Y'know, I had an essay written in my head. It was all about the second coming of my feminism, and it was deep and thoughtful and intended as a public apology to Hillary Clinton for arriving so late to her party. But then, just as I was closing the logical loop, my neighbor trotted over to talk to me. He's very shy, my neighbor. I know this because he never looks me in the eye. Two guesses where he lets the vacant stare linger, as long as one of those choices is NOT my shoes. He told me how cute I looked in my overalls. I should mention that this was the day after Hurricane Mathew swept past, so I was hot, sweaty, without power or hot water, and getting bitten by mosquitoes. I was not in the mood. For G-d's sake Max, I'm 62 years old, I am not cute. Just stop it now. He teased me again. Oh, no My Familial Nickname Used Without My Permission, you stop it right now. Max, I repeated, Just. No. And I slammed the conversational door in his face and continued to pick up fallen limbs.
And then two days later, while I was quietly pulling weeds and rewriting my essay, the young workmen came to take the shutters off my studio. One of them attempted, despite verbal warning from both my husband and his co-worker, to apologize for the anti-Semitic sub-contractor who was their painter. Just the son, he said, right? The father is one of the good ones, isn't he? No, I said, he is not. He was rude and insulting and told me flat out that they did not bid prep work into this job. And then he attempted to mansplain (pause in conversation while I had to define mansplaining: y'know, when a man tries to tell a woman how to do something that she knows damn good an well how to do all on her own?) paint prep to me, an artist who has painted plenty of walls, and my husband the portrait painter? As far I am concerned he is an anti-Semite of the first order and if he ever sets foot on my property again I will call the police and have him charged with trespassing. And you can tell him I said so.
And then I watched the second debate and the fever dream of our national pre-apocalyptic behavior that unfolded in the aftermath. And it hit me.
What the fuck is wrong with you people? Have none of you read the fucking Handmaid's Tale? Or even rented the damned movie? No, really. How did we get from being the nation that sent a man to the fucking moon (with the help of women and minorities in critical positions) to being the nation that allowed Donald Trump to breathe air for free on the same stage as Hillary Rodham Clinton?
I have been a feminist all my damned life, and I have been an active combatant in the war against my sex. We have fought, as women, to control our own educational and vocational options, our own credit cards and bank accounts, to control our own names if we marry, to own and control our own bodies, fer fucksake. I cannot fathom how, after all these years of struggle, we have not made any fucking in-roads that haven't been shut down or detoured by rich, old, white, "Christian" men. Enough is enough. Fuck them. Or don't fuck them. But don't let them fuck you over in this election and for generations to come.
I'm begging you. This is our moment. If all of us who are not cis-normative white males vote for Hillary, we can maybe, just maybe, overthrow the rule of old white men. And wouldn't that be a good thing?