That said, despite this weariness (which has roughly quadrupled due to the note-taking on how very many household tasks remain to be done), I've had this thing on my mind for the past few days and so I am fighting through this wave of fatigue and Taking To My Blog like the damn she-ro I am.
So, two things happened a year ago. A brilliant, highly qualified, passionate woman with clearly articulated plans on how she would aid and improve the lives of her fellow Americans lost an election. Excuse me; that should have read "lost" an election. A dumb, racist, sexist narcissist with zero qualifications for the job, a ridiculous combover and an obvious deeply realized sociopathy won it. Excuse me; that is to say "won" it.
Sometime following that, a bunch of powerful men started falling from grace due to their sexual crimes, ranging from rape to harassment to general piggishness, coming to light.
I believe (as likely do very many wannabe think piecers like me) that the former begat the latter.
Because, here's the thing: this election queered the deal that we women have tacitly agreed to for lo what is basically the sum total of This American Experience. We'll tolerate a lot of your shit, men. We'll agree that your discomfort at being called out for your piggishness is more uncomfortable than being subjected to it. But you have got to, menfolks, stand a little bit back as we progress. You have got to agree that it's OK for your daughters to get a skosh closer to equality than their mothers.
And then that goddamn abortion of an election happened and American women were like:
And that's when the powerful pigs began falling from the lofty positions, which they'd assumed after coasting by on all the privileges masculinity affords.
While I was overjoyed at seeing the Weiners and Weinsteins crumble down, a little part of me still pitied the piggish pigs (if not the harassers and the rapists). The men who've been feathering their fragile egos with awkward smiles following inappropriate flirtations. The pig who might not be aware of that deal we women made. Sure, he hasn't questioned it too deeply. But on some level he knows that while some philosophers might tell you that the unexamined life isn't worth living, there's a fellow out there named Oedipus that is all:
Earlier this week, a friend told me about hanging out at a hotel bar where some 50 year old man in the pickle business was talking to some 30 year old woman in the pickle business (this is a real thing that happened) while making jokes about showing her his pickle.
I thought, shit, that old dinosaur of a pig probably has no idea that he is gross and inappropriate and stupid and is either making the woman on the other end of his skeevy jokes roll her eyes or feel like she has to double-bolt her hotel room door that night. Pity his vanishing relevance in the culture.
But then I thought, wait! He doesn't give a shit about how she feels, only about how she makes him feel. In my clever (stolen, I think, but I can't remember from whom) Oedipus reference above, Jocasta is left out of the equation all together. Why am I defaulting to worrying about his feelings while assuming hers count less, hurt less, are less?
And with that insight, any pity I might have felt for his disappearing relevance was gone and all I thought was, you know, Pickle Man:
I don't really enjoy other people's pain (except maybe Weiner and Weinstein because fuck those fucking fuckers). But we women really do need to liberate ourselves from the entrenched, abiding feeling that female discomfort matters less than male and tell men to cut the shit when they act like that. The way the world is going (finally!) he might actually hear it.
And if he doesn't?