Lately it seems like everyone and their mother has a tattoo. I find nothing wrong with that, except when there seems to be no meaning behind it. Tattoos are beautiful, but permanent, and to me it seems that there should be a lot of thought and significance behind them.
I recently got my first tattoo. I have been waiting years to do this, knowing that I would get one eventually but waiting for the right idea. A couple different designs seemed like the right fit, but on February 7, 2017 everything changed.
On that day, Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced when attempting to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King in criticism of the appointment of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General. Following Warren’s silencing, Senator Mitch McConnell explained the reasoning and uttered the now famous words: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” I highly doubt McConnell intended for his words to turn into a feminist rallying cry, yet they did.
Those three words became part of a movement, both political and personal. In the beginning of the terrifying political climate that is Trump’s America, those words became a beacon of hope for me and many people around me. I needed the reassurance that I could make it through this presidency, but I also needed the reassurance that I could be strong in all areas of my life.
Feminism has become an increasingly important aspect of my life, to the point where I have no idea who I was before I discovered this part of me. It has been a ferocious awakening whose roar will not be silenced. I refuse to be silenced. I refuse to stand by and watch as Trump so vehemently attempts to silence anyone who could do good in this country. I cling to those three words whose meaning have developed into so much more than anyone could have predicted. I cling to them and I let them lift me up.
As soon as I saw articles about women getting McConnell’s iconic words tattooed on their bodies, I knew that was what I had been looking for. It had so much significance to me, from its place in feminism to the overall sense of encouragement and motivation I felt when reading it. From that point on, I knew I was going to get a feminist tattoo.
The tattoo is about four weeks old now, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will express judgement and distaste for it, but I truly do not care. I got this tattoo for me. I got it to remind me how strong I am. To remind me how strong Elizabeth Warren, Coretta Scott King, and every other woman who has fought against discrimination, oppression, and adversity is. Because if there is one thing this past year has shown us, it is that we will keep fighting and we will never give up.