Title: Pantsuits, Glass Ceilings and Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Author: Mary Griggs
Word Count: 1500
Summary: Miranda spends some time on Facebook the night before the US Presidential election and wakes Andy up.
Author’s Notes: Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox are the owners; I'm just letting the ladies play in my sandbox for a while.
Andy Sachs rolled over and blinked tiredly. There was an odd glow filling the bedroom. She glanced at the windows. With the blackout curtains closed, not a single beam of light was getting through. Turning her head, she looked at the nightstand clock – four twenty in bright red numbers. Not time for anyone to be up – not her, considering she had gotten in at midnight from covering a late-night Port Authority appropriations meeting and not her girlfriend, who had to be up at five o’clock in the morning.
Her lips quirked at the thought of being able to call Miranda Priestly her girlfriend. Even after two years of near-blissful cohabitation, she still got a thrill when thinking of finding her way back into her ex-bosses good graces and into her bed.
Squinting a little, Andy tried to focus on the woman she loved. Miranda was leaning back against the headboard with her phone held close to her face. She was biting the tip of her tongue and typing furiously with her thumbs.
“What are you doing? And why aren’t you wearing your glasses?”
Miranda startled and nearly dropped the phone. “Oh, darling. I’m sorry. Did I wake you?”
“The screen is a little bright.”
“Yes, I know. Remind me to call Tim Cook about improving the night time functions of his phones.”
“Right, right. I’ll get right on that,” Andy said as she rubbed her eyes. “But, what are you doing now? At four-freaking-thirty in the morning?”
“I was invited to this secret group on Facebook and it is marvelous.”
“I’ve been reading for hours now. All these women sharing their stories.”
“Lots of secret groups out there. How’d you find this one?”
“Oh, I was added without my permission by someone already in it. I went to take myself out when I started reading.” Miranda reached over and grabbed her reading glasses. She sat up a little more and waved her phone. She said, “There is definitely no enthusiasm gap among these women.”
“So I see.” Andy murmured.
“Grandmothers talking about their experiences as the first or only women in their fields. Mothers talking about their fears for their daughters. All these women, dreaming of a different future for themselves. Quite amazing, honestly.”
“Indeed. It is like an oasis. A refuge of support and encouragement in a world that feels so hostile to those of us supporting Hillary.”
“I can get that. What’s it called?”
“Pantsuit Nation.” Miranda turned her phone slightly. “Other than the name, it is inspiring.”
“What is wrong with the name?”
“Glorifying pantsuits? I mean, notwithstanding the garment’s practicality, it is an insipid fashion choice.”
“Every woman I know owns one. Heck, even Beyoncé put her backup dancers in pantsuits for that Clinton fundraising event the other day.”
“Just because you are a woman in politics or business doesn’t mean you can’t be daring.”
“We are already being judged by our looks. You want more attention focused on our clothes?”
“Don’t be naïve. The judging is happening. We just can’t let it keep us from reimagining what a woman leader looks like. She need not be neutered by her clothing or choose the boring uniformity of a man’s suit.” Miranda sighed. “There is such beauty in a woman with power.”
“Don’t I know it,” Andy whispered to herself as she squeezed her legs together. Her memories of Miranda in her A-line pinstripe suit were all that sustained her in those dark days after she quit in Paris.
“What was that?” Miranda asked.
“Uh, I was just thinking that so many women thought leaders find the subject of fashion to be a distraction from their message.” She cleared her throat. “I know used to think that serious people didn’t waste time choosing belts.”
Miranda’s lips twitched into a smirk. “Even after the cerulean lecture?”
She was grateful for the darkness in the room to hide her blush. “Not so much after, as you well know. And, definitely not so much after I spent time in the industry. But, you still have to admit it is harder for women to be taken seriously at work and clothes have a big role to play in that.”
“If that was the case, let’s just give up and wear the burqa.”
Andy snorted. “Yeah, I just see you sitting still for that.”
Miranda dropped her phone into her lap. “If we’re not careful, there are some in our country that would have women out of the public sphere entirely. They want us silent and powerless. Just look at the language used by some of the tea party evangelicals or alt-right personalities supporting Trump.”
“That can’t happen here.”
“No? Those who impose Sharia law in other countries are close ideological cousins to many of those legislating women’s lives here in America. Everything from marriage equality to reproductive freedom to equal pay are being assailed by these homegrown extremists under the justification of their sincerely held religious beliefs!”
Raking a hand through her hair, Andy muttered, “I can’t believe we’re discussing Sharia law at this hour of the morning.”
“I can’t help it if you’re so easily drawn off topic.”
“What was the topic again?” Andy asked.
“Right. Why are they hiding in a secret group?”
“You should read what some of these women are hearing from their friends and family and coworkers against Hillary. It is especially the case for women in the Red states or in rural areas. They just don’t feel safe.”
“I get that. This election has made me really aware of how dissent is expressed and when and where I can express said dissent without being trolled.” Andy sighed. “I hope they feel brave enough when they go behind the curtain to vote.”
“Yes, there is lot of voter encouragement. I think there are many who will be surprised by how many are finding their power and their voices.”
“Cool that women are supporting each other.”
“Exactly! Too many try to divide us and pit us against each other, as if the needs of a refugee mother is so different from that of an inner city single mom or a Quiverfull mother of twelve.”
“Sisterhood is powerful.”
Miranda arched her eyebrow. “Don’t mock it, Andrea. The original concept was incredibly empowering and continues to be a benchmark of radical, feminist thought.”
“Sorry. It is just so early,” she whined. Perking up, she drew her finger down Miranda’s arm. “Can’t we do something else if we’re both going to be awake in bed at this hour?”
Miranda smiled at her and placed her phone on the nightstand. As she took Andy into her arms, she asked, “You didn’t early vote, did you?”
“No, I couldn’t get free.”
She frowned and released her hold. “Well, consider this bed as cold as Lysistrata’s until I see an ‘I voted’ sticker.”
“From the play by Aristophanes.” At Andy’s continued blank look, she elaborated, “Lysistrata called upon the women of Greece to withhold sex until the men ended the Peloponnesian War.”
“Hey, I didn’t have anything to do with nominating that bloviating orange nightmare!”
“But you can have an impact on the changing of the culture that legitimizes his agenda. You have to vote and you have to make sure all your friends are getting out there and voting, too.”
“Of course, I’m going to vote. Probably after work.” Andy shrugged. “Maybe at lunch.”
“Make a plan now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Find out where your voting location is and put it in your phone.”
“Don’t I have the same one as last time?”
“Maybe not now after moving in here with us.”
“Also, the lines could be long and things may delay you. If you make a plan, you’re much more likely to stick with it long enough to help break one of the most enduring glass ceilings on the planet.”
“That makes sense.”
“Do you know about the other candidates and other initiatives on the ballot?”
“Honestly, Andrea, you need to know better than mostly. This is our future and not something one can just wing.” Miranda sighed. “You can get a sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s website to know exactly what’s on it and can use your voting time most efficiently.”
“I can do that.”
“If you have questions about candidate positions try going to the local League of Women Voters website.”
“Okay. I will.”
“Good girl.” Miranda leaned over and kissed her thoroughly before climbing out of bed.
Andy blinked dazedly up at her. “Hey! You can’t just leave me like this!”
“Don’t be dramatic, Andrea. I’m merely letting you get an early start. The polls open at six, you know!”