The B!%@# Wants the Narrative To Be Right

For years there has been an annual event called, “Take Your Daughter to Work.”  This event, as I understand it, was created as a way to encourage young girls to dream beyond the former confines of the role of housewife.  By going to work with their parents, daughters were to learn that their roles were not limited.  They could choose to be anything and it would be accepted.  The possibilities were only limited by one’s own choices and through motivation they could go on to be anything.

To me this concept is natural.  As a woman who grew up with a divorced mother and a pretty much worthless father, I am used to seeing a woman who gets out there and does what needs to be done.  The idea of a woman being limited to a set role or place in society simply because she was born with a vagina seems completely and utterly ridiculous.  I see a woman as a human being and as a human being she should be afforded every single opportunity available to men.

Yet for some the concept of equal treatment and access is foreign and even offensive.  To them there is a natural order to things and they see men as superior and women as subordinate.  They work tirelessly to find ways to maintain their caveman view of the world.  There are the small yet insidious things that happen every day that are designed to maintain the false superiority of the male.

For years a woman’s worth has frequently been assessed by her appearance and her willingness to maintain the status quo.  Women who sought to go beyond the roles that were being dictated to them were referred to as bitchy, bossy, pushy, uppity, or any of a million vile terms you could dream up.  How many times over the last 3 decades have we seen Hillary Clinton degraded because of her looks, her drive, and her forceful personality?

Don’t get me wrong, we have made strides forward.  But recent events have demonstrated that there is also a powerful snap back in action.  How else can you explain the election of a man who openly degrades women?  This man has repeatedly made horrible statements about women based on their appearance and his own base desires.  Yet they were deemed acceptable.  A section of the population declared that such behaviors were worthy of the office of the president.  Through their votes they once again stated that women were to be subordinate, that it was accepted, even embraced treatment.

Oddly, I began this post today to meander my way around to the entire Ivanka G20 thing. There have been many people who have made comments about her not being qualified to be at the table.  Reality is that she has a Bachelors degree in business from Wharton Business school and years of experience working for the Tangerine.  None of which necessarily qualifies or disqualifies her from taking a seat at the table.

As photos of her filling in for her father at the meeting started to make their way across the internet it seemed that the snarky comments abounded.  Many of them were, of course, delivered with their usual anti-female flair.  They were coated in degradation and venom many of which seemed targeted toward her taking a place at the table as “daddy’s little girl.”  Hell even the cropping of the photos seemed to be feeding into the whole “daddy’s little girl at the big table” narrative.  A narrative that is completely ridiculous and does not help either females or the United States.

With all of that being said, I do not believe she had any place at that table.  I don’t believe she has any business working in the White House and I sure as hell do not believe that either her or her husband should be negotiating anything for this country.  But I want to make sure that we keep the focus on the legitimate reasons.  This is not about genitalia. This is about a person taking a seat at the table who shouldn’t have been there in the first place, a person who has few qualifications and is ill-prepared.

The Tangerine has taken this whole Take Your Children to Work thing to the extreme.  He has absolutely no political experience beyond campaigning.  Upon taking office he surrounded himself (see most of his inner circle) with a number of people with no political experience.  These people are supposed to advise him and in some instances they are to act on behalf of the United States.  His daughter has been included as one of his top advisers and she, like her father, has zero political experience.

Listen, I don’t care that she was a model.  I don’t care that her fame is built on three things: modeling, sitting next to the guy who said “you’re fired,” and her last name.  She is an intelligent woman with a business degree and has worked many years in the family business.  But that still doesn’t qualify her to be an adviser to the White House.

If she were in a position on a city council I wouldn’t blink an eye, at least she would be starting out and learning the processes involved in politics.  But sitting her at that G20 table is like taking a driver of any gender with a fresh off the printer learner’s permit and handing them the keys to a McLaren P1 LM ($3.7 million dollar car) and saying, “don’t scratch the paint.”  You just don’t do that shit.

 

 

 

The B!%@# Wants to Strike Too…

Tomorrow is the day without women and I wish I was able to take the day off and participate in something, anything that would be meaningful.  This is not an option for me however, as sadly, I live in a location where it would simply be seen as a “ditch” day, not a day with a purpose.  This attitude guts me.  The fact that people have made choices to step away from their normal routines to have their voice heard inspires me.  Yet for many they will find the response will be… “oh is that another one of those skip days.”

When the Day without Immigrants happened a few weeks back I heard those very words of disdain.  They fell readily from the lips of many as they discussed the day.  People who had no real skin in the game (i.e. – white middle class) were commenting on the motives of those who had chosen to act on that day.  The people who chose to stay home and to risk their livelihoods felt that it was important to follow that course of action.  Something in the world around them, demanded that they had to step up and show that they too are an important part of this country.  Immigrants make essential contributions each and every day and when they are not there, they are missed.

