I Believe Her

One of the reasons Republicans can go ahead with Kavanaugh’s confirmation while a good many of them find Dr. Ford’s allegations credible is that they place such a low value on the sanctity of a woman’s right to her own body, her own space, her own time, her own mind. And, yet, at the same time, they place a premium on her ability to smooth ruffled feathers, look “pleasing”, be “pleasing”, and basically push all the buttons that mommy presumably failed to do so many years ago, or did so well they’ve never realized the world isn’t mommy.
We are, at once, compelled to nurse and coddle our men while simultaneously empowering them to be all they can be, as if the fact that they require our perpetual hand-holding isn’t enough to challenge the very idea that they are empowered, much less that it might present the credible question of whether or not the whole paradigm needs to be tossed.
This speaks to why a man can speak up after 40 years of silence and declare a priest his abuser and not be ridiculed. He is not a responsible party in that paradigm of the feminine burden; he is, instead, the one who receives the benefit of the doubt and the one whose sexuality – especially if it fits the hegemonic mold – precludes him from any doubt, for surely, as a man, to admit he was overpowered and violated (since his role, his duty is to be perpetually empowered and in control) is the greatest violation of the paradigm. Why would any man admit to something happening to him, something especially that challenges the myth of masculine domination and strength?
Women, on the other hand, are responsible for perpetuating the myth, for being the ones who, by their less than, second-class, weaker status affirm the superiority of the male. We are meant to be inspiring and inspired, independent and yet not to the point of challenging male superiority, accommodating, brilliant, child-bearing, gorgeous and never-failing in the face of unyielding criticism even when we are called out for abandoning the great paradigm or for merely stepping a toe out of those maddening realms – we must first be sure we held our faces just right. If we cannot make everyone around us at least comfortable, then we must not either try too hard to make folks happy in too obvious a way otherwise, we may make folks ill at ease. We must grin and bear it when the product of our efforts to fall in line do not always go according to plan. The great white God is truly, intentionally a motherfucker from where I’m sitting, for he is a creation of patriarchy.
I was told by my father when on the cusp of my 20’s that “anything that happens between you and a guy is your fault.” Anything. The great burden. You wore those clothes. You looked him in the eye. You didn’t look him in the eye. You smiled. You didn’t smile. You had an attitude. You spoke your mind. You rocked the boat. You left the house, the car, the building.
I believed him for many years. I believed him until I birthed a daughter. Then it all fell apart.
Besides the feminine burden of upholding it and a host of other common human frailties, the myth of male domination rests on the brute power of the male form and the ability of a man to hold a woman down, to take the time to put his hand over her mouth, or tower over her with his fists balled, or to quote scripture at her about her wifely duties or to yell and bluster in the face of accountability before a judiciary committee. Ad Infinitum.
The GOP and many who claim Christ as their great Saviour (as did my father at the time he declared me wholly responsible for all the actions of a male towards me) rely on the myth of the work of the Cross as one that requires nothing more than that you accept it. And from there? Well, much like the t and c club, you’re a member. You can do anything except challenge the paradigm. If you’re a woman, forget it. You can’t do anything. There are only certain things and only in certain ways especially if you have had a child. This slice of “Christianity” doesn’t actually possess a moral compass apart from the paradigm that upholds the myth. You must not challenge the paradigm. That is their great “morality” and they believe in it fully.
I watched Dr. Ford yesterday and was simultaneously grieved, devastated and beyond thrilled that someone would embody such power and courage in the face of that myth. And that Anita Hill did this very thing years ago enduring the violation and ridicule, that we are still right here enrages me.
We are not going to progress by pulling back and we aren’t going to be free of the paradigm if we don’t upend it fully.
I’m so very proud of Dr. Ford and of everyone who has rallied for investigations and, at the same time, I salute those men who stand with women outside the myth, who know their true power rests, not in domination, but in welcoming the dance.

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jruthkelly

I live... for love... for truth that liberates... for growth... for beauty... for intelligent, soulful connection and so much else.

