so far

Over the last few days, three bits of seemingly unrelated news caught my attention and sort of took up residence in my brain.

News Bit the First: After two years of investigation, a Trump Justice Department inquiry launched by vindictive Republicans into allegations of 1) financial corruption by the Clinton Foundation, 2) criminal activity by Hillary Clinton in the Uranium One deal, and 3) still another probe into the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server was quietly ended. No report was issued, no announcement was made, no comment was given — the investigation just ended with the conclusion that there was absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing.

News Bit the Second: There’s been an ongoing social media discussion about the reluctance of men — particularly men who would be casting votes for Academy Award nominations — to see Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. Why? Apparently because it’s about women. Apparently because these men feel the male characters in the film are ‘two-dimensional, largely ornamental and relegated to the background.’

News Bit the Third: It appears Senator Bernie Sanders may have said — or somehow suggested — that a woman couldn’t win a presidential election in 2020. It seems highly unlikely to me that Bernie would have said that — or that he would believe that to be the case — but the guy tends be blunt and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he said something that could easily be interpreted that way. In a way, it doesn’t matter if Bernie actually said it or not. The sad fact is, the electability of women shouldn’t even be a matter of discussion. But it is.

Obviously, these three seemingly unrelated bits of news aren’t unrelated at all. I don’t need to point out what they have in common. I don’t need to say it’s incredibly stupid that it’s 2020 and women are still dealing with this shit.

But I DO want to say that it’s impressive as hell that they ARE dealing with it. That Hillary Clinton could get three million more votes than Trump, still lose the election, and yet still have the strength of character to continue to speak out. That Greta Gerwig can make an absolutely amazing film, get denied a Best Director nomination, and yet still have the strength of character to celebrate the actors in her film and their nominations. That Elizabeth Warren could create the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, be denied the Director’s position by Republicans, run for a Senate seat against the incumbent Republican, win the seat, was warned by Mitch McConnell NOT to read a letter by Coretta Scott King, read it anyway, got formally rebuked (“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”) and still had the strength of character to run for president.

I am astonished that so many women have continued to stand firm, speak out, and fight for fundamental fairness despite living in a culture that is punishing, denigrating, often hateful, shaming, and for some reason even denies them pockets in their clothes.

Pockets, for fuck’s sake. How women find the patience to resist burning it all down is beyond me. And they could do it. If every woman — every low paid office clerk, every admin assistant, every receptionist, every woman executive, every housekeeper and baker and welder and doctor and truck driver and police officer — if every woman decided to not go to work for one day, the entire world would come to an abrupt halt. If they decided not to go to work for two days, whole economies would collapse.

But nevertheless, they persist. They do go to work. Every goddamn day.

So far.

13 thoughts on “so far

  1. And not just every American woman or even every woman in a paid job. A strike by women volunteers alone would affect every hospital, school, mental health service, aged and disabled care facility, animal shelter, environmental organisation, cultural institution and family. The women in ‘Lysistrata’ used a ban on sex to stop their husbands from war mongering. We – well I am Australian – but we can do this.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t have any reliable statistics on this, but I’m just going to guess that women comprise probably 80% of the volunteer work force throughout the world. I think you’re absolutely right.

        I think we’re just at the very beginning of women discovering how much power they actually have. I think men are barely beginning to get some inkling of a hint of how much power women actually have — and even that dim awareness scares the shit out of them. And rightly so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And this isn’t even considering if women, as stay at home mothers, just looked at their husbands and said “Good luck taking care of your mouthbreathing dirt monsters for the next 48. I’m going on strike.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While I agree with your words 100%, they don’t apply to all women, sadly. Remember that nearly half the people who voted Trump in were women. Half the people who I engage with on social media – or possibly more – who deny climate change, are women. Now we might quite correctly blame men for these women acting as they do, but my point is that if they’re voting for Trump (or in our case Morrison) they’re not going to participate in your strike. I seriously wish they would – it would be a joy to behold.

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    • Oh, I don’t think there will actually be a strike. I just think that if women DID take a couple days off work (including volunteer work) the world would buckle. That said, I think women are beginning to get an idea of how much power they have. I think that probably scares some women — and it sure as hell scares a lot of men.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really astonishing, isn’t it. She’s been accused of SO many things, she’s been cleared of everything, and yet so many people still revile her and believe she’s truly guilty.

      History, though, will be kind to her. Assuming, of course, the US doesn’t turn into a Trumpian autocracy. Which is sadly possible.

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      • Think of all the people who might otherwise be great political leaders who see what happened to her and others and say, to hell with this! No way I’m running for political office. We are then left with people like Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have a friend who always tries to incorporate “HRC Whataboutism” in any political discussion. I always respond with “Please tell me what crimes she’s been convicted of. Failing that, please tell me what she’s been indicted for and is awaiting trial for.”

        And without fail, he responds with “Well, nothing yet.”

        Me: “So she’s not a criminal. You just don’t like her. Lead with that. I’ll at least respect you for owning your misogyny.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Think of all the people who might otherwise be great political leaders who see what happened to her and others and say, to hell with this!”

        Look at Katie Hill, who resigned her seat in Congress after her estranged husband posted ‘revenge porn’ photos of her. In this age of digital imagery, we’re going to see more women suffer from this — and very likely no men. Revenge porn is almost exclusively male.

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