It's been a while since I've writen anything here... the semester started in late August and has been a challenging due to "upgraded" technology ... I've written about the big technology lie already. And for the most part I have purposely avoided adding anything to the cacophony of hate that is the political fray, However, the events and comments of recent weeks has necessitated my writing this.
Back in February, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright were in the news for saying that women should support Hillary because she was a woman. At the time I was really annoyed. Didn't women's liberation mean that I as a woman should be free to make up my own mind what I wanted to do and who I wanted to support? Shouldn't I as an educated, somewhat intelligent woman looks at the various candidates and make up my own mind who I should support based on their policies? And if I decided that Bernie Sanders positions were more in line with mine than Hillary's shouldn't I vote for him?
But now Hillary is faced with a very different opponent. A man who thinks that he can get away with grabbing women by the pussy because he's famous. A man that then denies accusation of sexual aggression by saying that the woman in question wasn't attractive enough for him to molest.
All of this has made me relive some events from what seems like very long ago and far away.
Early in my professional career I worked for a large company in Rochester, New York. My office was in a complex of three buildings. The department I worked in was on the second floor of in the third of the three buildings. In the middle building there was a cafeteria on the ground floor and near it a machine shop. One morning I had come to work early because I was giving a presentation to management that day, I wanted extra time to prepare. I was dressed in a conservative business suit. Before settling down to work, I walked down stairs to the cafeteria to get some coffee. When I got there, a machinist from the shop was sitting at one of the tables. I nodded and said good morning. I got my coffee and left to go back to my office. When I entered the staircase, I realized that the machinist had followed me. He started walking next to me, getting uncomfortably close to me. Soon I felt a hand on my buttocks. Now, halfway up a tall metal staircase, all I could think of was "Get the hell out of here!" so I quickened my step to get out of there before he could do anything else. When we got into the hall upstairs, fortunately, their were other people, so he went back downstairs and I went to my office.
When I told me supervisor about this incident, he said to me, and I quote, "You should be happy he thinks you are young and pretty enough to molest!" He did later recant that, but ... it was his first reaction.
When I filed a grievance against the man, the only reason they took it seriously was because a second woman had come forward that said he had cornered her and tried to kiss her.
The man had a file of grievances against him that was at least an inch and a half thick. During the hearing I was asked if his hand was under my skirt or over it. You know what guys, it doesn't matter. The man had no business putting his hand on my ass, or anywhere else, whether under my clothes on on top of them.
He was moved to another location.
And here we are, 30 some years later, and we have a famous man, and not just any man, a man who is a candidate for President of this country saying and do all the same crap I experienced back then, and I am horrified. And worse then him, are the people that support these statements, who downplay his actions, who show pictures of singers grabbing their OWN pussies as justification for the fact that women like this. I am angry, viscerally angry. We really haven't come a long way, have we baby?
I do not want he young women in this country to fight the battles that I did over 30 years ago I surely do not want the President of this great country to suggest that groping women in any way is OK because your famous. I don't want the President to make little girls who don't fit his standards of acceptable beauty to feel bad about themselves.
I wonder how the people that support him say that they are "proud to be American"? Really? This is not an America to be proud of if this is the man they chose to represent us.
And so I have changed my mind.
Women must vote ... woman fought hard for that right.
Women must vote ... and we must vote for Hillary.
And to misquote Madeline Albright,
I believe that there will be a special place in Hell for any woman who votes for Trump.