Massachusetts Sun Shine
I’m not sure if I should watch the news anymore. Even my sane spaces are cray.
I don’t trust anyone to give it to me straight, except (and here goes, I’m outing myself) Trevor, Rachel, Sam B, or Joy. But even they are at a loss to describe the events of our country right now.
Each night, I’ve gone to bed with a stomach ache and a bloody tongue… but not for the reasons you may imagine.
Being Raised by Wolves, and especially being a Madden, the bile that rises in my throat when injustice rears its ugly head usually poisons my tongue as it sharpens my wit – and then I will cut you.
And that’s not only scary. It really hurts my heart to think I’m capable of even fantasizing someone else’s destruction.
The other day, Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced in the committee hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions. Silenced. An obscure parliamentary rule was used on one of the prominent women in our Senate as she read from the 1986 testimony of another prominent woman, Coretta Scott King. Yes. That Coretta Scott King.
And Senator Warren’s fellow democratic Senators (two of them) got up afterward and read the testimony.
And were not silenced.
It was like a bad ABC Afterschool Special, when one boy sees an injustice and takes a stand for the girl who was wronged. I don’t know whether to scream or hit something.
And this is why my stomach hurts. I am at war with my admiration and awe of the Grace and restraint that Sen. Warren is displaying in the various news interviews (she, just like Hil, is in that red-zone where playing the woman card is the dangerous play), and with the blinding searing white hot rage that may just impel me to take that same rage out in a very un-ladylike manner.
… (I’m not looking, did Scottie stick that landing? No broken glass? Whew. She got to the end of that sentence without committing horrendous war crimes, good for her!)
I’m serious. I’m looking to take my cues from Elizabeth. If anyone knows how to “play with the boys,” it’s she. And here she is, deftly dodging what everyone can see – what’s happening to the goose ain’t ever gonna happen to the gander – because… because…
Because… “Because” has become a four-letter word – short for “because I said so,”
I’ve seen because, before. We all know because, when we see it. It’s always been because of because. And the boys will never admit when they are because-ing. Except for hopeless cases that are still so entitled they think because-ing is their divine right.)
My first instincts would be slam Mitch and Jeff’s heads together and see if maybe that would knock some manners – just some f***ing manners, if nothing else – into what is laughingly referred to as their brains.
But Elizabeth is the one who fights sexism and stupidity, not just every day, but all her life. She’s been at this way longer than I. And I am trying to learn how she does it.
What’s a girl to do? No, I’m serious, what is a girl to do? What is the play here?
Mylove is always trying to talk me down from the cliffs of high self-expectations whenever I get in this state. I’m horrified at just how deep testosterone cut the trenches in my veins. And even tho’ the rage enzyme is no longer there (trust me, my estrogen count is as high as five pregnant women, there hasn’t been any room for testosterone for years), still the old trenches at the front lines are there, littered with broken glass, dank puddles of sweat, pooling in the corners… and the firestorm of rage uses them as shortcuts to destruction, like Steve Bannon uses Donny.
And so, yes, Mylove reminds me, women can be mean, evil and as we know, nasty. The Rage monster is not confined to one gender or the other and “not wanting to fight,” is not a part of being a woman. I know. I know. I freakin’ KNOW! Mylove is not the only cis-woman to try to get me to understand this. I’ve had several women tell me this, and yes, they too, are right.
But it’s hard to trust their wise counsel completely, because they don’t know what I know…
How rage tinged with testosterone feels in my female arteries…
It’s why I describe it with such acridity. Such, virulence. Such toxicity.
So, that’s why I don’t ever want to ever feel it again.
And that’s why I pray for Elizabeth’s grace. Her decorum. Her tough-as-nails, take no prisoners state. She gets it done. Without that rage. She is enraged, of that I have no doubt. But she doesn’t do rage, itself.
Last night as the drama unfolded further, she reminded us in a calm and gentle voice, that the men who shut her down had themselves failed in their duty to hear in her reading of the 1986 letter (yes, this just in…) the very evidence that should have done what everyone was afraid of, impugn Sen. Sessions’ (now Secretary Sessions!) character. But this was a self-inflicted injury. He did this of his own hand. By his own actions. His own decisions to not once, but several times, act in a manner that was so damning that it worked in blocking him from a federal judge position . So he brought this on himself. He maligned his own character.
And the Senators who did not stand up with Senator Warren, stained their own character by dereliction of duty. By placing protecting male privilege above protecting our country. They overlooked their boy Jeff’s racism for partisanship, his flagrant disregard for the rule of law for Robert’s Rules of order.
So tell me, who has impugned the character of these senators? Who by their own rules deserves to be silenced?
I am, I think more angry that Elizabeth should even have to know how to fight like a girl. That she would, as a woman in 2017, have to know how to “take on” the men. And, as women, I know we all get by on a variation of not treating them or ourselves as “a gender.” As Sun Tzu tells us, “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” It’s a boy’s club, so it’s a “be one of the boys,” strategy.
And we also know that the men don’t follow Sun’s advice when it comes to us. They know only blunt force trauma, bribery or begging. They only know how to act like boys when we are present. They do, very much, see our gender; are threatened by it; patronize it; try to corral it; but never try to understand it. Oh, no. That would be surrender. And we can’t do that.
We know that ole Mitchy threw the gag-order card out there, knowing full well it would never have worked on a male Senator, He also knew he wouldn’t get any pushback - and that the other boys would follow his lead, “boys just being boys” and all.
But this is why my blood still boils – we all know it was wrong. And they did it anyway.
And they placed silencing a Senator over hearing evidence (again) that would impel them to either change their vote or, blatantly, be on the record for ignoring evidence to keep their male egos intact. And, yes, they have been called out on it. But will they do it again, and again? Will they always just be “the boys?”
Am I making too big an issue of the gender thing here? Because Senator Elizabeth Warren is not. And she’s the one in it. I am enraged and she is not. Is that because she is, as Sun Tzu also teaches, “patiently waiting by the river for her enemy to float by?”
What is Ms Scottie’s lesson here?
I will confess, I am a veteran of the battles of which I speak. I have had to fight for my team, my show, my idea and my position. I modeled my tactics after the men I fought, I followed Sun’s counsel and, “Let [my] plans be as dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” I was a good girl and student of Sun’s, I became my enemy to know my enemy. I won many and lost many.
And now, I don’t want to fight like Sun. I don’t want to see men as the enemy. I want Elizabeth’s Grace.
But old habits die hard. And the phantom testosterone haunts my veins, spoiling for a fight. Any fight, even a mental one. Do I hope and pray that it will fade over time? As Sun says, “Even the greatest sword rusts in salt water” Will my tears dull that blade?
What if I need that sword?
Many women have looked to me for intel and guidance on how to run with the wolves. Do I owe this to my sisters? Is this something I can contribute? Is this my role?
Because clearly the fight ain’t over.
Not for congress. Not for our country. And not for me. My “long Kiss Goodnight” is not about remembering that I was raised by wolves but rather trying to say goodbye to those habits. The overt ones are obvious. But the assassin’s creed is… shit, in my DNA and here’s the rub, dear Scottie Jeanette… there’s no amount of estrogen that will ever change that.
Maybe Mylove is right. What I thought came from the wolf pack has, like everything else, always already been there. My instincts to fight are a woman’s instincts. My rage is a woman’s rage. My strength is a woman’s strength. I am me.
Maybe I have nothing to worry about.
But they do.
We were warned, it was explained to us. Nevertheless, we will persist.
Thank you, Mylove. And thank you Senator Elizabeth Warren.