A Message To All The Good Men Out There (And Some Good Women, Too)

A Message To All The Good Men Out There (And Some Good Women, Too) November 1, 2016

I started a very different post — it was an angrier one than this will probably be. I’m tired. This might have to do with the rather large amount of Halloween candy I ate all day in an attempt to numb my feelings. I’m so tired, I actually can’t even comment on a polite and constructive political conversation on my Facebook page.

I’m exhausted from having to explain why women’s rights matter. They matter in every day life, on college campuses, in churches and in politics. I’m tired that as women we have to put up with our every conversation being turned into some sort of sexual innuendo, or that if we are leading then we are somehow evil, or that if we speak out against obvious misogyny we are shrieking bitches. I’m just tired. And my female friends of color are probably more tired, because they have it even worse.

I’m tired that my friend Jory Micah‘s site was hacked to oblivion for almost a day. Jory is a woman with multiple degrees in theology and Biblical studies who advocates for equal opportunities for women in church. The hate that gets spewed her way is disgusting and yet she continues with a grace and dignity that is astounding.

I’m tired because rapists continually go free because the value we put on women and girls is far less than the value we put on protecting white males who might be inconvenienced by their punishment (and that’s two different links right there that are in ADDITION to Brock Turner).

I’m really tired of this shit.

I’m tired having to explain why all this matters.

And here we are, one singular voting event away from possibly putting a man in the White House whose idea of the “ideal companion” is “a total piece of ass“.  A man who openly says he can grab whatever part of a woman he wants. A man who emotionally abuses a woman by humiliating her — sexually and otherwise — on stage before lunging in for kiss. He segued into the to exercise by starting with “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that. Take Jennifer Hawkins, for instance…”

And what is so disheartening is that so many Americans are ready and willing and happy to vote him in. The message this sends to our women and girls is terrifying. He is being summoned to court to face a child rape charge, and so many of us are willing to elect him as president.

Listen — I’m not here to demonize. I know a lot of very good people who are supporting Trump. I can’t say that I’m not baffled by their decision because I am. But I am unwilling to demonize them.

Okay. Most of them.

But to the men out there in the world, the men who I know are good men who care about women, I can’t explain it anymore. I’m tired. I wish I could make you understand. And I wish I could make the women who support Trump understand. This is so hurtful.

Because it matters. It really, really matters. Normalizing this type of behavior matters. It matters more than a smoke and mirror email scandal that hasn’t really amounted to much of anything.

Normally I’m a fighter, but today, this warrior-girl is tired. It’s probably the sugar crash, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

 


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  • jekylldoc

    Some of us don’t have to have it explained (at least, not very often). I am a trailing husband who let my career go so I could stay and make a family with my successful wife, and I am personally acquainted with six or seven others in that category. I read Ms. magazine in the 70s and believe in woman power.

    I don’t just despise Donald Drumpf, who tarnishes the image of manhood, I also like Hillary Clinton, and did so even before “It Takes a Village.”

    I also understand fighting for conservative values, even though I know it is often done from ignorance and rigid personal insecurity. I am willing to accept those who think Drumpf is the lesser of two evils because they care most about the politics. Those who cheer him on because he stands up for white male privilege, or who have convinced themselves that Hillary is coming for their guns, not so much. These are people who are abdicating responsibility for a civil society, and they create a dark pocket of despair in me, just like the one created by Putin and Mugabe and the people who murder over supposed cow-killing (Hindu) or blasphemy (Muslim).

    Nevertheless Jesus is Lord, and I know whom I have believed.

  • Frank

    No self respecting woman or man could possibly vote for Hillary either. Third party is the only vote of conscious.

    • Frank, this is probably the only upvote you’ll ever get from me, so relish it. Integrity, I’m afraid, is sorely missing in this election. I will vote for neither candidate.

      • Frank

        I am glad you agree but I am unaffected by your support or lack of support.

  • See Noevo

    Kerry,
    What would you say was the state of misogyny in the U.S. *before*
    Donald Trump decided to run for president?
    Has Donald Trump markedly increased the misogyny you actually
    experience?

    • In a word: yes. (TRIGGER WARNING: Mild Sexual Assault description follows)

      And not just me — a lot of the women I know and love.

      His behavior has normalized the expression of outright misogyny, and emboldened sexists to be more forthright in blog comments, on social media, and elsewhere.

      Any woman who has ever had a hand placed on her without her consent — and that includes me — is re-traumatized by a potential president who openly admits to sexual assault and is due in court to answer for the fact that he is being accused of raping a child. To be fair, the sexual assault I experienced was tame compared to many others — I was in a mall and a man walked past me and grabbed my ass — but it left me feeling angry, violated, and scared. Especially when all he did was smile at me when I yelled at him to back off. Other assaults on me have been verbal — see the blog post about the Bagel guy, and there was the old man who was huge who walks in the park and insists on yelling out NICE ASS! when I run past him.

      The misogyny has always been there. Donald Trump is normalizing it, saying it’s totally cool. And if we elect him president, the COUNTRY will be saying it’s totally cool. And that is absolutely not good for women.

      • See Noevo

        “The misogyny has always been there. Donald Trump is
        normalizing it, saying it’s totally cool.”

        THIS is normalizing misogyny and making it totally cool?
        “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended
        to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them.
        Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect
        who I am. I said it, *I was wrong*, and *I apologize*… I pledge to be a better man tomorrow…”

        But you’re probably not into apologies.

        Now, Donald did add this, which I think is also on the mark:
        “I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big
        difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has
        actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and
        intimidated his victims.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-apology-statement.html

  • See Noevo

    In Cleveland last night, Hillary Clinton used a free concert by Jay-Z and Beyonce to build up her crowd numbers. On stage, Hillary thanked the entertainers for a great performance.
    Here is a sampling of the lyrics from Jay-Z’s set:
    “You’re tuned into the mother f–king greatest..”

    “If you feelin’ like a pimp n*gga, go and brush your
    shoulders off,
    Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off. N*gga
    is crazy baby, don’t forget that boy told you. Get that dirt off your
    shoulders.”

    “Now I got tattoos on my body. Psycho bitches in my lobby.”