As immigrants throughout the country took the day and demonstrated, I found myself deeply moved by their choices.  Children did not go to school and adults did not go to work. On that day a woman whom I respect deeply was absent from work.  I knew why she was not present that day and I supported her decision. When she returned the following day, I made a point of telling her that I understood and backed her choice. She had been missed. But even as we spoke, she knew that many whom we work with did not support her choices and would not be willing to learn her reasons.

Tomorrow there will be women all over this country who do not arrive at work.  They will take the day and they will stand up for their beliefs.  I am sure there will be teenagers as well, who do not attend school out of allegiance to the ideas put forward by this movement.  The young are vocal in their ideals and despite those who wish to demean their convictions, many of those youth are extremely educated on the issues.  My own daughter reads stories from multiple sources and makes a conscious choice to stay informed.  Were she to ask tomorrow for the day, I would allow her to stay home as I would know that her choice was an educated one.

Sadly, there will be many who do not understand the actions of tomorrow.  They will make assumptions and cast aspersions without learning the why.  They will sneer and spit  because to learn the reasons would be an inconvenience, a task that is beyond their sphere of comfort.  To these people the day will simply be a temper tantrum, a “snowflake” having a meltdown.

What I wonder tonight as I sit her contemplating tomorrow is rather simple.  When will it be enough?  At what point will these people, the one’s who discount every action as a temper fit, finally start to see.  What has to happen in this country for those people to finally realize that these choices are not made easily?  There are already people dying, there are already piles of hate festering throughout the country… what will it take for those who sneer to finally open their eyes and ears to the why?

The B!%@# Went Walking…

Today I participated in a Women’s March.  It was small in comparison to the larger marches that took place around the world.  But nonetheless it was uplifting.  I have found myself feeling depressed and downtrodden the last two days.  The eve of the inauguration had my anxiety levels through the roof and the day itself had me wanting to rip someone’s head off and shove it firmly up their posterior.  With such levels of emotion running through me, I would not have thought that a march would even bring a dent.  But it did and for that I am indeed grateful.  

The feeling this morning was one of unity.  I had dragged my teenage daughter along with me and she soon dove into the momentum and embraced the atmosphere.  She circled the crowd and live streamed the event.  I followed her as we listened to the speakers touching on diverse issues.  Each speaker fed into a common theme: unity, perseverance, and equality.  The excitement of the people was palpable and you could tell that many had come to this event feeling just as despondent as I had been.  Yet here, together in this group, we found the strength to say that we would continue and that we would not stop until we had achieved what we demanded.

There were marches all around the world.  The numbers were immense with USA Today stating  that over 2 million people participated in these marches.  People stood up and showed the incoming administration that we value the rights of women, we value human rights, and that we were not going to sit idly by while a man who had so openly demonstrated contempt for women took control.  These marches were covered on social media and of course, drew criticism from those who didn’t understand why we were out there walking.

For me the idea of marching was never something that I questioned.  I knew that I would be participating as soon as I heard of the movement.  But for some there was no understanding of our purpose, they could not understand why it is that we felt the need to march.  They posted inflammatory comments on stories carried on social media, telling us to go home to our children and to stop complaining.  Yet at the very moment we were marching, in Washington, the Tangerine was broadly illustrating exactly why it is so very important for all of us to stand up and say NO to him and his administration.

Today the Tangerine was stood in front of a group from the CIA giving a speech (full text here).  It is almost incomprehensible and rather difficult to follow, a convoluted hodgepodge of things that all seemed to be weaved together by some faint almost undetectable thread.  A thread reminiscent of the ramblings of those caught within the onset of dementia.  The Tangerine’s tangents flew in many directions.  He proclaimed himself to be an extremely smart man who believes he is ordained by god (yes he claimed that god prevented it from raining on his speech) and he is the victim of the “dishonest media.”

Tossed into this speech you will also find mention of going to Iraq and stealing their oil fields, with an offhand remark referring to “having another chance.”  You will also read about ISIS in the broadest of terms, with him mentioning eliminating them entirely from the face of the Earth using all means necessary.  The all means necessary part is what frightens me. This man has demonstrated an obsession with nuclear weapons.  I would not put it past him to kill millions of innocent people all under the guise of getting ISIS.  Let’s face it, he has no love for people of different races and he’s not going to think twice.

As I returned home this evening and I read through this speech I found myself wanting to throw excerpts of it at those who were telling me to go home and stop marching.  I wanted to pull pieces of the Tangerine’s depressive inauguration speech and throw those them and scream, “this is why we march.”

Whenever you have a person in charge who is so fixated on himself and how great he is, you come to realize pretty quick that he will have little on his agenda beyond his own personal interests.  Through his removal of civil rights, LGBT, disabilities, and climate change from the White House webpage, he has demonstrated to the word that his fixation will be completely on making money for his wealthy friends while declaring “be damned” to people and the environment.  It is for those reasons and so many more that we marched today and will continue to scream at the top of our lungs.  We support human rights.