Sad As Shit To Remember How America Feels About Women

Pre Election
If you're not okay with a grown woman in a gym doing bicep curls while crying to the new Lady Gaga album Joanna, then you can kiss off because that is how I'm rolling these days.

The Sunday before election Tuesday, my sister invited me to the super secret, not that secret FB group Pantsuit Nation and guess what? I bawled my eyes out reading all the posts with stories from people who were supporting Hillary Clinton for president all over the country. It was positive and kind and supportive and it really brought home the fact that having a woman president means something. Strangely, it hasn't been easy to show and feel that excitement for this piece of history because there is this thing that is said all the time about how much people hate her. I never did. I've always loved her - from the time I was a pre-teen and she was first lady. It's like people have been afraid to say how excited they were about HRC - but not in this FB group. I don't know you guys, it was just so...something...to see all that excitement. I'm not the only one. My friend Stephanie texted me asking if I was just sitting around liking every post, and I was. And she was. And we both were tearing up. And my sister was too. And so were a bunch of women I'm friends with. There are like 3 million people in it or something, but if your friends like the posts, it pops up, and clearly these lady FB friends of mine were also just sitting there and liking every damn post they saw - every post.

So that was Sunday night. I continued reading Pantsuit Nation posts throughout work on Monday and continued tearing up. Monday night, I'm all excited because it's election day tomorrow and I'm taking off work and me and Charlie are headed to the gym. He keeps up on new music like 50,000 times more than me and he plays some new Lady Gaga, and I like it, so I listen to it on Spotify while I'm working out. It's nice because I'm sweating and you can't tell much, but I'm a hot crying mess listening to her lovely voice. I've had only passing interest in Lady Gaga in my life so far, but now I'm suddenly hysterical mega fan #1. It's got this country feel and there's these songs about girl friendships and people coming together, and it's just all too much. I have all kinds of feels about coming together and sisterhood and progress and beauty and more love and all that shit. All of it. And I'm excited and nervous and full of something that I can't quite explain.

Okay - so I wrote all that above on election day just before I headed out around 6:30pm to an election results watch party at my fellow AnC Movies dude / long-time friend Barnaby's parents house in beautiful Fortville, IN. It's now Friday. I wanted to keep all that above as is because I just wanted to.

So, we're on our way out there and we hear Indiana got called for Trump. It was the first to go. We went blue in 2008, and I had a small hope it would happen again. My stomach was doing flips the whole way out. Barnaby's mother, a woman I absolutely love for a hundred reasons, met me in her kitchen with a make-shift pantsuit on, and we squeezed each other and talked about how terrible our stomachs felt. She was straight up raised in the hills of North Carolina  - which also went blue in 2008, so she was hopeful for both her states to do it again too. We watched the 2008 election results in that very house in '08 and saw the first black man become president. I was with my parents and sister and her family and a bunch of other people I love very much.

It was a much smaller party this time. A couple of fairly recent Hoosier transplants were there too - people I feel really lucky to have met and grown close to over the last couple years. My stomach never got better (somehow I ate a bunch of crap though). We went outside for a while to walk it off a little, and then we went into the living room and watched more. I can remember looking at the TV and imaging myself punching it. We left at about midnight not completely certain Trump won, but pretty sure. Me and Charlie stayed up through his acceptance speech. I tried to sleep, but my stomach hurt and I couldn't stop crying and I wanted to sob loud and uncontrollably, but I felt stupid even though I know Charlie wouldn't have cared. So I went into the bathroom and sobbed but not loud or uncontrollably. We live in a one-bedroom and I was only about 15 feet from him.

Post Election
I had taken the next day off because I thought I'd just want to enjoy it - first woman president and all, but I ended up having to go into work from 10-12 for a meeting anyway, and I did and I did a pretty good job of not crying randomly. But I cried a lot. I'm still crying a lot. I feel like an insane person. I read friend's FB post or Pantsuit Nation posts, or I listen to Lady Gaga, and I tear up. I think of something and I tear up.

I don't know if it's that there was such a switch from hope and excitement to disappointment. I've never ever even shed a tear for an election outcome - I'm not normally that cry-y. I don't know if it's because the man who won felt so mean - like the villain in an 80's movie won the lottery, got the nice girl, and fucked over the nice guy instead of getting his comeuppance. I don't know if it was because I felt like the woman who lost was so misunderstood and so thoroughly fucked over by a lifetime of immersion in a world soaked in lady-type-things-distaste and topped off by a campaign filled with judgement colored deeply and stealthily with misunderstanding of how women must move in the world and in politics. Or maybe it was that the man who won seemed like the very face of 'the man' - a rich old asshole who does what he wants, says what he wants, hurts who he wants, finds power in making others less powerful, and is just kinda mean - but succeeds anyway. It's gross. It might also be that his VP is the former Indiana governor who put forth some of the meanest, most restrictive and thoughtless abortion laws in the country and also one of the shittiest anti-LGBT laws in the country. Or maybe it was because the KKK endorsed him or that he not only never got Black Lives Matter - he was incredibly shitty and dismissive about it. Maybe it was the heartless crap he said about immigrants and refugees.

