Ugh. Yuch. Blech. Euwww.
It is really inconceivable that Mitch McConnell has been able to get away with bending and breaking rules so flagrantly. But it is happening. Congress is now made up of salivating dogs that haven't even swallowed their tax cuts and are already sniffing for the next meals, Social Security and Medicare.
Gross. Disgusting. Sick.
And as if raping our country wasn't enough to turn our insides, we have lately been forced to confront what every-damn-body knows about men's scorn for women. And Democrats, no surprise, are complicit.
So let me just vent a little about what we have all known as acceptable behavior until now, and just how STUPID it is.
Men continue to treat women nursing babies as though they are committing a dirty act, and don't allow it in public. That asshole contaminating our White House actually made a point of being grossed out because Hillary needed a bathroom break during a debate. But apparently it is a THING for men to lounge around their offices without their pants on. After all, LBJ lowered that bar by insisting that staff talk to him while he was on the toilet, with the door opened. Although, to my knowledge, it was just male staff to whom he was giving the benefit of his full perspective.
What the fuck are they thinking?
It's funny -- not haha funny but sad, pathetic funny -- that I heard no one during the debates about John Conyers and his need to allow his private parts to breathe, wonder why the hell he didn't lock his damn door.
African Americans have known all along that white folk behaved as though they were inconsequential, invisible. And that that behavior was intended to put them in their place. Women, we need to recognize that men have been doing that to us.
From the coining of the words mansplaining to manspreading, the younger generation of women has been letting us know that they have caught on. Panels of old white men making laws about our genitals and reproductive systems is obscene. More important, it reinforces the message that they know better than us, and reminds us in no uncertain terms that they are in charge.
So it really shouldn't have come as a surprise that Trent Franks had asked female staff about inseminating them, offering money for the service. What IS surprising is that it was only when the women were concerned that he was talking about sex, not artificial insemination, that they decided to go to the House Ethics Committee. Because, after all, asking a member of your staff to impregnate themselves for you without sex would have been okay.
What the #MeToo movement has done is shown in more ways than we could have ever comprehended, how not just overtly sexual but also ridiculously inappropriate behaviors have shamed and stifled women.
We have indeed only scratched the surface of the sexism that kept Hillary out of the White House. I am glad that the accusations of sexual harassment by creepy Matt Lauer led to us all taking a second long look at his condescension and bullying of Hillary Clinton during a candidates' forum. But what of Chuck Todd, who could not say a critical word about Donald Trump without stating that Trump and Hillary were the most disliked candidates in history; of course, much of the distrust of Hillary came not from any proof ("I don't know why; I just don't trust her") but from comments like those of Chuck Todd.
And, women, we have to stop making excuses.
I had a really hard time with Al Franken. My excuse: the incident happened before he was senator, and his whole schtick had been pushing the edge. In fact, Leeann Tweeden accepted Franken's apology as sincere and stated it had not been her wish to have him removed from office. And, except for the stupid and gross behavior that he sees as comic and women see as, well, stupid and gross, he is an amazing progressive senator who has stood strong for women's rights.
That's where all this gets tough. We have lost Franken in the Senate and may well end up with the homophobic pervert Roy Moore. And let us not forget the sexual predator that is contaminating the White House.
So I suggest that:
1. We keep talking. There are no right and wrong answers. Not yet. There will always be fuzzy lines, but there can be a lot more clarity, as long as we keep insisting on being heard. As long as we are not afraid to argue; the differences will lead to clarity in time.
2. We learn to say NO. The saddest thing about Leeann Tweeden's experience was that a professional woman was unable to immediately and unequivocally tell Franken to knock it off. Women need to learn to do it. And we need to make sure our daughters are able to do it. Without fear of repercussion.
3. We insist on real consequences. Right this very minute, while Paul Ryan is having wet dreams at the thought of killing Social Security and Medicare, Mitch McConnell is chuckling over the fact that the Dems have lost two strong progressive voices in Congress and he is about to gain one demented sexual predator, who, like the other one he supported, will endorse any piece of shit bill the republicans push through. And, for that matter, it is time to get rid of the Congressional slush fund that pays, through our tax dollars, for findings of misconduct.
Yes, that's right. Congress has its own special deal with the US Treasury that fines levied due to findings of misconduct will be paid with tax dollars. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???
A few weeks ago, Saturday Night Live had an hilarious sketch featuring "Claire from HR." Laugh your ass off, and then listen to it again, because, absurdly, this is reality.
There is so much misogyny in all workplaces, yet it seems fitting that we begin by shining the light on the swamp creatures in Congress. After all, by being charged with making the laws that we live by, they have come to see themselves as above the law. Their behavior has become more egregious, their stated intent to ignore our needs more blatant, as this sick Trump administration blunders forward.
It is fitting that on January 21, women led the way to resistance, and we will continue to fight for what is right. Respect for women should be our top priority.
Because as Hillary Clinton said, "Women's rights are human rights."