2 thoughts on “I Believe Her

  1. Pat Robertson asked God to cast confusion among the Democratic and a few Republican senators deciding the fate of Kavanaugh. It hurt to read how he and many other evangelicals use the Bible to uphold their beliefs of righteousness.

    I personally felt a great depression fall upon me when I heard how Flake was going to vote for Kavanaugh. I stayed away from all social media and news reports even though I’ve been a news junkie ever since the Watergate hearings and my reporting days on a local newspaper.

    I don’t know what will happen in the next week. I have faith in the FBI and what it will eventually dig up. But I don’t know how the facts will be used by those in power.

    I don’t want to see such intemperate and highly political person sit on the bench. He should be removed from the DC Circuit Court based on what has already transpired.

    I can only relate to your hurt as a woman being told by her father she would be blamed for anything a man would do to her. We have to change the mind sets of men and women who think that a Roy Moore was OK in his treatment as an assistant district attorney to try to have sex with a 15-yr-old girl, one who was in court with her mother seeking help from an abusive male.

    Another thing. Did you see the amounts of water Kavanaugh drank? He put Senator Rubio to shame. I wonder if that need for such liquids indicates a propensity toward alcoholism.

    Sorry for the rant. I feel better now!

    Michael J, inactive attorney

    1. I feel that hurt over evangelicals’ use of the Bible to uphold their delusions. It strikes me that that same Bible could shatter those same delusions as it did mine as I began the long walk out of that crazed tribe. You have to have selective vision to hold to delusions and continue on the evangelical path. You have to depend on bias, fear, and sentimentalism more than truth and love.

      I often get this wave of depression when different things go sideways with this very front-and-center issue, avoiding social media, avoiding everything news-related just so I can re-connect with how precious it all is, see and feel the beauty that life can be. I, as a rule, typically avoid all things Trump related just so that I can hold to some measure of hope where the political landscape is concerned. I also loathe giving the sick man any more press than he already creates for himself. But this issue of the oppression of women via trivialization of their sexual injuries is one that will bring me out of hiding every time. If we can keep grabbing a woman by that part of her being and violating her, telling her she has no right to her body or to her own voice in response to rape and assault, then we can rape and destroy all value, all sanity, all truth. From woman flows life, from woman flows the hope of love and truth, and when we desecrate her value, we desecrate every single person that has been, is or will be. It has got to stop.

      I wish I shared your faith in the FBI. My lack of faith isn’t a result of judgement of the FBI. I just truly have no clue anymore what is going to come of these flawed institutions and their seeming attempts to capture truth. I hope. I do hope.

      I confess to wishing we could have a temperate Democrat in place of Kavanaugh. I have little faith in there being a truly impartial judge anywhere. So, barring that, I’d prefer a progressive any day. So, naturally, I agree; he should be removed, allegations proven to be true or otherwise. His behavior in response to all of this, his distortion, if not outright deceit, of the truth warrants removal of the nomination altogether. The accusations simply compound the obvious.

      I’d like to think we have the power to change the mindsets of men and women about women in general. I believe we’ll have to start by recognizing that misogyny is inherent, if not a part of the biological imperative, and must be sought out within each individual (by the individual herself/himself), and transformed by truth and love. Women have to recognize that they participate pretty fully in the whole hatred of woman scheme.

      My father seemed to later regret telling me that. I never knew if it was because he felt it truly wrong or because he didn’t like that it hurt me. Those two distinctions may seem pointless, but to me, they are massive. His actions from that point and up to now, not the least of which is supporting Trump, have told me where his heart is on the value of women. I grieve losing him while he still lives. There truly are actions that a parent can undertake that amount to the murder of a bond, especially when those actions occur with enough regularity to exhaust all hope of reconciliation. Bonds, like bodies, can be killed and no amount of forgiveness can resurrect them as long as there is no recognition of the destructiveness one has committed nor a commitment to change. Argh.

      I saw that he gulped that water down. Quite a few folks noticed it and felt it indicative of alcoholism. He seemed, at the least, to be compensating, as if it were a tell of many things. Wash, wash, wash! Gulp!

      I appreciated your rant and had wanted to respond sooner. 🙂

      Be well, Michael J, active truth-seeker.

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