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Thanking the Fashion Goddess that We Don’t Have to Wear Girdles Anymore

Originally published October 2018

Enough of travel, writing challenges, random thoughts. I have tried, oh how I have tried, to write and think about anything other than what’s going on. But today, I am cutting off my restraints and letting it all hang out.

I blame the media. I blame Mark Zuckerberg. I blame ignorance. I blame blind acceptance.

What the f**k is going on? This feels like the 60’s, when rage took to the streets, only worse somehow. Yes, I watched the testimony. I listened to Dr Ford and Kavanaugh. Throughout all I felt let down, disappointed, ashamed.

The patterns are strong and I blame women. Women who don’t believe Dr Ford. Women who allow themselves to be interrupted by men. Women who don’t realize that conscious-raising isn’t over, accepting the idea that being called a feminist is worse than being called a whore.

I blame women who spit on Bill Clinton’s misbehavior but look the other way over Donald Trump’s.

I blame women who blame the victim.

I know we’ve been “carefully taught”. My media echo chamber this week has been loaded with discussions about female behavior expectations. Don’t yell, don’t cry, don’t attack. You sound shrill. That’s unlady-like. They’ll say you’re a slut.

And we just take it. Everywhere our role models are scorned, vilified, laughed at. Used. Exploited.

We’re great to look at. We parade on catwalks. We adorn car posters. The younger “we”s appear, unknown, nameless, in films next to mature male money-making actors, while the older “we”s struggle—with some outsized exceptional thespians—to obtain creamy roles.

Granted, I think D.C. is a swamp, too, swimming with corporations and Dark Money. Misogyny saturates the culture. I blame women who use sex to get ahead. Because we are highly sexualized, we put up with it. You can’t be female and expect never to be sexually harassed. I can see how it’s tempting to tempt. There’s a kind of power in that. But watch out. Most men dislike thinking they don’t have power over women. What do you think rape is all about?

Contempt and disrespect. I saw that on all the white male faces in the senate hearing and heard it in their words. Judge K showed proud humility to his favorite party’s questioners—not questions at all but hypocritical praise—and rained contempt on the Other Party’s elected representatives.

Partisan senators angrily lectured those across the political divide, but those being shouted at said nothing in return. I wanted to see them fight. I wanted one of them to grab the floor and slam it down on their heads—well, at the least lecture back, point out their lack of respect.

I’m angry too. Everything changes and everything stays the same. Even in the altruistic organization that employs me the culture seeps in. Male-heavy leadership. One woman fired and replaced by a man. We think we’ve made great strides – we can be surgeons now, oh yes, and even senators but that glass ceiling still hurts. Hilary Clinton is an excellent example of that.

There’s so much more. Sure this blog is for women. This is a subject I know well, but others endure far worse – people of color who live with bigotry on a daily basis.

Sadly, it appears compromise and dialog are also disrespected. I have to ask myself—do I adopt the methods of my enemies and rage, or do I quietly carry on and always try to speak the truth.

Especially to the men who interrupt me.

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