General Assembly change

could benefit women

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

If you look at the great seal of the commonwealth of Virginia, you'll see that the foot on the neck of the dispatched tyrant belongs to a woman, vindicating her struggles. A female image for "Sic Semper Tyrannis" is an odd choice for Virginia, so often behind on issues important to women.

It certainly felt that way during the past legislative session for the women waiting for a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in the Virginia House Privileges and Elections Committee. The male-dominated committee wouldn’t even allow a discussion, much less a vote, on whether they deemed us “equal.” It felt that way this summer, despite the hundreds of women from Moms Demand Action assembled outside the Capitol, when House Speaker Kirk Cox shut down any discussion of reasonable gun safety legislation. It felt that way when, last year, the Republicans refused to pass legislation that would ban the chaining of dogs even in the coldest temperatures, or raise the minimum wage, or look at prison reform.

Grassroots activists, primarily older women, have been working year-round, organizing, writing postcards, canvassing, working phone banks, networking and running for office. After the previous election, the pundits said we’d be gone. Instead, we’re more powerful than ever.

We will get the ERA, and reasonable gun safety legislation. We will raise the minimum wage. We will protect workers, kids and animals.

I have no idea what our forefathers were thinking when they decided on the "Sic Semper Tyrannis" motto. And, throughout history, it has been used to excuse violence. On Nov. 5, it was used, metaphorically, to take back power from a small group of misogynists, and to hand power over to another group determined to represent our democratic values. All I can say is (metaphorically): Sic Semper Tyrannis, baby.

Holly Hazard.

Falls Church.

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