When my ex-husband and I were coming to the end of our marriage, he accused me of not being nice anymore. I understood that this meant I had stopped subjugating myself to him. I had stopped surrendering.
This tactic worked in the past, it was a matter of survival for me, as it is and has been for so many women.We learned how to manipulate men, because that was the only way we could have any power at all.
As a matter of fact I learned to submit to it early in life. Of course I wanted to be nice. As a girl I was taught that’s what boys and men like in girls. And demand.
I can remember my older brother doing something like taking my doll and strangling it, or taunting me about the way I looked.
When I tried to get back what was mine or defend myself, he would turn all sweet and act like he was hurt. “You’re being mean to me,” he’d say and act sad.
And I fell for it every time.
I didn’t want to be mean. I wanted to be nice. Even if it was at my expense. That was what I had been taught, what was demanded of me, especially from my father. Who was not, I noticed, nice to women.
The men didn’t have to be nice. I did.
So when I watched the Debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and Trump started whining that the campaign ads that Clinton was running weren’t nice, I felt my blood rise.
At the moment it happened, I didn’t understand my physical reaction, but reading about the debate afterwards and thinking about it, I now understand. It got very personal, for me as well as Hillary Clinton.
Can you imagine if one of the Republican Candidates that Trump debated in the primaries stood on stage and whined that Donald Trump wasn’t being nice to them?
Talk about a double standard.
The thing is Trump expects that kind of thing to work for him because Hillary Clinton is a woman. He expects her to feel bad about not being nice to him, because that’s what his experience with women has been. In my experience, it’s what many men believe.
And that’s why Trump sees nothing wrong with saying it. To him, it’s just the way the world works.
My heart is pounding as I’m writing this. Because since the debate I’m seeing that the misogyny that I experienced growing up in my home is so wide-spread and accepted that a presidential candidate in 2016 doesn’t know that it’s not okay to call a woman fat, pig, dog, slob.
I used to think the problem was me, there must have been something wrong with me. I don’t feel that way any longer.
Donald Trump doesn’t know there’s anything wrong with calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado ,” Miss Piggy.” And that there’s anything wrong with the idea that her gaining weight is a problem for him, which gives him the right to subject her to being publicly humiliated and harassed.
I grew up hearing my father call women the same names Donald Trump calls women. And I’m not blind to sexism. I see it all the time through out my whole life in the way that only someone who is subjected to it can see it. Some sexism is so subtle, and has become such an expected part of my life that I don’t even notice or take exception to it.
In the article Hillary Clinton Will Not Be Manturrupted by Jessica Bennett, Bennett spoke of how men and boys are regularly talking over women and girls and interrupting them (Trump constantly interrupted Clinton in the debate).
Because of Bennett, the word “manturrupting”, which defines this phenomenon, is now a part of our vocabulary. The article claims that women are less likely to speak up, to be heard and often have their idea taken away from them by men. ( Zelda Fitzgerald, Robert Lewis Stevenson’s wife, Fanny Stevenson and Vera Nabokov are the first to come to mind).
This hit me hard, because this is about a persons voice or loss of it. And as someone who only recently found her voice, I know how important it is.
I don’t think I understood how prevalent this idea of manturrupting was until reading this article and seeing it occur in the debate. I always took it personally, like there was something wrong with me for not speaking up.
Now I see there’s something wrong with a society, where this is accepted.
The idea of the first woman president in not lost on me. I get choked up every time I think of it. I hear a lot of younger women saying it doesn’t really matter to them. And a part of me thinks that’s good. It means they didn’t grow up with the sexism women of my generation did.
But there’s still so much sexism that goes on in this country and much of it is just under the surface. So we may not even understand what’s really happening until someone gives it a word. Like manterrupting.
I guess the good thing to come out of Donald Trump being a blatant and unapologetic misogynist is that it puts it all out in the open. We get to see how many Americans, both male and female feel the way he does. And we get to witness and explore the more subtle aspects of sexism through his interactions with Hillary Clinton.
I can’t wait to vote for Hillary Clinton, who I’m beginning to see as the Crone Archetype.
In our time The Crone is known as a repulsive, older woman, a witch to be ostracized from society.
Traditionally, she is the wise and powerful postmenopausal woman. Both feared and loved and “ever ready to rekindle the inner fire of your creative souls.” As you can see, she’s already doing that for me.