International Women’s Day

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. Many women are striking. Many women are helping to show what the world would look like without women (though note the privilege that reflects). They are celebrating. I am mourning (maybe they are, too). I am mourning what happened 4 months ago today on that Tuesday in November. Instead of the United States finally joining the many nations that are capable of being led by a woman, the U.S. showed that it still is too steeped in sexism and misogyny to let that happen. Not only that. Not only was a female, highly qualified, though imperfect, presidential candidate defeated, she was defeated by a man whose behavior reminds me so much of my abusive ex-husband that I am in a constant state of trigger. She was defeated by a man who could be a caricature for patriarchy: Unqualified yet so confident he makes people think he knows everything; believing that the world, especially women, owes him complete devotion; and an almost pathological hunger for overpowering women no matter what that means (lying and violence, the preferred means). He won not despite of these things but because of them. There are people, mostly men though also a disconcerting number of women, who believe that his way of behaving and his attitudes just show how strong he is. They believe that we have to be ruled by an authoritarian father. Why, I am not sure. Because I don’t understand this line of thinking. It’s so far removed from my way of living, how I want to be in the world, I have trouble fully grasping it. Plus, I’ve experienced living at the receiving end of authoritarianism, albeit in the family context. I did not like it then – and the fact that I now live it in a social context with the country ruled by an authoritarian – just makes me angry. The anger mixes with my mourning.

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