I struggle with feeling qualified to write anything these days about Trump and the recent state of politics in our nation. It takes a trained journalist, historian, or a political science major to understand the depth and complexity of all that is happening right now. All those articles and pieces coming out of The New Yorker, The Washington Post, NPR, about the semantics of the system, the wit and sarcasm commenting on the players now and then on Capitol Hill. The intellectual twists and turns of phrase from The Atlantic on the rise and pitfalls of democracy and the election. It’s hard to know where to start and what to act on, much less know where we fit in.
Here’s where we women can start: We reclaim our voices. Just start there.
If one were to allow the words and irrational behaviors of our belligerent billionaire soon-to-be-our national nightmare and a few extremist supporters to go straight to their heart where they were trying to reach, it would be hard to find our voice in anything. If it were up to this new “citizenry,” we women would quietly take our seat, put our knees together and shut up while they espoused the rants of the day. If we waited to be validated by all things external – from corporate America to universities conferring degrees to institutions endowing us with permission, we would die waiting.
Or, we would just fall silent and die a little more inside each day.
That’s not going to happen. Here’s why: We are American women. We have freedom to express what is most in our hearts and on our minds.
I say this because I take it on direct knowledge and indirect suspicion that millions of American women just like me, whose hearts are hurting, whose minds are confused and whose spirits are deflated, have been and will continue to be speaking out in quantities and volume louder than ever before.
My minority daughter said to me, “At least you’re white, dad.” A friend shared of his adopted daughter and his partner, on the day after the election.
My family canceled plans to be with me on Thanksgiving, another friend confided. They were afraid of discussing politics over wine and dinner this year.
I feel like I did on 9/11, I shared recently with a good friend.
I feel even worse, she whispered. It was our fellow Americans who acted the way they did.
Sigh. We women and enlightened men have indeed been deeply hurt. So the question is, Where do we go from here?
Women – most – are intuitive by nature. We smell threats like a rotting carcass downwind. We know bullshit when we hear it. And we rise up with our hair on end when we are deeply offended.
The belligerent billionaire and his followers – for now – may have done some palpable damage during their campaign to con America out of the Oval Office. (Hey, it’s just my not-so-humble opinion.) There may have even been a handful of low-esteemed females validating their locker room talk by claiming it’s just banter, we’re all prostitutes! Unenlightened men may have felt licensure to tell women what do with their bodies, believing they have an actual say. Insults may have been bandied about like shots of cheap tequila in a Wisconsin bar on a Friday night – but I feel confident as we move forward that the sisterhood is stronger than any daggers being thrown our way. I feel certain that women are stronger than some of lesser intellectual capacity would like to believe. I know women are — and will continue — to speak out for injustice as it continues to unfold faster than we can say Climate Change...
These men may have forgotten how they got here on this earth to begin with, but it is the collective voice of women everywhere who will remind them that our life force is stronger than any harm recently inflicted. We may have suffered a setback, but by no means will we fall silent. There are calls to make and protests to attend — for the good of the environment and wildlife, on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of equality and just plain on behalf of all that is just, right and moral.
It’s up to us women and enlightened men to speak out — one voice at a time.
Sticks and stones may break our bones – but misogyny can never hurt us – unless we give it our permission to do so.