A Record of the Times

20170425_183908The other day I ran out of postcard stamps. That meant I’d sent 100 postcards since DJT became president. I’d sent postcards to the man himself (remember the Ides of Trump?), to my members of Congress when their phones were jammed, to Mitch McConnell, to Paul Ryan, and to Republican MOC who deserved thanks for bucking the trend and voting against the health abomination bill passed by the house. The last batch of cards were to Democrats in South Carolina’s 5th District to remind them to vote for Archie Parnell in the upcoming special election.

I’ve been super-busy since DJT crashed into the White House. I’ve gone on 3 marches: The Women’s March, The March for Science, and The People’s Climate March down in DC. With some other ladies in town, we’ve formed an Indivisible Group–and with that comes meetings, and creating agendas, and educating ourselves on all sorts of local issues. We’ve run a member for the local Board of Education (she won), and are running two members for the City Council. That means I’ve attended local Democratic Committee meetings, quickly come up to speed on the issues in our local politics, and now I am walking around with petitions to get a friend on the ballot.

In between all this, I’ve joined Facebook and Twitter, to better keep up with the issues and to communicate with my various new political actions groups and coordinate with other groups in neighboring towns.

Of course there are the daily phone calls (or faxes if the lines are jammed), petitions (probably useless–but I can’t help signing some when they show up in the in-box), Twitter blasts to various officials, Facebook posts to MOCs, and good, old fashioned letters and emails to politicians.

I have no way of knowing what or which of these efforts will make a difference. I do know that I am super-busy. After all, I am a mom with two teens, and I’m mostly doing that by myself (husband travels a lot). I also have a full time job as a nurse, and a side-gig as a writer. So I certainly didn’t want to take all this on. Sometimes I resent how these selfish men in Washington are so incompetent and mean-spirited that I am forced to monitor their messes. It’s mom-work, but on a national level. Instead of coming into the kitchen to discover a mess, I’m watching the news and seeing corruption. Instead of scolding, “Put the milk away when you’re done with it!”, I’m writing about keeping the Paris Accord or Single-Payer Healthcare.

Such are the times, and this is a record of the times.

Firing Bill O’Reilly: a few thoughts from a broken feminist

rts12tlpI felt a sense of righteous vindication upon reading that Fox has let Bill O’Reilly go. I was one of the many women writing letters  by email and on Facebook to companies that advertised on his show. Thanks to the work of women’s rights organizations like ultraviolet and NOWI knew who to write to and what to say. I explained to my children that every small action the resistance takes is making a difference. The pawns are falling: the resignations of Milo Yiannopolous, Roger Ailes, Michael Flynn, the recusements of David Nunes and Jeff Sessions, and Jason Chaffetz deciding not to run in 2018, are all precursors to the eventual, inevitable, downfall of DJT.

We deserve a moment to relish the sense of accomplishment we feel after taking out the trash.

But this morning my daughter and I had a conversation about music. At the moment, she’s into music that denigrates women: “b**tches and h*s” lyrics by men who slap their girlfriends around. I tried to explain to her that she’s internalizing those bad messages, and that it wasn’t healthy.

She wasn’t buying it.

After all, why should she listen to me? I’m a broken feminist. I talk the talk, I even try to walk the walk, but there’s a part of me that’s so deeply damaged, I continue to accept unacceptable behavior from men ALL THE TIME. I still make myself nice, and small, and agreeable, just to fly low under the radar. I have not realized my potential, and it’s likely I never will. I’m like many American women: I’ve been a victim of sexual violence, both attempted and completed. The attempted left a 21-stitch long scar on my right hand; I sliced it open scaling a chainlink fence in a burst of adrenaline to get away from two attackers after my car broke down on the side of the road in Brooklyn. The completed acts left internal scars that despite years of therapy, have not healed. These scars affect my ability to have healthy adult relationships with men, both in work environments and social environments. My workaround is that I limit myself by sticking to female dominant work settings, and I work primarily alone. I don’t ask for promotions or raises because the bosses are male. I’ve tried a few times, but after being shut down I’ve given up.

