I have to drive down a busy rural road every weekday after work to pick up my 15-year-old daughter at XC practice. Week by week, day by day, more and more Trump signs have appeared. Gigantic billboard-like Trump signs (don’t we have ordinances about the size of political signs?) are everywhere and every time I see another one, I die a little more inside.
I was certain some of those signs would disappear after last Friday’s release of the disgusting and vile comments Donald made about sexually assaulting women. Surely there are women living in those houses. Surely some of those people have daughters. Surely some of those people are outraged enough at his behavior. Surely there are Christians in some of those houses.
To my utter dismay and terror, even more signs appeared.
My own neighbor has one. I liked them. They have a daughter — a recent college graduate tall and beautiful — just the kind of girl that Donald would feel entitled to fondle without her consent. And, yet, that sign is still there…in their yard…showing their support for a xenophobic, tax-evading, draft-dodging, racist, misogynistic, sexual predator.
These signs I’m surrounded by have forced me to realized a brutal truth: There is more than an undercurrent of misogyny and racism in this country, there’s a whole deep, dirty sea of it.
And it’s been there all this time…right under our noses, brewing and hiding in people we know, people who live right next door to us, people whose businesses we support, people who are nice to our faces, people who’ve been to our houses, people who go to church every single Sunday and sit there….listening to message of love and forgiveness and compassion. The hypocrisy is maddening. What would their Jesus think?
As I drive, I try to ignore the signs. Because that’s what we women always do — ignore the signs. I try to shut them out of my peripheral vision. I try to narrow my focus to only the car immediately in front of me. I keep my head up and try to appreciate the clouds and blue sky and the landscape rich with autumn color.
But I know the signs are there. I know hatred is all around me. And, I don’t have a clue what to do about it or how to protect myself or my daughters from a country that reduces us down to nothing but a body. Flesh and bones. Breasts and butts. Hair and teeth.
It’s humiliating and it’s hurtful and it’s deeply disturbing.
My cheeks are red and burning as I write this.
I could go on, but I can’t possibly say it any better than Michelle Obama did in 28 minutes in New Hampshire:
“It doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.”
About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”