Power vs Women: How Will This Moment Evolve?
Consider these recent events:
- Trump elected president vs Hillary
- These “great men” who abused women: Rob Porter, Roy Moore, Brett Kavanaugh, Trump and these “political enemies” who abused women: Eric Schneiderman, Al Franken, John Conyers
- Hillary is (fill in the blank with all sorts of hateful descriptors) because she stayed with her womanizing dog of a husband. Total silence about Melania
- Republican women defend Trump regardless of his overt disdain for women
- Kavanaugh’s accusers are (fill in the blank with all sorts of hateful descriptors) while this liar under oath is defended
All the women marching in the streets and running for office and #metoo are screaming: This Ends Now. Enough is Enough. White men cannot continue to dismiss, discount, disrespect, disempower, discredit women. Men have had the power and control since the beginning of time and half the world’s population is mad as hell and won’t take it anymore. It is the long overdue titanic fight for the ages.
Women have been preparing for this time. We are educated, earn our own money, have seats at corporate and political tables, broke down barriers in most fields, insist that no means no, have changed laws and taken the spotlight on national and international stages. Boxes are all checked. But is it enough to win the war?
Sadly, I am pessimistic that women will achieve the kind of power that men have coveted forever. Power to set all the rules, to oppress any group that threatens to take away (or share!) their power, to shape the narrative about women’s worth and value, to control our bodies, to oversee every major institution, to operate as if no one else matters in the least. Women will never achieve that kind of power for two reasons: men won’t let them and women don’t want to abuse their power in those ways.
The battle playing out right now about the Supreme Court nomination is the perfect microcosm. A serial sexual abuser president has nominated a privileged white man who pretends he is a champion of women despite information about his frat boy ways, desire to further control women’s bodies and who has been groomed for this high position by a cabal of far right white men who want to undo all women and civil rights that have been gained in the past 50 years. That can be read as: All these advances for women and minorities must go away because they encroach upon our god given rights to all the power.
David did defeat Goliath by believing he could and because Goliath believed he was invincible. Men have good reason to think they are unstoppable. But women just might believe they can prevail. We are angry! We are many. We believe things can be different.
I want to look back at this moment and remember how men’s power began to unravel. I want to know that my granddaughters’ futures will be less oppressed and more powerful. I want to believe that men will no longer take ownership of our bodies, lives or opportunities.
I want these things and I hold out hope. But I know how viciously and completely men fight to keep their power.