The resistance is female for a reason. DJT’s voice turns our stomachs. He has the cadence of our predators. He has the same cold, dead eyes. He has their sensibility. That the predator-in-chief is still in his position, despite what he’s admitted to, and what he’s suspected of doing, wounds us and our daughters daily.

I am so proud of our every accomplishment in resisting this juggernaut of sexual predation. And I am so grateful when men, like the Patriots, join us. But I am afraid for my daughter. The end of allowing predatory men in positions of power can’t come soon enough for her or millions of girls like her.

 

 

 

Trump: Day 3

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(image from melaniebiehle.com ; generously provided for the women’s march)

Okay, so what next? How about a visit to the petitions page of the whitehouse.gov?

You can sign a petition to get DJT to show us his tax returns (After all, it’s only fair, right? After all the hassle he gave President Obama about his birth certificate?), and you can tell him to divest of his businesses and do the job he signed up for when he ran for office.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov

You can also write a letter. I did! It’s kind of fun. I wrote a personal note asking him to show us his tax returns. I figure he has to eventually get the message that we really do care about our national security, and his foreign financial entanglements actually do concern us as citizens.

I’m considering making it a frequent thing. Like I could explain, today, that “alternative facts” are in fact, NOT FACTS, but as implied by the Orwellian name, LIES. After all, this isn’t 1984. Perhaps I can suggest that he and Ms. Conway read that classic tale of a lying authoritarian government nightmare, and then try to avoid behaving that way.

Also, if you want to do something organize-y, check out this:

https://www.indivisibleguide.com

It’s a handy-dandy guide to organizing your community. We’re already getting started in my neck of the woods. How about you?

 

 

Trump, Listen to Mom

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As we approach the inauguration and the Women’s March to follow, I’ve been thinking that PEOTUS would be in so much less trouble if only he’d listened to the most important woman in his life: his mom. I’m sure that she, an immigrant from Scotland who arrived in American with $50 and  worked as a domestic maid, said to DJT many of the same things all mothers say to their children. Unfortunately, his mom is no longer here to impart her wisdom, so here’s a list of momisms I’d like to scold him with:

Keep your hands to yourself. Seriously, stop touching your sister.  I mean it. You heard her say stop. No means No! What part of No don’t you understand?

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I hope you don’t plan on kissing me with that mouth. You should wash your mouth out with soap, Donald J. Trump! I didn’t teach you to talk to people that way.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Would you like it if people treated you that way? Apparently not, Mr. Smartypants. It’s fine when you demand Barack’s birth certificate, but God forbid anybody ask for your tax returns! I mean,come on, fair is fair. It’s your turn now–you don’t get to just take your ball and go home when you don’t like the way the game goes.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Or launches a nuke.

Respect your elders. John Lewis, in particular. And yes, Meryl Streep is 3 years younger than you, but she is certainly your superior when it comes to acting, so you need to give her the proper respect.

Careful, or your face will freeze that way.

Turn the phone off and go to sleep. You need at least 7 hours or you aren’t going to be able to put two sensible words together tomorrow. And seriously, that screen is becoming an addiction. And  you’ve completely forgotten how to have polite conversation in real life, with all that social media you’re using.

I don’t like that crowd you’re running around with. Especially that Bannon and that Sessions. Why don’t you try being friends with some of the nicer, smarter children?

Personal responsibility, please. No, it is not CNN’s fault, or Buzzfeed’s fault, or anyone else’s fault that nasty things were said about you. If you’re going to be the most powerful man in the free world, you have to be prepared to take your lumps. I’m sure that if you didn’t do anything wrong, it’ll turn out just fine. But if you did make deals in Russia that put the nation’s security at risk, don’t you think it would be better to Tell the truth, and get it over with? I promise you your punishment will be so much worse if I find out you’ve been lying.

And if Vladimir told you to jump off a bridge, would you?