Wednesday, September 28, 2016

You're Just Another Brick and I'm a Sledgehammer.

As I age, I'm realizing more and more that I'm a sledgehammer. Some women are warm and giving, natural nurturers, the type of person you want to be your mom or grandma. That's not me. Some women are iron fists in velvet gloves, they keep order and rule the roost but with a soft touch that lets you think everything was your idea. That's not me either. Some women use their wiles to wheedle and cajole, hiding cunning minds behind smiles and fluttered eyelashes. That couldn't be me if I wanted it to be.

It's time to take down a wall.

I am a sledgehammer. I'm cold and hard with blunt edges made for laying waste. When I want something, I get sheer force of will and application of brute strength. I can't pick a lock, but I can sure as hell break down a door.

Where am I going with this? Brace yourself, I'm going to get all feminist for a bit. I try to keep my politics off social media, because Facebook is for pictures of kids and dogs and races. I realize that my brand of godless liberalism doesn't jibe with most people's positions and I don't feel like fighting about it in a forum that just creates bad blood and (let's be honest) changes no minds. 

Now, Bernie Sanders was my horse in this race from the announcement of his candidacy. Why? Because his brand of democratic socialism aligns nearly 100% with my own ideals. That's a good reason to vote for a candidate. Second on my list was Hillary Clinton. There's a few minor policy points that I lean farther left on, but nothing that would keep me from voting for her with a clear conscience. 

So why don't people like Clinton? I'll tell you what I think: She's a woman.  Yeah, she's got some scandals (or perceived scandals) in her past. Show me a politician who doesn't. The difference is, she's got two X chromosomes and she's seeking power and people can't stand it. Women aren't supposed to be ambitious. We aren't supposed to want power. We're supposed to be good little girls, quiet and biddable, smiling in the corner while the men do the "real" work.

Sexism is everywhere. It is sometimes subtle, but it's there. 

Ever been told you'd be prettier if you smiled? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I'll smile when I fucking feel like it and only when I feel like it.

Ever been catcalled on the street, then had the guy go full "Fuck you, bitch, you're fat anyway!" when you don't engage? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I am not your goddamn ornament, asshole, and your approval is neither required nor desired.

Ever been told you're too loud, or that your personality is abrasive? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I'll raise my voice to be heard, and I don't need to be your friend to get shit done.

Ever been in a group of people when a concept is introduced, then had a male co-worker lean over and start man-splaining it to you? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I wrote the presentation, asshole.

Along with that, ever presented an idea at a meeting, had it be dismissed or ignored, then had a male co-worker say the exact same goddamn thing and be acknowledged? No? Then you're probably a dude.
And you bet your ass I say (LOUDLY) "I JUST SAID THAT."

This kind of thing is what's been happening to HRC from the beginning of this campaign. We get snide comments about her suits (stop calling them "pants suits", goddammit, no one calls a man's suit a "pants suit"). We get commentary about her voice (She's loud! She's shrill!). We get nasty remarks about the way she laughs (She sounds like a hyena!). We get the classic "She should smile more" but when she does? "Oh, she looks smug.

Men are "assertive", women are "agressive". Men are "direct", women are "abrasive". Men are "strong leaders", women are "bitchy". Men are "stern" and women need to smile more. 

If you want I'll bare my teeth at you.

This is a person who is possibly the most qualified candidate for President in recent memory, if not ever. She is educated, she is articulate, she is experienced. I say if she wants to be stone faced, let her. If she's smug on the debate stage, she has a right to be. Personally, I'm impressed as fuck that she didn't start laughing her goddamn hyena laugh mid-debate with that word-salad spewing, self-aggrandizing, lying, cheating, swaggering blowhard. It is an insult that she is forced to compete with him at all. 

I recall very distinctly the first time I heard "A woman could never be President, could you imagine her with her finger on the button every 28 days?!? Yuck yuck yuck, hardee har har". I was 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was Mondale's running mate. It was infuriating then, and it's infuriating now...particularly coming out of the mouths of women who back Trump. Well guess what, people. That pretty much makes a post-menopausal woman the ideal candidate for President. None of those pesky hormones getting in the way of good government. 

We've been trying to poke holes in the patriarchy for decades. Women like our own Tammy Baldwin and Tammy Duckworth and Elizabeth Warren made it into government and made some noise. Women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor and Sandra Sotomayor made inroads. But poking holes isn't getting us far enough. It isn't getting us equal pay, paid maternity leave, quality affordable childcare, and access to health care without the government dictating what that means. We've had 200+ years of men running this bitch, and for some reason now that everything is (apparently) a giant shitshow we've decided that the way to fix it is to put another man into office. 

It's time to get out the motherfucking sledgehammer and lay waste. And the sledgehammer in me recognizes the sledgehammer in HRC. I want a strong, competent woman to go out there and fucking govern. It is time. Screw cookie baking contests. Rise up with your RBF, slap on those sunglasses, and let's ride. 

If you're a Libertarian, I think you can vote for Gary Johnson in good conscience. Go for it. If you're a disgruntled Bernie supporter, please don't fuck us all by protest voting. Please. If you're a Republican and you can vote for Trump...well, I won't pretend to understand, because he isn't a Republican any more than I am. And if you can't bring yourself to vote for any of them? That is your right, but at lease go to the polls and write in Micky Mouse if you have to...but go vote the down ticket races. That is where shit gets done.

I felt the Bern. I did. But come November? #imwithher and I won't apologize for it. 

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