Naked

When we simply exist, as a high school athlete, a research undergrad, a waitress, a housekeeper, a professional, they don’t see us.  They see the smile, the figure.  They don’t see the hard work, the determination, the excellence.  We are naked.

When the assault happens, we are scantily clad, too flirtatious, too drunk. We’re ripped of the clothes from our backs, our innocence, our humanity.  We are naked.

When we are finally compelled to report, not because it will help us heal or get justice, but because the highest court in the land is about to welcome our attacker, because the swing vote senator just said he’d vote yes, because the Senate Majority Leader promises to plow ahead with a vote this week, we bare our souls. In the United States Capitol.  In an elevator. In an airport. We are naked.

And vastly ignored.

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#BelieveSurvivors

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The #Metoo movement created a powerful sisterhood.  A pulling back of the curtain to reveal (to men) what it is like to navigate the world as a woman.  It came at a great expense.  Survivors, even those who didn’t say their truth out loud, having to relive their traumas.  It seemed to start a tipping of the scales, one sleaze bag at a time, toward justice.

I watched Dr. Ford.  I gasped when she recalled making eye contact with Mark Judge as Brett Kavanaugh pinned her down, covered her mouth, and groped her.  She was traumatized that night.  She knows who was on top of her.

He was drunk and probably didn’t see much wrong with copping a little feel.  It is not surprising he doesn’t remember, though his lack of calling for other witnesses or an FBI investigation show a crack of daylight.  He may not remember it, but he knows it’s a possibility.

As if the emotion and clarity of her testimony juxtaposed with his anger and conspiracy theories weren’t enough to induce women’s rage, the Republicans took their turn to respond.  With anger at Democrats, apologies to Kavanaugh.  But, their worst offense is what their privilege blinds them to.  Their response to Dr. Ford.

It was the oft repeated ‘I don’t doubt something happened to her,’  Left unsaid is what they don’t believe.  That their guy is the perp. 

That’s inconvenient.

Instead, they design their response to appease the rage coursing through the women of this country. 

A pat on the head to make the little lady feel heard.

And a slap on the back and lifetime appointment for him.

The Real Trauma

Change is hard.  For Mama, Papa, and our older daughter.  The baby, however, seems fine with it.

So my three-year old just started a new class at her preschool.

Day one: Excitement at home.  Shy guy at the classroom door, but goes in and gets on with her day.

Day 2: Loud tears at home, quiet tears at school.

Day 3: Wake her up early – she gets dressed, brushes teeth, eats a quick breakfast.  All seems well.  As I’m putting on her shoes, she asks, “Am I going somewhere?”  Apparently not realizing this school thing happens on a fairly regular basis.

“Yes.  You’re going to school.”

“No, Mom, no! I want to stay home with you,” she wails as I strap her in the car seat and my husband whisks her off.  Once at school, she wails some more and refuses to go in the classroom.

Then comes the weekend, when she cries on Friday night about going to school the following week.  Worse, she wakes herself up in the middle of the night with the thought of it.

This school is familiar to her.  She has been going since she was a baby.  Knows a couple of the assistants, most of the kids, only the teacher is new.

It is not as if she has traveled many torturous miles, arrived in an unfamiliar land with strange people speaking unknown words to her.  Been ripped from my arms.  I can’t imagine her trauma if she had.

My daughter will be fine.  I’m not worried about the long-term effects of starting a new school year.  I’m worried about the 500+ children who are still being traumatized because of the initiatives of our country’s callous and careless leaders.  Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, and Kirstjen Nielsen, I’m looking at you.

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Greetings from Privilege

Since I got this blog up and running again, I haven’t known how to write about our current state of affairs.  I’ve been silent on them.  I’ve kept it light-hearted.  Funny postcards from over here in my life of privilege.

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But my silence feigns acceptance.  I may not know how to write about it, but I do not accept it.

The climate change denials.

The treasonous meetings with dictators.

The trashing of the FBI, the disabled, the Gold Star families, the decorated war hero.

The hush money to porn stars.

The transgender troops.

The ‘sons-of-bitches,’ ‘very fine people on both sides,’ ‘low IQ,’ ‘not very smart’ racist rants and dog whistles.

The ‘grab them by the pussy’ mentality.

The Supreme Court.

But mostly I wonder how to write about the children.  The mothers, the fathers.

Theirs are horrifying images of grief and despair.  Suffering brought on by the hands of my country.  Like the suffering of so many families decades and centuries before them.  The circumstances may be different, but the grief is the same.  And there are still over 500 children separated from their parents. Alone among strangers.

You don’t need children to know the inhumanity of separating kids from their parents, but if you have kids, you can’t escape the inhumanity.

Though my privilege be loud, my keystrokes insufficient, I cannot permit my voice to be silent.

 

A World of Change

A million big and little things have happened since last I wrote (with so much to write about, how do I fall out of writing?).

Let’s recap the past year:

The country is going to shit.

I got pregnant and had daughter #2.

Ok, so maybe its just two big things, not a million.  And maybe what’s wrapped up in those two things aren’t little, instead, they are pieces.  Millions of pieces to those two whoppers.  That’s what I’d like to write about again.  Children ripped from their parents, baby coos, gardening, feminism, bedtime stories, etc.  No biggie.

Fearful Unease

Full disclosure: I’m a lifelong democrat.  Raised to believe the government’s job is to support all of its people, regardless of class, race, or gender.  I’m also a feminist.  Raised to believe I am worthy of making my own choices in life.

The pundits claim there’s no excitement for Hillary’s candidacy.  I don’t think it’s a lack of excitement they’re witnessing.  I believe it to be a fearful unease of what is happening around us that is keeping us quiet.

This I know is true.

I am raising my daughter in a world in which a major political party calls a racist misogynist their candidate.  With members who use lewd jokes to mock the female candidate for president.  A party that has abandoned its core principles because winning is everything.

I might have to raise my daughter in a world in which her president dismisses her gender. A president who rates her body on a scale of 1-10. A president who reinforces the notion that her only purpose in life is to pleasure a man.

I might have to raise my daughter in a world in which her president calls whole countries of people ‘rapists and murderers’.  A president who mocks the disabled.  A president who uses his platform to stoke the flames of racism.

This I also know is true.

When she pads down the hall this morning in her fleece pjs, we’re going to start the day with our favorite chant – Hil-la-ry!

Ellie and I will not be kept quiet.

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