From where oh where did that seething sadness arise? 
Honestly, I'll admit that I am pissed and worried about all the racist, anti-abortion, and anti-LGBT kinds of things, but I don't think that's what has stirred all the raw emotion up from the pit of my stomach. I think maybe it's just the sudden feeling that people still really prickle at women doing things that don't fit comfortably in our understanding of womanly-ness - that compounded by the knowledge that a man who very outwardly said raggedy ass nasty shit about women was rewarded for that raggedy ass shit. It is somehow sad to me in a very deep way.

I spend so much of my time and energy thinking about the reality that women all over the world engage in consensual hetero sex acts that result in orgasm for the man but not the women. I think about why we do that. I think about how strange it seems that women have a clit in our genital area that can be stimulated to orgasm just as quickly, reliably, and easily as a penis can be, but we don't often do it, and men don't often do it, and sometimes neither of us even know that we can do it. I think about what it is that makes this very simple pleasure. a pleasure women can obtain using nothing more complex than our own bodies, seem so unreachable, so foreign, and so invisible to so many when it doesn't need to be.

I think about all that and I do something almost every single day to make other people wonder those things too. It definitely sucks sometimes because often I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. I mean isn't it kinda insane that women are being hoodwinked by the very make-up of our world to believe that somehow orgasm is essential and glorious for males during sex, but it's either non-essential, impossible, or not really on the table for women? Isn't it some crazy anti-lady bullshit hidden in plain sight? Why don't people care more? I mean, how toxic to the ladies is this culture if this can feel normal to both men and women?

I know it's something deep I'm fighting against. I know that truth as solidly as I know I am alive. And, I also know logically that it's not just an isolated instance of our culture being harder on women. I know it is merely a grotesque piece of a larger poison in our culture. I know it, and it's sad, but like most women, I can mostly ignore the sadness of that reality. I can pretend that it's not that bad or that deep. I can pretend that I am untouched by it's slithering, secret tentacles that live both outside and inside me.

Clearly, I can't and don't ignore the orgasm piece the way I seem to with the rest of the puzzle. I mean, I spend lots of my time noticing and writing about that one orgasm piece. It's also not like I haven't felt a similar weird pang of sadness and desperation about the reality of our culture's outlook on ladies and our orgasms. I have, but it was over time. I'm hardened to it in a way because I've lived with it so long, and I have a plan and I know how to argue it and I do argue it and I know sometimes I make a small difference, and I keep moving forward, and it's okay.

Then I see that a man will become President of the United States of America who embodies all that cultural meanness towards women, and I suddenly realize that people saw it in the light of day, and didn't say, "What the Fuck? No."  They said, "Okay, that's fine." Men and women said this. So, it was like a gut punch reminding me that all the toxicity in our culture making people feel like our f'd up understanding of female orgasm is normal - that toxicity also makes us feel like the things Trump embodies is normal. Our sense that women don't need, deserve, or can even have orgasms is sitting there with all the shitty feelings about our appearance and our worth, and I know, as solidly as I know I'm alive, that all that stuff is as deep, as hard to verbalize, and as hard to fix as the the orgasm stuff, and that's fucking depressing.  I'm not hardened to that yet, and I don't know if I ever will be because the problem seems too big for me to make a dent in. At least I have a plan for the orgasm stuff.  So, it's just...sad in a way that makes me feel it in my whole body.

Let's review this man's bullshit nastiness about women
Seriously, our president will be a man that did not even have the basic decency to hide his shitty attitude about women. He's a man that:

  • Openly spoke about how easy it was to sexually assault women to Billy Bush in a bus
  • A man who tweeted "26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?"
  • A man who retweeted "If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes you think she can satisfy America?"
  • A man who said in a 1991 Esquire interview of the importance of arm candy, "It doesn't really matter what (the media) writes as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of a**."
  • A man who the Telegraph quoted as super arrogantly and likely obliviously saying, “All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
  • I don't even have room to go into the shit he said on Howard Stern. I mean Howard Stern himself said,“This is who Trump is...None of this was hidden...He was always bombastic. He always rated women. He always talked in a misogynistic, sexist kind of way, but he did it sort of proudly and out in the open. And he still won the Republican primary.”

No sir. He won the Presidency, and above is just a bit of it, and just the stuff about the ladies.

I'm still very raw and emotional about this, and I'm still processing everything. I do feel crazy for how sad and emotional I feel about this, but fuck it. I feel this way, and I'm not a particularly dramatic person. I think I feel this way because I should feel this way when the leader of my country openly shows me that he thinks something I am is a lesser thing - a thing for him to use as he pleases and not respect. I should feel this way, and so should all the other people he and his VP have openly told us are not important or even respectable in their eyes. We should be sad and we should be mad, and we should be vigilant.

Some nicer things to leave you with
As a parting gift, I want to post one of my fave (I like a lot though) songs from Joanne, and as I was getting a video for it, I realized there was a live version from a Hillary Clinton Rally. Love both them bitches.

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