Whew! What a crazy week. On monday I wrote a long piece about being a woman and the struggles I’ve been facing recently. Then on tuesday I woke up with a spring in my step, excited about pink pantsuits and promise and played Sister Suffragette over and over while I did the dishes. Then that night the world seemed to come crashing down all around me.
Wednesday I wept. I woke up weeping and continued getting verklempt all day. Unprompted, my boys asked if HilIary Clinton lost because she’s a girl.
We haven’t talked very much about our political leanings with our boys, besides telling them some of the issues and letting them decide for themselves. We correct them when they imitate their school mates with sayings like, “Trump the dump” or “Killary”. I have explained to Finn things like what same sex marriage is and what abortion is and though I’ve been told he’s too young, I want to make sure he hears about the issues from me. He understands why people would vote for either party, and that we cannot fault people for their beliefs. More than anything Beau and I want to lead by our actions. Love is always the answer.
I made a female symbol out of red white and pink flowers and posted it on instagram, saying America belongs to me. And it belongs to my best friend who immigrated from a Latin country, and it belongs to my sister who is in love with her girlfriend, and to my mother who stayed home to raise her children when she was a year away from her doctorate. …Only to get cyber bullied by people who are too ignorant to understand why what I had made was not an affront to anyone. “Get off your high horse!” “I’m sorry I bought your book!” “Get over yourself!”
Beau was shocked and said, “guys were getting mad at you?” and through tears I said, “No. WOMEN were!”
I think it’s entirely fair to say it’s sad to not see a woman be president. I mean, the original suffragettes were communist and were against marriage and bombed beautiful buildings…but I can’t help but still feel a connection there. Anarchy seems like the answer when walls surround you and hate is spewed from those in power. I want to tell my teenage self that someday she won’t have male leaders telling her she needs to respect the boys and stop wearing makeup so they aren’t led astray…after being punched in the back for talking back to one of them. (true story). Or have the boys tell her her boobs look huge after she’d finally become a leader for her drama group and spoken in front of the group. Men cannot understand how that feels. How hard it was for me to get back up on stage and speak again. And how those types of statements are still haunting me to this day. I’m tired of simple eye rolls being the only thing we can do to pacify “locker room talk.” If the same type of statement made to women were happening to say, a minority, people would be screaming out “racism!” “intolerance!” but for some reason when it’s about a woman everyone’s like “oh you know, boys will be boys.”
I know it’s complicated. I know there’s more to this election than gender. And I know we shouldn’t be seeking a hero to fix everything. But right now I’m feeling the sting. Deeply.
One consolation is this: The boys and I were driving in the car after school yesterday. We crested the hill and I looked out over the wide expanse of our Seattle neighborhood, lit with colorful leaves and a shining lake. A comfortable bubble in this country I find true peace in. Finn said, “You know what I’m saddest about? It would have been nice to have had a woman be president.”
Through all the societal blunders and mess of emotions and personal frustrations I’ve had about being a woman…I must be doing something right.