Hell Hath No Fury

IMG_6292Hell hath no fury like a host of women “getting woke” and speaking truth to misogynistic power—including that of our current U.S. President who, of course, is on record scorning and belittling women and treating them as sexual objects and then attempting to place gag orders on them.

Hell hath no fury like a host of women (and enlightened men) “getting woke” to the true meaning of being a feminist. Being a feminist goes beyond the wearing of pink pussy hats and marching (although I have done both of those things and they are an important start). Being a feminist goes beyond supporting the #MeToo movement and the brave women who are feeling empowered to speak up about sexual violence.

I am heartened by the increasing number of ethical and solid investigative news reports which bring to light and lead to due justice, not only the mind-bogglingly large cases such as the serial pedophile passing as sports physician Larry Nassar, but also the smaller yet life-altering stories of the many women (or women like them) who live next door—or who may be your daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, or mother—or yourself. One recent, and local (to me) example of such a news story appeared in the Seattle Times this past week: “‘Shouting it from the rooftops’: Women confront abuse—even decades later” by Susan Kelleher (March 23, 2018). While this news report focuses on women’s stories of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, and therefore excludes such abuse in women’s homes and personal lives (where the vast majority of gender-based violence occurs), it is an illuminating and compassionate series of stories. As a woman and a nurse, I especially resonate with the story of retired nurse, Virginia Dawson. Dawson recounts the sexual harassment she endured early in her career at the pawing hands of a hospital physician. He even attempted to kidnap and sexually assault her in the morgue elevator. Female nurses continue to be targets of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace by patients, family members, and co-workers.

There are, and will continue to be, nasty backlash and negative repercussions for women who speak their truth. I applaud the many good people across our country who are donating their legal, mental health counseling, and other support services to the many thousands of women who do not have the resources of the high-profile likes of Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford in real life).

Hell hath no fury like a host of women “getting woke,” speaking up, joining and supporting the #MeToo movement, learning the true meaning of being a feminist, registering and voting their consciences in the next elections—or who even run for political offices themselves. #MeToo becomes #PowerToThePolls.  Don’t just get angry. Do something constructive with the power of that anger: Vote. And help other people around you to vote for candidates who have the guts to stand up for safer gun regulations, reproductive rights for women, effective anti-violence programs, healthcare programs that work—and who have proven track records of deep respect for all living beings, including women.

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