Shades of Blue
By Olivia Briggs
Emily is a quick-witted, thirty-year-old woman who is a proud member of her generation and a patriotic democrat. She has arrived at a campaign office in Nevada, where the campaign manager, Susan, has mistaken her for an intern and accused her generation of being too lazy to vote. (Her exact words are, "I think you don't vote because you no longer feel the need to understand the issues, and therefore, don't care to do anything about them." This is Emily's response.)
We don't vote because we can't, Mrs. Levinson. The waitresses with a bachelors degree and three other side jobs just to get ahead, the hard working teachers, retail managers, hotel maids, and starving artists. Those are the women my age that still, despite the efforts of you and your cohorts, have to work five times as hard to get to the level of our male counterparts. To survive on their own into their thirties because we don't get married at eighteen anymore. We want careers over popping out kids. We want all of those things that you told us that we could have.
And let me tell you, we know what's going on, we care about the threat to reproductive rights, we understand the laws of economics and what we need to reform, we want more women in politics - but can the waitress leave her tables for an hour or so while she drives downtown to fill out a ballot? Can the retail manager close up shop in the middle of a Tuesday? Can a maid just say, "Hey, yeah, sorry about the mess, I had to go start a goddamn riot"? No, no way. You know why? Because we are fighting every day too, Mrs. Levinson. Fighting to fulfill an old dream that the generation before yours promised us, so don't you dare pat us on the head and tell us you're going to take us back to when everything was sunflowers and rainbows. We don't want a goddamned garden party, we want to work. We want the best damn job that we can get based on our qualifications and what we deserve, and we want to get paid well for that job.
You want to get young women out to the polls? Tell them you support them. Tell them they're are doing a damn fine job, and then take the ballots to them and let them fill them out on break, because this? Your little "Rebuild, Revitalize, Rewind"? That, we don't give a shit about.
This monologue is from the ten-minute play Shades of Blue by Olivia Briggs. It is published in the anthology Bottles on the Water and available for purchase from Next Stage Press.
This monologue is brought to you by The Monologue Database and These Aren't My Shoes Productions.