I grow more and more weary and wary of the state of the Unites States, almost daily. I have lived on a coast my entire life, and except for a few years have lived in a city, so much of what terrifies me is happening in an America I feel increasingly distant from. The news is filled with stories of hate. People who claim they know what God wants, a notion that 40 years ago would have landed them in a mental institution not in Congress…
People who seem to believe that God is a white, American, gun-toting man who knows that (armed) rich white men should be running things, while the poor get poorer, minorities are so obstructed form participating in our “democracy” they give up, and where women should really go back to keeping their mouths shut, and their wombs open and ready. No birth control, no access to abortion, and no assistance for the children you must bear, and if you don’t want children, don’t have sex, BUT, you really should submit to any man who wants you, or he may kill you.
I see people who claim to be Christians insisting that God Hates Gays, when I can’t think of one religion that believes God hates anyone. God may judge us, may find us wanting or falling down, or even worthy of punishment, but not because we love, no matter who that is. I can’t imagine a God who would hate anyone of us, even the most horrible and reprehensible individuals on the scale of a Hitler or Jeffery Dahmer. I hope there is a special place if Hell for the likes of them, but more as a system of accountability than hatred.
Hating or disdain for women though seems even more widespread than homophobia, and much more insidious. I know plenty of men who though they may not actually hate women, certainly don’t like them. These men though don’t even understand that they don’t like women, because they do want to have sex with them, and they mistake desire for regard. Look at all the groups and clubs and societies created around denigrating women. The PUA, the PUAHaters, Return of Kings etc. whose mission is to glorify men and shame, diminish and objectify women who they claim they love. Give me a break!
In my life I have been fortunate to be raised by a father who admired, respected and had actual friends that were women. I have had teachers, and professors, bosses and peers who truly like women, who actually consider them people. I have also dealt with men who claimed they respected women, but whose actions told another story. Fortunately none of these men resorted to violence (that I know of) but unfortunately they made things very difficult for me and other women around them. While others looked on, but didn’t see what was right in front of them.
Sexism is deep and prevalent everywhere. From comments about Hillary Clinton’s age, or impending grandchild, to comments about every pound gained or lost by women in Hollywood pantheon. Women are judged on appearance, style, and their boyfriends/husbands and then maybe their substance, in that order. Do you think Angelina Jolie would have the level of adoration and accolades for her charitable work (which is noble) if she was less jolie?
Would I be writing this is I were a thin and gorgeous woman? Hard to say, but I hope that my brain, my integrity and my powers of observation would not be diminished in any way were I prettier!
As long as we perpetuate the notion that women are less than, other and creatures to be conquered, and bested, seduced and bedded, into subservience, men will feel justified in harming, raping, killing and objectifying us.