The Perilous Silencing of Women
The silencing of women has begun in earnest on the floor of the Senate.
Be seen and not heard. That’s what I was told by my parents while growing up. I was precocious in their view and my truthful comments weren’t welcome. An empath, my awareness made them uncomfortable. Sorta like the republicans in the Senate last night who prevented Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter from Coretta Scott King regarding Jeff Session’s suitability to become a judge. In this case, the position is the Attorney General, and Session’s record of racism precludes him from such a position. At least in the minds of sensible people.
When McConnell shut Senator Warren down from reading Mrs. King’s letter, she went outside the chamber and read it before a camera just outside the door. Two additional male Senators continued to read Mrs. King’s letter concerning Sessions, Jeff Merkley one of them. He’s one of my Senators and I couldn’t be happier that he did so. Sessions will be a nightmare for justice in this country and as a cannabis patient, his past attitudes have me concerned.
The truth seems to be a rare commodity in this new administration. It’s not a new thing for republicans in Congress to have trouble with the truth, but the so-called new guy seems to have unleashed a new level of lies. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many facts are presented, they willfully ignore them moving full steam ahead to gut established and needed programs and laws that actually help people.
Women marched the day after the inauguration and will continue to do so while this fool is in office. His immigration order has spawned not only judicial decisions against him but an outpouring of support for immigrants arriving at airports around the country. Sanctuary cities are popping up as well in defiance of the threats of no funding from the so-called new guy. Or is the real president the white nationalist at his side who managed to get his boss to sign off on an executive order placing him on the National Security Council supposedly after not even reading it first. Or at least that’s what he now says happened. But with the problem he has with the truth, how can we really ever know?
Silencing Senator Warren will not end well for these men. Silencing women will never work in the end. We’ll wait, observe, and plan. And then we’ll act. It’s what we do. We’re so much better than men at this. You see, women have had to work around and in spite of men all of our lives. So this is nothing.
Women have a wonderful way of seeing the larger picture. We have to. It’s how we make ends meet on the crappy wages we earn. It’s how we put food on the table and have clothes for our children when there isn’t enough. We go without so everyone else has an equal chance at happiness.
It’s what we do.
Somehow men became confused as to their role in life. It was never to lord over anyone but to live in equality with all. We can debate the origins of this destructive thinking, but at this point, the real issue is the ultimate effect on the security of our people. Removing a law that prevents health insurance companies from overcharging or not covering health issues is cruel. They believe that healthcare isn’t a right in this country. Survival of the fittest when the very people who need it the most don’t make a living wage enabling them to become anything close to the fittest because it takes money to be healthy in this country.
But lest we think it’s only republican men who are the problem, it’s women as well. Take the new Education Secretary. The outcry over this woman was massive, yet she was still confirmed. Time will tell how much of our public school system she’ll be able to defund. But she’s clear on what it takes to defend children from grizzly bears.
And just to be clear, you don’t have to be religious to homeschool. It can be a wonderful experience for you and your children. You can use an unschooling approach and let your children follow their own interests. I was more of a facilitator than a teacher when our boys finished their education at home. Now they’re college graduates and are working in their chosen fields. Homeschooling is an option that works. Kids naturally want to learn and before you know it, they’ll be devising their own curriculum. Mine intended to go to college so some of their curricula centered on that end. And I have to say that it was the best thing ever and to have that time with my boys was priceless.
When I both trained in and later taught karate, it always struck me how female students in our karate school had such a quiet intensity about them. I could see it in their eyes in the dojo during class. They were already fighting a perception by some of the male students in class who struggled with their own sexist views of women. Never mind they could defend themselves against any guy there, but it was hard for some of the younger guys when a young girl won a sparring match against one of them.
Although I was the only woman in the school to earn a Black Belt, I watched other women from other schools as they advanced in rank, their quiet strength and resolve pushing them on. The survival of the species is contained within us. Women are the defenders of all. We clean up the messes brought about by narrow-minded thinking. We press on irrespective of the struggle. And we will not be silenced by misogynistic, racist, and sexist people, men and women alike, who wish to further the agenda of a few at the expense of the rest.
What Senator Warren experienced last evening is disgraceful and beneath the dignity of the Senate. McConnell should be censured for his actions if not removed entirely as Senate Majority Leader. And it goes without saying that Jeff Sessions should never have the chance to be our Attorney General.
It may be morning in the so-called new guy’s America. But we’re still here.
Blessings to all as we unite as one family, secure in the knowing that love will always trump hate.
Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on February 8, 2017.