capitol hill

“I am the dragon’s daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming.”

I have never been a Game of Thrones fan, but on seeing this quote (out of context), I felt it summed up my life as a mother, sister, friend, and lawyer. I am fiercely protective of those I care for.

Have you ever felt that way?

What is it about being a woman that makes us so protective? There seems to be an energy permeating our hearts that moves us to feel things fiercely.

When we, as women, bring this fierce energy to our work we are often called arrogant, bitchy, and or in my case, ‘barracuda’. As an attorney, I have always fought hard for my clients. In litigation this meant fighting for every procedural advantage, arguing for every point of law I felt my client deserved to win. It drives me to press against the glass ceiling and push the doors of the ‘good old boy’ clubs. It places in my heart a desire to see justice served and to know that the system works.

Last week, my fierce maternal instincts were put to the test as I watched the U.S. Capitol, where my 26-year-old son works, be surrounded and invaded by a crowd of angry people, some of whom were armed. As I sat here waiting for that next text message to confirm he was still safe, I fiercely wanted to storm the Capitol myself. I wanted to shove those people out the door and remove that threat to that one I love so deeply. As I began to be less concerned about his immediate danger, my feelings shifted to the fierce protection of those other things I have held dear for my entire adult life. I watched as the citadel of U.S. power was violated. To say it made me sick would be an understatement.

I spent three years in law school learning to love the law.

My time as a state legislative intern and state district court law clerk gave me a great appreciation for the legal process. As I watched the horror unfold, I felt that same fierce protectiveness leapt to the defense of our nation and its legal system. I wanted nothing more than to see those rioters arrested, to have the violence stop. While I understand some have now been identified and have been, or will be, arrested, I am not confident that they will receive the full penalty for the damage they inflicted on this nation. In any other era, this activity would have been described as treason.

In 2021, the farthest we have been willing to go is insurrection. Will the perpetrators of this week’s riots be punished for the deaths of the Capitol Policeman or the young woman who was shot? Will anyone be called to account for the deaths of four people in the mob due to medical emergencies? Maybe.

In the coming weeks, the bigger question will be whether we, as a nation, will be willing to stop arguing about the underlying issues that led to the events of last week and come together to find solutions. I can’t say I have the answers, but if we do not find a way to put the needs of this country ahead of our own personal interest, we will continue to experience the trauma of divisiveness. We are already so deeply divided that a path forward is unclear.

So, I would ask that we, the women of America, use our protective instincts to encourage our leaders to repair the damage done by the politics of these last few years.

Take a strong individual interest in finding solutions. Push against the status quo and those who say that ‘it’s always been done this way’ and take a stand for the values you hold dearest. Your core values may not be the same as mine, but if we can find a way to compromise for the common good there is hope for the future of our great nation.

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5th Annual
GRIT Awards & Best energy workplaces

October 26th, 2021
Online and in person at A.D. Players Theater in Houston