When I saw that Brett Kavanaugh had been confirmed, I felt the disappointment and bitterness I had experienced after Hillary Clinton lost. But this time, I was in the company of 3,400 alumnae at the She Roars conference. Congresswoman Terri Sewell ’86 of Alabama had told us the power of contributing to women electoral candidates. Justices Sonia Sotomayor ’76 and Elena Kagan ’81 had shared their strategies for amplifying female voices on the Supreme Court. Samara Bay ’02, a dialect coach for women candidates, explained that women are less self-conscious when we advocate for issues or other people.
On the last night, I was on the dance floor, surrounded by women of all shades, ages, and political persuasions, moving without inhibition and with so much joy. I draw strength from the generations of women before me, who faced not only a national administration that treated them as the lesser sex but also a University administration that did the same.
Nevertheless, they persisted. They fought to make Princeton ours. They are still fighting to make workplaces, the media, science and technology, health care, the academy, and political institutions ours. Hell hath no fury like a woman who is not represented. We will run, we will fund-raise, we will vote, we will litigate, we will advocate, we will speak, and we will be heard.
Hope for me is a dance floor of women, arms raised, claiming all the space we deserve, and singing: I got the eye of a tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ’cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!