My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of my favorite movies of all time. I will try to watch this movie any time that it airs on TV. The mother, Maria, said one of the most important lines for me to hear as a married woman and current stay-at-home mom: “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” This line is just one of many that signifies the power that woman possess and just how badass woman can be in just about any situation. Two news stories this week have reaffirmed my belief of women’s badass abilities: a woman that went into labor in the middle of her bar exam and proceeded to finish the rest in the hospital and Amy Coney Barrett’s revealing of her blank notepad during Senate questioning for her potential confirmation onto the Supreme Court. Links for these articles are listed below as a reference.
Brianna Hill, a law student at Loyola University’s School of Law, was scheduled to take her bar exam in August, but it ended up being pushed back ten weeks because of COVID-19. She ended up being 38 weeks pregnant when she took the exam instead of 28 weeks like she expected. The bar exam is split into two days and she felt her water break after 30 minutes of taking the first part of this test. Hill continued taking the test since test takers are heavily monitored during the exam and she couldn’t step away. She eventually made it to the hospital after she completed the second part of that day’s exam (the midwife told her she had some time before she had to go to the hospital). Hill gave birth to a boy that same night and was set up in another room the next day to complete the exam in between nursing her newborn. This story just fascinates me. I was in no shape to do much of anything after I had my boys despite the urge I had to want to take on the world, let alone even think about completing an exam that could shape the course of my career. I would say I’m a driven person, but she has a whole other drive that is deeply praiseworthy.
Another moment that made me proud to be a woman was a moment during the Amy Coney Barrett Senate confirmation hearings. She was being questioned about judicial matters without using any reference points. Senator John Cornyn of Texas asked the nominee what she was using to prepare, pointing out that those on the Senate have multiple books as points of reference. Amy Coney Barrett then proceeded to show a blank notepad with the “United States Senate” letterhead being the only writing present on the page. There is the argument that this is a metaphor for her answers of what she would do in certain cases since she was rather vague, but despite one’s political leanings, it should be more than admirable how she can answer questions about law without using any kind of reference point. Saying that she is one smart cookie is an understatement. I have stated that the Supreme Court nomination should not be a priority for the Senate and House, but we’re going through it so I might as well acknowledge it. Amy Coney Barrett not only was able to provide legal prowess at the top of her head, she was cool, calm, and collected while providing her answers. She is that smart while also taking care of seven children. It is a stark contrast from Brett Kavanaugh, the previous Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, that looked belligerent and blamed the Clintons of being out to get him, which sounded so baseless. I will take the professional lawyer over the frat boy any day.
There are many other examples of women that have shown how they have been able to defy the norm and break barriers. Sure, billions or even trillions of women have given birth before since the beginning of time and have been rock stars in their careers, knowing the information required to do their job like the back of their hands. Women have not always had the same rights as men in the past and it continues to be refreshing to see a woman be able to measure up to a man and even bypass them in their accomplishments. Don’t take this as me burning my bra for women’s rights, but an opportunity to applaud those that make our gender look good.
I think it’s Eleanor Roosevelt who said it best: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Please save the jokes for later.