Powerful, talented men are falling all around us. Falling stars who attracted wishes and dreams and burned up women’s hopes like delicate moth wings.
We are all more than a little uncomfortable. The tower of patriarchy is crumbling. Even the foundations are cracking. We are finding that the foundation we built our culture is not bedrock but landfill and all this #metoo revelations aggregate into an earthquake. But unlike a natural disaster, this man-made disaster will clear the field for the rise of a stronger culture for both men and women.
But this powerful movement is also being exploited.
False equivalencies flow from partisan mouths. A proposition is not the same as an assault. Consensual sex with an adult is not the same as pedophilia. Harassment is not the same as rape. Even harassment has levels. I know these things from my own life experience but these are not just personal opinions. The legal and criminal codes of our country define what is a civil violation and what is criminal.
Our legal system has the tools to address harassment, rape and child abuse. Our workplaces have the policies. We need to remove the cultural and social obstacles that mute the victims while preserving due process.
We need to complete fair investigations on the accused. The court of public opinion just buries the truth in propaganda and partisanship.
I want investigations into the allegations against franken, trump and others and then fair judgement and commensurate consequences.
It looks like we are not ready for that kind of balanced action. We are in full disaster mode. The spectacle and passions drive us.
Today I’m trying to steady the ground in my own small way.
We are in the age of the new robber barons. We are in the age of trump.
Be noisy for the robber barons love your silence.
Be a bright light for the robber barons like to commit their crimes in darkness.
Be strong because the robber barons will try to diminish you.
Beware for the robber barons will give you worthless trinkets to try and buy your soul.
Be united for the robber barons use your strife to divide you.
Be informed because the robber barons want you to forget the lessons of history.
For more on the robber barons of the past.
Photo credit; MANISH SWARUP, AP
“I have seen firsthand that all too often, women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work.” – Ivanka Trump
At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, Ivanka acknowledged (lamented) that women often have to work twice as hard to get the same things.
I want to type no joke down the page for the rest of the morning.
In case you are wondering no joke is how my fingers are translating the curse words filtering through my brain.
The problem is Ivanka has often used the hardships of sexism to elevate her own struggle and connect with the less privileged among us. It’s good for her brand.
Wait. Did I type struggle?
Fingers resisted the urge to put quotes around the word struggle.
There I go again. I’m glad my fingers are good at censoring.
Yes. Ivanka. We know.
We are underrepresented in government and leadership positions.
We make less money. Current research projects that we we reach pay equity in 2119. Just in case you think i made a typo, the projection is not two years but one hundred and two years.
Our sports achievements are diminished and under compensated.
The most person for the presidency was over prepared, too experienced, too good at debates to be relatable.
No joke, Ivanka.
The sludge of compromise that runs through my cerebral fluid hijacks my brain. I cannot see the wisdom of pure-all or pure-nothing that leaves many with nothing.
My radioactive commitment to civil rights poisons my neurons and makes me forget to court the most privileged identity of them all.
“How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?”
“That’s not funny”
My uncle laughed and then explained the joke to my son.
My son laughed.
I lectured my uncle about modeling sexism and diminishing women with cheesy jokes that made us choose between laughing along like a good sport or being ridiculed as a humorless feminist.
I said it in one breath without stopping.
Yes. I was the living punchline.
The thing is I don’t mind being seen as a humorless feminist. I’ve always found that comedy is often cruel. Cheap laughs prey on the vulnerable. Which brings me to the topic of the Al Franken scandal.
I’m angry about Al Franken and all of the other men who objectify women for pleasure, power or laughs.
His comedy and his actions are in the spotlight. Conservatives who were seeking to change the narrative from Roy Moore’s predatory pursuit of teenage girls have had some success.
Al Franken was wrong. He apologized and Leanne Tweeden, accepted his apology. Tweeden showed a lot of strength coming forward and voicing a balanced perspective.
As Tweeden stated, Al Franken has done good work in the Senate. He’s been a strong advocate for women’s rights and civil rights. He’s worked hard for some of the very groups he marginalized with mean-spirited comedy.
An apology doesn’t make everything okay. Not by a long shot.
Everyone involved including Franken agrees that an investigation is in order. I want it to be thorough and fair: a model for future investigation into Trump’s sexual assault accusations.
In the meantime, I would like Franken to stay in office and vote against every anti-woman legislation that comes up to vote. I know we can count on him for that.
We learned that even your nice guy friend could climb into your bed in the middle of the night uninvited. But he’s a nice guy right?
We learned that we would be called cockteases for not having sex and sluts for having sex.
We heard about the desperately “excruciating” blue balls and how we were obligated to relieve the pain.
We were chased through campus by guys that thought it was funny to act like they were going to rape us and hid while we heard them searching the dorm bathroom for us because we thought they just might.
We had friends’ dads’ hands linger too long on our hips as they squeezed by us in the kitchen.
We had bosses give us extravagant gifts and confess feelings that we never wanted to hear.
We watched our drinks in parties full of nice people and bars with friends.
As the headlines provide daily revelations about nice decent men who have done indecent abusive things, we are not surprised.
We have seen it our whole lives.
Smart women would never tweet evidence of crimes.
Donald Trump Jr tweets pics of his correspondence with Wikileaks because crooked white men connected to Trump have an cloak of unaccountability.
Smart women know they have to work hard to get ahead.
Brett Talley in line to be the mostunqualified judge in US history.
(Of course, they do run the risk of being “too accomplished when compared to their less qualified male peers.)
Smart women know that anything in their past is open game.
But evangelical ministers and Breitbart are working hard to discredit the victims of Roy Moore.
Smart women know that there are different rules for men.
A quick comparison of the Clinton and Trump foundations. In spite of verified violations at the trump foundation and a clean record at the Clinton foundation, Sessions is contemplating investigating Hillary Clinton.
Smart women keep working for change.
Our efforts are working!We are hitting a critical mass in our culture and real lasting change is happening.