The Angry Blonde Girl
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -MLK Jr
"The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps that the story of that emancipation itself." -Virgina Woolf
After going through the stages of grief, in a slightly extreme yet relatively short time frame, (despite getting concerned messages from my friends for my well-being.) I finally came back down. It was two days of ranting on FB, tears, walking around in a daze, and wanting to saw off CA from the rest of the nation. (I mean the "big earthquake" will make us fall off anyway right?) It wasn't pretty.
Then finally, ready to face the world through my new dirt spattered eyes, I ventured out. Walking into my favorite local coffee shop I ran into a great spiritual guy I know. He looked so calm. “How are you?" he asked with genuine warmth. Clearly, he saw my rants. “I’m doing better.” I said.
We talked a bit. He seemed really at peace with everything. I know I’ll get there (peace not acceptance) but no offense to him (I love you if you read this.) I wanted to spill coffee on him. While, he has great beliefs and apparently far better coping skills than me, he wasn’t violated in quite the same way.
Now, this isn’t his fault, I know he was offended, but he was not specifically targeted by _________.
I’ve made a promise, that for the next four years I will not refer to the next President Elect by name. I will make one up so any ideas are welcome- childish yes- but it will keep me smiling.
Later that day, a guy friend bravely hit me up.
"I'm thinking you could use a drink" he said. "You think?" I laughed "Yes please."
We met up and he started in, "Do you really want to saw off CA?" "Yes, if I could be Bugs Bunny (GIF) I would." Then I thought again, "But no, because I have a brother in Washington and a sister in Nevada." (As if that is the only rational reason not too.) He laughed again. "Hey, don't judge. You don't understand. Aren't you upset?" I sounded angry. "Yeah I am. It's crazy. It's also funny though." He said with ease. "Really? Funny?" I gave a death stare. He went on, "How have you, a privileged, white woman, experienced any of these things anyway? It can't be that bad." I looked angrier. He looked scared. I overshared. I stopped to take a breathe. He looked stunned and said, "I didn't know." "It's okay. I know you don't live it and I don't share it. How would you know? But here's the thing, if I, a white, privileged woman have experienced this, I can't even imagine what other women go through." I replied. He looked sad and still a little scared. "I guess I never thought about it like that."
I've been combating negative views of women my whole life. Women of other ethnic groups have twice the fight. If you want to see it you will, when you're ready. (This is not to complain but as an awareness of what is.)
Consider just a few of the things (Insert preferred name) said about women:
“What is it at 35 (age of woman) Howard? It’s called check-out time.”
When asked if he’d have sex with a 24 year old, “Oh absolutely.”
“You know it doesn’t really matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
“No one could possibly vote for Carly Fiorina because of her face.”
“While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.”
On women: “You have to treat them like shit.”
The list goes on….
And of course the video. The words that were over sensationalized and then dismissed. I watched the woman in that video offer her fake smile, fake hug, and fake acceptance. I saw myself in her. I use the same coping skills as I learned fairly early that speaking up didn't matter.
One of my first jobs, a supervisor hit on me in numerous harassing ways. (He was the age of my father.) I documented it, asked him to stop, and went to talk to his supervisor. First it was a man, who then referred me to another supervisor, a woman.
She had worked with him for twenty years. She laughed at me and said, "Boys will be boys, don't be so sensitive. He's just having some fun." I wasn't having any fun, but being very young I questioned myself. Did I do something to bring that on? Of course the answer was no.
But that attitude followed me. It followed me in my daily life. It followed me into relationships. It followed me into friendships. It has been with me every day since birth. Not by my parents, they combatted it the best they could, but through society's joint twisted decision on how women should be.
I became accustomed to it. I bought into it. I developed a strong inner monologue full of my own inside jokes to combat any situation that presented itself. I figured that was the best I could do. To confront it would be exhausting, and as a people pleaser, uncomfortable.
It’s funny to me now watching the aftermath of the election, seeing people gloss it over, dismiss, deny, justify, and then tell you to move on. (when even worst case scenario they wouldn’t be impacted.) That might be the most infuriating, being told to move on.
You are violated, you call it out (you're dismissed), you get angry (they say let it go and find peace), you get angrier and combat it verbally (now you're just being unreasonable), you use history (now that's the past focus on the present). You look around and watch people deny, dismiss, excuse, and move on. You feel silenced.
Suddenly, a light went on, "Oh shit. I'm the 'Angry (insert stereotype)'!" Well as the "Angry Blonde Girl" let me tell you this sucks. (Mock me all you want. I am fully aware millions have been through far worse. I can also sadly think of times I dismissed others and for that I am truly sorry. Still it's sobering to trade my "passive acceptance" for what is uncomfortable and hard, "truth". )
Now that I have my sanity back, (Although I did lose it again after a certain "Chief Strategist" was appointed.) I want to share the "middle" of my story in hopes you share yours.
We tend to share, on social media or real life, the extremes. We share when we are happy, elated, or excited (marriage, new boyfriend, baby, trips) or we share when we are sad, angry, frustrated (death, sickness, being on hold too long with AT&T). But what's in the middle? Those personal experiences that brought us to where we are?
So with that, I would like to share my story. It will begin somewhere in the "middle" ....
I hope you will listen and find peace and love in your heart.....
Just kidding, any emotion it evokes is valid but I do hope you can breathe, smile, try to listen and even laugh.
With love xx