Empathy for your Woman

The woman I sat next to last night at the wine festival event has four ex-husbands. We chatted between bands while she told me what she wants more than anything is a travel partner.

“I’m done with men,” she said.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“74,” she said.

I am not done with men, at least in the sense that I don’t want them out of my life. I still like to dance with them, talk to them, and hear their stories. I am pissing off a lot of them with my recent blog posts, and that’s okay.

Two more female friends last night told me they had been raped, women I have known for years.  This has not been a topic of conversation until the last two weeks. Many woman are hurting for Christine Blasey Ford and for themselves, for the memories they put into a box and stored away so they could function and go on with their lives.

Smart men will take that into consideration when they read our posts on Facebook or see us at a festival. Empathy is key right now. The Kavanaugh confirmation has brought up dark memories and old wounds for half of the country.  The wounds go way past getting our butts grabbed. Way, way past.

As one woman at Wednesday night’s protest said, “My husband needs to give me a hug.”

Husbands, please listen. Even if you cannot fathom what the women are going through right now, know this.  We were not heard. The senators did not take us seriously. They voted the way they needed to vote to stay in the positions of power that they have.

Women in history have been powerless. Things have gotten better in the past hundred years, but this is a step backward. Women don’t want to lose ground. Women want to keep the rights we have earned thus far.  Why did so many travel to the nation’s capitol his week?  They fear for their future.

“Keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant,” is a phrase I remember from my childhood. It’s hard to earn a college degree, a masters’ degree, or a PhD with that way of thinking. Educated women are dangerous women. Just ask the Taliban. The U.S.A. is a dream state for any repressed women of the world.

If only I could live in America.

Another older woman at the protest said, “I’ve been fighting my whole life for women’s rights.”

She was a Berkeley protester back in the day when women fought for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 70’s. It still hasn’t passed.

I haven’t opened up Facebook yet this morning, but I am sure there will be angry comments from at least two guys who are tired of old-white-man bashing.

It’s not ALL old white men, Tom. I am an old white woman, so old white men are my best chance for dance partners. I am talking about the old white men in positions of power in our nation’s capitol who did not hear the women of this country when we loudly said, “Anyone else but Kavanaugh.” Another old white conservative judge would have been our preference over a man who, as a teen, sexually assaulted a girl and then lied about it.

How do we know he did it? We women who have been there and have our own horror stories of sexual assault burned into our brains know he did. We believe Christine Blasey Ford. She had nothing to gain by coming out to the world with her story.

It takes a rapist to be raped. Dozens of my female friends have rape stories. And those are just the ones who have said it out loud.

Think about it.

 

One thought on “Empathy for your Woman

  1. This week three friends told me they were raped or survived an attempt. I was completely unaware. It’s not something you talk about casually. It radicalized me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this and putting my feelings into words.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s