Today is International Women’s Day.  I hope we soon see a day when the question, “are you a feminist,” is as odd (and its answer as obvious) as the question, “are you a humanist”; when a “yes” answer to both will be so clear that the questions are confusing.

We will know that day has arrived when we see a woman as the President of the United States, and when it’s unthinkable to elect anyone who boasts “grabbing” women by their genitals; when heroes like Malala Yousafzai aren’t shot merely for insisting upon every child’s right to an education; when all women reap the same reward as men do for the same work; and when a woman’s reproductive privacy and freedom isn’t under assault.

As a federal prosecutor, I worked to advance this cause by taking on crimes of sexual violence and exploitation, and by standing up for victims of those crimes.  And throughout a career as a public servant, I have been blessed to work with and under women who served as partners, mentors, and exemplars of dedicated excellence in public service.  These women inspire me, as do the talented, driven, inspirational women in my own family, including my wife, Nicole; my mother, Harriet; and my Aunt and Sister-in-Law, both of whom have dedicated their careers as OB-GYNs to the cause of women’s reproductive health and informed choice. 

Guided by these role models, and with your support, I look forward to continuing the cause for equality and women’s rights in Congress. To further mark today, let’s also take in the words of Rachel Carson, who did as much as anyone to inspire the environmental movement, which we need now more than ever:

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for . . . destruction.” 

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