In Retrograde…

13 10 2016

“Is something in retrograde? I feel like something is in retrograde…”

“…there’s a full moon coming on.”

“That’s gotta be it. Do you feel it too?”

“Yes! wth?”

“OMG, I have been having terrible nightmares all week, and I usually don’t have nightmares.”

“Ok. Its a collective wth…that feels better.”

 

I chuckled as I read the thread, above, on my FB news feed earlier this week. I might not have described what I was feeling in such astrological terms, but I knew what these women were talking about: something feels out of whack, not right, unsettling. I’ve been feeling it myself. And yes, there is some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in what I feel.

On a whim, I looked up the word retrograde and found this definition:

1. directed or moving backward.

2. a degenerate person.

3. go back in position or time.

4. astronomy: show retrogradation

Seeing the actual definition of “retrograde” made so much sense to me. Given what has been playing out on our national stage, is it any surprise that many, if not all, of us would be asking “what the hell?”

Especially women. *

At the top of the Republican ticket we have an unscrupulous liar and cheat who also, it comes as no surprise, feels entitled to engage in sexual aggression any time he is confronted with a beautiful woman. And possibly 13 year olds – though that rape case is still in the courts and has yet to be decided.

At the top of the Democratic ticket, we have a woman whose life of dedicated public service (NOT mistake-free by any means) has often been overshadowed by the fact of her marriage to yet another sexual aggressor. That her opponent(s) wish to cast her in the role of responsibility for “enabling” her adult husband’s choices compounds the sexism of the discourse exponentially.

Clearly, “degenerate persons” abound in the week’s news. Adding to the atmosphere of retrograde (or moving backward in position or time) is the response to a news report suggesting that if women were not allowed to vote, Trump would win: his supporters began calling for #repealthe19th. Yep, let’s fix our political problems by taking away women’s right to vote. Shut the women up and we no longer have a problem.

This week feels retrograde as hell.

I remember the women’s movement of the 70’s, you see. I remember women fighting to be taken seriously, fighting for their voices. I remember the put-downs being resurrected all over social media this week. I knew then that the women fighting for their own lives, and those of other women, were fighting a battle in a war that stretches back into the far reaches of human history.

I remember being told to “lighten up”, to see that some people are just saying these things to be funny, or just engaging in “locker room talk”  (why would that be considered an acceptable excuse?).

I remember being told to shut up because I was a girl.

I also remember the many times I have personally experienced sexual aggression – sometimes it has been significant and dangerous, other times what might be called micro-aggressions. And I am so normal – I am NOT an outlier in any way. Except, perhaps, that I have never experienced the level of direct violence that so many of my sisters have. (If you don’t believe me that my experiences are normal, check out the Twitter hastags #NotOkay and #YesAllWomen)

These things pissed me off back in the 70’s, when I was in junior high. But that’s nothing compared to how angry they make me now.

Here’s what I have to say to Trump (and Bill too) and all of their apologists: go grope YOURSELVES.

Leave Hillary (and the rest of us) out of it.

My right to vote is not a joke – you better believe that I, and most of the women I know, plan to take it very seriously come November.

 

*Which isn’t to say that there aren’t other groups feeling the backward movement of our political and social milieu right now – and feeling it keenly. The spotlight just happens to be on gender politics this week.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 responses

13 10 2016
CRGardenJoe

Yeah, “locker room talk.” At work in the media with a live mic–not that not having a mic would make it OK, either, or even actually being in a locker room. Great post–and thank goodness for the 19th Amendment!

14 10 2016
jenion

Thanks, Joe! I am watching today as he tries to deny new allegations. I find it interesting that he tried to vilify Hillary Clinton for not believing Bill’s accusers, yet he is now bullying newspapers for reporting it and vilifying the women (even basically calling one not attractive enough to tempt him).

13 10 2016
Marion Patterson

Nailed it, Jen!

14 10 2016
jenion

Thanks, Marion!

14 10 2016
Sue

Thank you for putting my feelings into words! I’m so damn pissed off about the fact that there are women supporting Trump that I want to spit. Except that just shows how deep the gender bias poison really goes – there are women who are willing to drink the koolaid.

14 10 2016
jenion

Perhaps more than anything else I’ve heard, I was chilled by a 28-year-old woman who said on public radio that if Trump groped a woman, she must have done something to egg him on. She literally said no woman gets groped unless she invites it. I wish she would read the stuff on Twitter – so many horrible stories about women who absolutely did not egg anyone on!

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