Sunday, October 23, 2016

Respect for Women


From my recent post in Facebook:

“Dang! I should have said that!” missed moment in the recent debate:

Donald: Nobody respects women more than I do. Nobody!
Hillary: Ahem. I think I do.

As a father of two strong, intelligent, fun and creative independent daughters and grandfather of a feisty ball-of-fire, I have a clear choice when I step into the voting booth. Someone who will model for young men “locker room talk” and give them the green light to judge women by their bodies and grope them at their whim and fancy, who will make young girls obsess about supermodel bodies and shut down their dreams to aim to be attractive— or someone who will help my granddaughter Zadie think, “Hey! I could be President!”

Women and men of America; Take your daughters, granddaughters, nieces into the voting booth with you and make Susan B. Anthony proud: “Not on our watch, Mr. Trump.”

I’ve been a supporter of Feminism my whole adult life, but really it should just be called Humanism. All the “isms” are just humanity’s way to show that we’ve squandered our human incarnation by trying to feel superior to all the others, with straight white males at the top of the list of transgressors. It always seems so weird that those who personally suffered from an “ism” and fought to combat it would then be party to keeping another “ism” going. Jews who suffered anti-Semitism taking part in racism, black folks supporting homophobia and most everyone trying to keep women “in their place.” I saw something on Youtube that bears some further fact-checks, but I found it extraordinary to think that up until very recently (dates it changed in parenthesis), women in the U.S. legally could not:

• Get birth control if unmarried. (1972)
• Serve on a jury. (1973)
• Get a credit card in their name. (1974)
• Sue for sexual harassment. (1977)
• Refuse to have sex with their spouse. (1993)
• Pay a man’s rate for health insurance. (2010)
• Get paid the same as a man for doing the same work. (20??)

Went to the library yesterday to check out some videos and looked forward to a Saturday night with popcorn watching Magnolia, that 1999 epic film, and had to bail out when the Tom Cruise character was giving a seminar on how to keep women under your thumb. (Could this be Trump’s favorite film?) Then switched to the fluff of Tony Randall and Debbie Reynolds in The Mating Game with its 1959 innocence. But still the whole point for the feisty female character is to get married. Saw an old Cheers TV show yesterday and remembered how delightful those characters were. But still Sam’s constant sexual harassment was 10% endearing to his character and 90% hard to take.

How to truly respect women, support all opportunities for them to explore all sides of their character and intelligence and get paid equally for it, without wholly excluding the sexual dynamic or put down the choice to raise children well or ignore the very real differences between the sexes? How to acknowledge those differences without using them as an excuse to put down, exclude, marginalize, lord over, judge on a scale of higher and lower?

Let me know if you figured it out.

And meanwhile, let’s vote Trump back to the Stone Ages where he belongs.

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