When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell silenced Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night after she attempted to speak on the Senate floor, it was perhaps inevitable that people everywhere would be furious on Warren's behalf — leading, of course, to a storm of "nevertheless, she persisted" tweets hitting social media. It isn't just Warren, you see; it's women. And it's not even just women — it's every marginalized group who has ever been repeatedly silenced by systemic and structural sexism. It shouldn't be surprising, but the response to this specific event ironically speaks volumes. We will not be silenced.
Many social media users are reclaiming McConnell's words to Warren. His defense of his invoking an obscure and rarely enforced rule (a rule which, many pointed out, did not get enforced during an incident in 2015 when Ted Cruz accused McConnell of lying) was as follows: "Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."
Those last three words became iconic, as people all over the country and the world reclaimed them. Some have used them as an opportunity to celebrate women who have come before us and pushed forward in spite of oppression and marginalization. Other users have turned the phrase on its head, using dry humor and wit as means of pointing out how ridiculous the patriarchy is. Still others are taking the opportunity to thank Warren and other female politicians, like Hillary Clinton and Wendy Davis, for their work and dedication.
Check out the following 35 tweets for inspiration to keep on the good fight and never stop persisting.
1Malala's Fight For Education
2Rosa Parks' Activism
3Harriet Tubman's Incredible Bravery
4Women Who Rally Across The World
5People Who Are Still #ReadyForHillary
6Representing Muslim Pride
7Reinforcing That Black Lives Matter
8Commemorating The First Black Major-Party Candidate for President
9Activism Across Generations
10The Bravest Children Around
11These Women To Emulate
12Because This Is Basically The History of Feminism
13Beause Women Keep Fighting
14Wendy Davis' Devotion To Women's Health
15Susan B. Anthony Never Stopped Fighting
16Elizabeth Coleman Is An Unsung Hero
17This Phrase Is Tattoo Material
18Also, Tombstone Material
19Why Not Cross-Stich It, Too?
found my next cross-stitch project:— emery lord (@emerylord) February 8, 2017
20Allies Are Behind This Phrase, Too
"Nevertheless, she persisted." So must we all. You go, girl.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 8, 2017
21Put It On A T-Shirt!
Where does one get the "she was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted" t-shirt?— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) February 8, 2017
22To Support The Resistance
23Because We've All Heard A Similar Sentiment
"Nevertheless she persisted" is the contemptible lament of every old white man who has tried and failed to silence an indomitable woman.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 8, 2017
24At Least Once Or Twice
Please know that my entire goal in life is for old dudes to say "Nevertheless, she persisted" about me.— Holly (@hollye83) February 8, 2017
25So Put It In Your Twitter Bio
* the sound of a million women updating their Twitter bios to read, "Nevertheless, she persisted" *— Catherine Andrews (@candrews) February 8, 2017
26Or Write It Into A Dystopian Novel
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted."— Linda Boggs (@LindaBoggs7) February 8, 2017
Join: "A Day Without a Woman", persisting in your town SOON!
27And Remember To Thank Black Women For Their Work
28And Honor Princess Leia
29And Really, Put It On Your Tombstone
I'll consider mine a life well-lived if on my tombstone, it reads:— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) February 8, 2017
"Nevertheless, she persisted."
30And Here Is A Shirt!
31Winona LaDuke Is Another Unsung Hero For Feminists
32Cecile Richards Is A Contemporary Icon
33These Words Are Perfect For Reclaiming
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”— Sachin Sahel (@Mr_Sacho) February 8, 2017
I could tweet that all day.
Those words are unintended magic.
34Because Literally All Women Relate
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."— gypsyhoney (@gypsyhoney) February 8, 2017
Isn't this a crash course in women's history?