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Rachel and Suzanne on SCOTUS Decision

June 29, 2022

Some of you last heard from us when the Roe vs Wade SCOTUS decision was leaked. At that time, we spoke to you directly and personally, and also as the founders of Bonfire. We will do so again here.

Women everywhere are rocked by the Roe vs Wade decision. Many are grieving and processing a world in which their rights have been removed. Some are angry and scared as they deal with the immediate need to find care. Among those who support the decision to end Roe are women who are uncomfortable sharing their perspectives for fear of backlash. The strong emotions that surround this decision require time for all of us to process what has occurred. 

And yet we wonder how many people are recognizing this moment for what it is. Each generation is understandably reacting with their own specific perspectives and lived experiences. Here are a few of our observations of the impact the SCOTUS decision is having on the women we know, and love: 

Women are having a hard time simply focusing on daily tasks at work and at home. 

Rooms and spaces that felt increasingly empowering for women suddenly feel constricted.

Conversations that were difficult have become more so. 

As leaders of Bonfire, an organization that unleashes the power of all women to lead the workplaces of the future, we have two asks of all of our stakeholders at this moment. Those stakeholders include the women of Bonfire who attend our cohorts, our enterprise customers, the managers and sponsors of Bonfire women, and the “brothers of the sisterhood” who surround us and have supported Bonfire from its inception. 

First, we ask that you do whatever is necessary to create conditions that yield the floor to the women right now. We need space to speak and process – not just our thoughts and feelings about Roe vs Wade but EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that is coming up for us right now. It isn’t healthy for women to be silent at this time. So yield the floor. Don’t be afraid of silence. Let women fill it and fill it they will. 

Second, keep practicing the skills of difficult conversations. Insist that you learn them and teach them (to your children, employees, and managers) so that we are all capable of respectful discourse. We will get nowhere on any topic that matters without it. Seek engagement, not resolution. Offer perspectives, not debate. Ask “Can you say more about that?” when you don’t understand, rather than “you-splaining” in order to seek clarity. 

At Bonfire, we use the tagline “All Rise” because it creates a vision in which women will link arms not only with one another but with everyone seeking a better way to achieve success on their own terms. May this be an occasion in which we all make that intention a reality.

Rachel Bellow & Suzanne Muchin 
Bonfire Co-Founders

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