PSA for the day: Don’t let the Russian bots and trolls make you mean. Don’t let them cause you to turn a less-than-ideal choice into a non-choice: A non-choice is actually a terrible choice here. Too much is at stake. If the thought of voting in November for a candidate other than your top primary choice makes you consider staying home, consider whether that might be a position of privilege. Consider all that has been consciously and wilfully eroded by this government. Consider all the people harmed. Consider the brutal tearing apart of children from their families. Consider the wanton destruction of environmental protections. Consider the attacks on the school system. Consider the equating of Nazis and anti-racism protesters. Consider the erosion of women’s rights, of LGBTQ+ rights, of safety nets for anyone who is not wealthy, white, straight, and male. When the time arrives that a candidate has been chosen to run against this monstrous administration, think about those more vulnerable than you, and vote, no matter who wins this primary.
And in the meantime, prepare the conversation for that moment. If your candidate might lose, and you want to end this march toward fascism, then tearing down the potential nominee is counterproductive. Press for the goals and ideals of your candidate. Speak hopefully of the future they promise. Grieve when they’re out. But put everything you have into protecting those who are becoming daily more vulnerable to the predations and depradations of the current administration.
Gratitude List: 1. Yesterday morning’s moon. Driving to school with the sun rising ahead of us, and the moon setting behind us. 2. One more day away from the time change. I felt it yesterday, in my back, in my fuzzywuzzy head. This morning, I am starting out much more refreshed. 3. All the flowers! Crocus, anemone, daffodil, speedwell, dead nettle. . . 4. At least one of the Little Sisters has been visiting the flowers, gathering pollen for her Lady. She may have been from someone’s hive, but she may have been from a feral hive, which makes me happy to consider. 5. If I put butter in my coffee, and whir that up with a blender, does it mean I just had a protein shake? Whatever, it gives me a morning boost of energy.
Before I begin the rant, I want to make a point about Vice Presidents, in light of everything I am about to say. The choice of Stacey Abrams or Kamala Harris as a running mate would go a long way toward attracting my vote, if there’s any choice left in this debacle of a primary campaign by the time it reaches Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Warren, too, of course, but the loss of Warren in the race was only the most recent blow in a line of killing the vast diversity of the overwhelming field of candidates. (I’ve never been sure what to do with Gabbard, and I’m not sure she knows herself.) (Also, I know that Sanders, as a Jewish man, still brings a little diversity–it’s not simply two old white men remaining. Just two old men.) (Ugh. And now I sound really ageist. In this context, the default seems to always be old white men, so that’s part of the story.)
I wrote this rant in pieces yesterday between naps as I was resting to fend off the worst edges of a bad cold. That bit was successful, at least, and I am feeling much better today.
Today, I am an enraged middle school girl. I am a third grader stamping her foot at the unfairness. I am a high school girl rolling her eyes at the absolutely stupidity of it, a college girl sighing yet again in defeat. All of these girls in me had their absolutely valid reasons for rage, and I cannot see over my own middle-aged rage to deal with the echoing memories of theirs. Mine. Ours. The layers.
I just have to say it. This has been a triggering experience for me. I find myself flashing back to younger versions of myself, living this fifty-two-year-old experience along with my college self, my high school self, my middle school and elementary school selves. I don’t remember the first time I noticed that a girl could be smart and articulate and shiny and dynamic, but she couldn’t beat out a goofy boy with a sense of entitlement. For anything. She couldn’t be heard above the clamor of an angry boy, no matter how lucid and smart her own ideas.
This is how it’s been my whole life: A brilliant girl tries for something—some honor, some leadership role, some place—and a goofy boy with a sense of kingly entitlement begins to talk about the inevitability of his own winning, and suddenly she has completely disappeared. No matter that she has a plan for EVERYTHING. No matter that she can talk her way around that boy ten times before he has put together a coherent sentence. No matter that she was born for this. And so he wins.
And today the goofy boy and the angry boy win again, beating out the brilliant girl who has been invisibilized and now erased.
I’m just tired.
I can live forward through this. I can “get on board.” Goddess knows, I am experienced at that part of the story. Still, I just get tired of hearing people talk about the inevitability of her disappearance from the story. And when the goofball wins, he gets the brilliant girl to assist him. Or the angry boy gets the nice girl to help him. Because they need her in order to truly succeed. But then everyone says, “Look! She’s got something anyway, doesn’t she? She should be happy now. Satisfied now. Everybody wins.” And she ends up doing his work for him or putting out the fires he starts. And he gets the credit. And the next time a girl is running against a boy, everyone says, “Now don’t be too hasty. She really can’t compete. If we want to keep the bullies at bay, we need a good strong boy to take the reins.”
I will vote for whichever of these boys takes the nomination, but I will do it with the rage of a middle school girl who has repeatedly seen her brilliant girlfriends completely marginalized and ignored for goofy and angry boys who have controlled the process for her whole life. I will be happy if she gets to be a good strong vice or cabinet something. Absolutely. But I will know, with the heart of my 12-year-old self, that she was always the best choice: Elizabeth, Kamala, Amy.
Gratitude List: 1. Feeling better. That first nap–three hours of serious sleep–felt like the most rejuvenating part of the day. Even the tossy-turny nature of last night’s sleep hasn’t thrown me back to the exhausted state of earlier in the week, and I feel like I can fight off this cold. 2. Friday. End of the week. Faculty Hymn Sing before school (every Friday–how lucky am I?), the International Women’s Day chapel planned by students. It should be a pleasant day. 3. Daffodils 4. The crocus are blooming, too, and in some strange and wonderful places, way out of the beds. Crocus always remind me to let myself leak outside the boundaries. 5. Nimbleness. How my child just leapt onto the bench to straighten the curtains. I think that one of my physical goals for the next part of this year will be to develop greater nimbleness. I think I have become more sedentary rather than less, and it is affecting my nimbleness.