The old white dudebros we saw fawning over the job applicant as he wept and professed his love for beer and attacked the woman who dared to ask if he’d ever passed out from drinking are the same old white dudebros who did everything in their power to elect a president who thinks that because he’s a celebrity, he can do what he wants to women, and they’ll have to just take it. These ancient husks of the patriarchy didn’t care then about women, not about their wives and daughters, not about their mothers and their friends, nor about their mistresses either. And they haven’t suddenly started to care, or to consider women in their definition of fully and completely human. It’s always been about consolidating their power, and women, people of color, LGBTQ folks, and people with any hint of “otherness” are right out, simply stepping stones and objects for their pleasure and subjugation.
Their operating systems run on money, sex, and power, and the first two are simply tools to get to the third. They’ll do their best to speak their version of Christianese in order to get the votes they want. They’ll talk about reason and intellect and democracy and patriotism, but their words don’t mean the same as ours. They live with a belief that women are emotional and irrational, but put them in the hot seat, and they fall into irrational, emotional rants and tirades themselves.
We need to get to them in their language. If money talks, we do what we can to hit them in the pockets. We support their opponents in the mid-terms. We boycott anything and everything they’re connected to. We refuse, ourselves, to be buyable and sellable.
The sex is harder. If you know the wives and lovers of the dudebros, use your eloquent influence to call down the legacy of Lysistrata upon their heads. Empower the sisters to abandon the beds of the patriarchs. If you share a bed with a dudebro, practice some celibacy, sister. (I’m not advocating leaving the bed of true allies, of course.)
And as for power, as some wise woman wrote on her protest sign: We grab ’em by the midterms. We empower women and people of color. We stump and rally and canvas and speak out for women’s voices and women’s leadership. We amplify the voices of black women, of Latina women, of trans women, of immigrant women, of women in wheelchairs and women with mental illness. We listen to single mothers. We listen to teenaged women. We #VoteforHer. We #BelieveHer.
We make a space for Women’s Country within the space of our existing structures, and then we expand and we rise, and we set the old patriarchal structures on fire, to be blown away like so much ash.
The Old Boys’ Club, the frat house, the dudebro world, the patriarchy is dying. Today we light the match to burn it down.
1. October. It is, as they say, my favorite color.
2. Stories. How they fuel activism. How they build empathy. How they open hearts and minds.
3. Bright colors
4. The autumn slant of sunlight
May we walk in Beauty!
Today’s Notes and Quotes:
“To make a living is not to make a killing. It’s to have enough.” —Wendell Berry
“None of us is getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” —Nanea Hoffman
“God is love, without asterisks.” —Father Stratis of Afghanistan
“People often say, with pride, ‘I’m not interested in politics.’ They might as well say, ‘I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.’ . . . .If we mean to keep any control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics.” —Martha Gellhorn