) – who pushed the flyer through my door doesn’t know me, or anything about me.

But let’s accept their premise.

Let’s say that I have literally never done anything in my life to advance racial justice or equity other than posting that sign in my yard.

Would it be better if I hadn’t posted it? Would it be better for the movement if that sign were not present?

I don’t think so.

What does it say about my block, my community, my city, if there are NO Black Lives Matter signs on my block? If there is one? If a majority of yards feature them? If we all do?

Is putting up a sign enough to change the world all on its own?

Of course not.

But the existence of one – or ten – or a hundred signs supporting Black Lives Matter in my neighborhood says something about what this community values, about what our community standards are, about what is – and is not – considered acceptable behavior in this little corner of the country.

It’s the other side of the coin of Hecate’s recent post about the power of shame. Call it the power of approval. Or positive peer pressure. Or the “norming” of a movement.

And I have to believe there’s some value in that.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

The Power of Taking a Punch

Mohamed Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking Liston out

I started boxing in 2019.

I’ve long been someone who takes a bit of an extreme approach to fitness. I’m not trying to free solo El Cap or anything, but I’ve done some climbing, run multiple marathons with respectable finish times, did roller derby for a while, and I’m an accomplished amateur dancer.

Boxing has long been on my list of things I wanted to try, and I realized that, at 48, I wasn’t exactly getting any younger, so if I was going to do it, I needed to get to it.

Conveniently, there’s a small woman-owned boxing gym in my neighborhood.

One of the other repeating themes in my life is that I have a tendency to injure myself periodically. It’s not that I have *no* fear of physical injury – it’s just that I want to do what I want to do, and I figure, if I get hurt, I’ll heal.

So when my spouse, family, friends, etc. learned I was taking up boxing, the first thing everyone was worried about was, “How long will it be until Mrs Whatsit is in the emergency room….again?”

I reassured everyone that although the workouts at the gym are based on a professional boxer’s training regimen, there’s no sparring – dance, shadow boxing, heavy bag and mitt work, conditioning, sure, but no throwing punches at anyone’s face.

That wasn’t 100% accurate.

I mean, it was at the time, but the owner already had a plan to open a second location with a ring where sparring would be allowed for students who trained for it, which she proceeded to do in late 2019.

You already see where this is going.

I had my first PT session with one of our coaches – himself an extremely accomplished amateur boxer – in mid-January 2020, with all our sessions focused on training me to spar.

When I first asked about training to spar, the head coach looked at me and said, “You sure you want someone to punch you in the face?”

Well, no, but I’m not afraid of it, either.

And there’s power in that.

Obviously, the pandemic threw a wrench into mine and my coach’s plans, but we made it work, and for the past two months, my weekly PT sessions have been in the ring.

He gave me two weeks to get my bearings before he started hitting back.

Of course, he’s pulling his punches. Of course, I’m wearing pro-level safety gear. But he does, in fact, punch me in the face, at least if I’m not quick enough to get out of the way or block him.

This past week, I was alternating rounds with him and with a much larger but less experienced coach who’s been selected for a local charity fight night event this fall. The bigger coach was only supposed to be working on his defense – if he loaded up and hit me full force he could seriously hurt me – but he did pop me a few times just because of how the round went.

And I could take it, and did, and kept coming (and ran his ass off – payback’s a bitch, and all those burpees he’s made me do in classes finally came home to roost).

A good friend of mine taught women’s self-defense for many years, and she’s said that one of the hardest things to teach women is that we’re strong enough to be able to defend ourselves, that we can take a hit and keep coming, that we’re not fragile little girls made of glass, that we have reserves we aren’t even aware of.

I’m not advising anyone to go out and start a bar fight or anything, but what I am saying is find a way that works for you to test and own your power. You are stronger than you know.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.