Syria, Sexism, and Anger

On my way home, I was listening to the discussion with NYU historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat on Slate Academy’s series on fascism. This discussion is part of the series’ last episode where we’re applying what we’ve learned about fascism in the past to our current situation in the United States. One aspect that was discussed was the relationship between Trump and the military. Ben-Ghiat pointed out several parallels, including that Trump has more generals in his cabinet than any cabinet in recent history.

And then the strikes on Syria happened.

Yes, the chemical attacks in Syria are war crimes. But the situation in Syria is nothing new. An immediate response was not required, so Trump had time to consult with Congress, to consult with anybody in addition to his generals. He did none of that. The discussion about the cozy relationship between fascist authoritarians and the military is echoing in my head.

Then, in the hopes of getting my mind off all this, I watched the first post-November 8 interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton. What was I thinking?! Listening to the interview just reignited my anger! Here is the woman who should be our President drawing from her knowledge to outline how we could have responded to the atrocities in Syria. She knows it’s complicated. I get a sense that she would not have just bombed the heck out of them.

This anger has been burning in me ever since November 8. I have a sense that we, as women, were once again deprived of what is ours – deprived by a bunch of self-aggrandizing, unqualified, incompetent white men. The anger has led to a few ended friendships with men. I just have so much less tolerance for things like mansplaining, sexism in general, and the kind so often displayed by seemingly progressive men in particular. I am tired of putting up with their sexist excuses, especially when I am told that I shouldn’t be angry, that I shouldn’t be afraid.

One of the most prepared person to run for U.S. President did not become president because of an outmoded electoral system that benefits white men. Instead one of the least qualified people became president despite his racism and misogyny, heck, probably because of his racism and misogyny – and because he played a strong man and because he is white. And you tell me not to be angry?!? Now that he is in power with a bunch of white male enablers in Congress who think they have the god-given right to legislate what women can do with our bodies, now that he is in power, he is systematically dismantling U.S. democracy and undermining world peace (what was left of both). And you tell me not to be afraid?!?

No. I am angry. I am scared. Deal with it.

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