Nevertheless, She Persisted

(Warning: language/possible content trigger/& a rant)

So can we finally say that sexism is a thing? That misogyny is alive and well–it’s got the best health care plan, after all! Can we finally say, after Mitch McConnell told Senator Elizabeth Warren to sit down and shut up — following, by the way, the script of every abuser: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” — that there are still some parts of this country that have a hell of a hard time with a woman who dares to speak?

Women are hysterical. Wild-eyed. Out of control. And need we mention that an old white man told a woman to shut up while she was reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to try to prevent the confirmation of good-ol-racist Southern boy Jeff Sessions during Black History Month? And that Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he could only “hope that if Coretta Scott King were still with us, that she would support Senator Sessions nomination.” I’m a fiction writer and I can’t make this shit up. (Should I give points to Spicer for knowing that Mrs. King was deceased? I mean, I guess she and Frederick Douglass could be having a Skype call right about now  discussing the carnage of the Bowling Green Massacre…#strangerthanfiction)

The ancient Greeks gave us the term “hysteria”, which means literally ‘wandering uterus.’ And if the way the old-man GOP congressmen have understood how women’s bodies work in the past still holds true: a shut off valve to prevent pregnancy in cases of rape; women don’t need gynecological care after 50, and my favorite — we apparently get pregnant all alone, but heck…I’m just a noisy bitch don’t listen to me, and I’m not a 10 and I’m old, so really, as the esteemed Nebraska state senator Bill Kintner reminded me on Twitter (the GOP’s new means of transmitting important information) But her emails! Sorry, damn, I keep digressing-– that the marchers were too ugly to fuck anyway, it’s likely they think that our uteruses (uteri?) have just gotten a little unhinged, running amok among the ‘down there’ parts that are just messy and disgusting and there only for the pleasure of their tiny tiny …. (right. hysterical bitch. shut up. sit down. breed a baby or two while you’re there. what do you mean you didn’t take his last name? and don’t wear pants, by the way. dress like a girl.)

I’m still framing my thoughts around the trauma that the election of 45 has triggered. The ‘sharking’ he did of Secretary Clinton during the debates. The bullying. The name-calling and the ranking of women. When a sexual predator is President, the whole country becomes his victims. When a narcissist is President, the whole nation spins in his chaos.

I don’t have clarity yet on the work for me around the trauma being released by this election. I feel there’s the potential for lots of healing, lots of working with the unspoken and hidden–in myself and with others. We’re headfirst in the unacknowledged–our country’s deep Shadow work. We have buried our secrets for far too long, and as James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.” And that’s where we find ourselves now, #woke and furious and looking at a whole lot of our buried shit trying to find the seeds of a new way.

Right now, 45 and the GOP are the bullies I have faced-down my whole life. The ones that told me to be quiet. The ones that told me to let him go first. The ones who told me that I needed to stop raising my hand so much in class. The ones that told me I was not, in fact, a 10, and the ones that, in a workshop in graduate school, told me to remove a scene from a work-in-progress because it was utterly unbelievable that a husband would rape his wife. And the one in particular, who told me that if I ever left him, he would kill my family. But that’s a story for another time.

What I’ve got to say now is this: She persists. She resists. This is not the good ol’ boys club anymore (though yes, clearly we play one on the reality TV show that has become our government). Our biggest challenge now is to not get tossed away in the chaos. Our biggest threat to them is our long, long, long history of watching them. Of learning how to navigate their world so that we could get a foot in the door and a seat at the table. We–the marginalized who have been shut out of your club: the women, LGBTQ folks, people of color, immigrants, the disabled, the poor–have been watching you, and because you did not see us, you will remain forever surprised that we are here and are coming for you. Because we were invisible to you, you did not know our superpowers.

Make no mistake, 45 and the GOP: We are not going away. If we know how to do anything, it is how to persist. May you choke on your last gasp of this obscene indecency that is your privileged, greedy, narrow world view. McConnell. Ryan. Flake. McCain. Don’t think we don’t have the lists of how you’re voting and what you’re voting for. I haven’t reached an enlightened stage of compassion for you yet. I’m not interested in joining hands across the table to sing kum-ba-yah. Maybe it’ll come. Maybe it won’t. But for now, I’m taking my wandering uterus and persisting the fuck out of this mess. “Step by step,” wrote Pete Seeger, “the longest march can be won.”

Maybe we can find common ground again. I hope so. But I know from personal experience with abusers that after staying alive, the next step is to never negotiate with the terrorists, followed closely by get that person out of your house, and right now that house is our White House.

So, I’m sorry the hand towels weren’t soft enough for you on Air Force One, 45. Use one of Ivanka’s scarves instead. I hear they’re going to be lots of them showing up at discount retailers all over the country. Oh wait, the discounters also said #noivanka? Well. Goodwill then. On half-off Saturday. Maybe your family will finally make an honest charitable contribution.

(And PS: Thank you #9thcircuit. Team Constitution!)

#thankyounordstrom #thankyoutjmaxxmarshalls #resist #blizzardofsnowflakes #shepersisted #nastywoman