Having a Vagina in the Time of Trump
I grew up around male-dominated thinking
with five brothers and a single mom at the helm. Despite their clear majority, I could also see my brothers still needed my mom to survive. The idea of females as naturally strong creatures was threaded into the fabric of my childhood. I happily concluded that I was equal and able to compete with my brothers in wit, words and worth.
I had a strong starting position — considering I was growing up in an extremely conservative home.
Unfortunately, my mom was also pretty sexist and repeated the idea that too many women were “shrill” and “dramatic” and especially feminists — her nose wrinkling in curious disgust at the word. This is why — as a child, I prided myself on being low-voiced, stoic and definitely NOT A FEMINIST.
Thankfully, my not-feminist ass went to college
where I thought I’d argue with feminists. Instead — with breathtaking speed, I ingested the rage-begetting clarity feminism provides all women who entertain it seriously.
I felt the walls break down and saw my sexism and self-loathing for what it was — and how much of it wasn’t even about me or my female friends, but my unconscious internalization of a culture built for and by men. I felt rage at this culture and how it’s most misogynistic features had seeped into my adolescent identity and poisoned my sense of self-worth.
I felt a deep burning in my chest when I thought of the years wasted on hating my body and my self-identified “flaws”, the hours I lost assiduously focused on curling my fucking hair to be “prettier” because I had no idea what value I had if I wasn’t pretty. The message was clear: a beautiful female is a person of high value to EVERYONE.
To be recognized as beautiful is to win at womanhood. The only way to fuck that up is to be a slut, of course.
Feminism broke my internalized sexist bullshit down
so I could finally stop it stinking up my brain-space. After the anger died down, I started to look forward and wanted to believe that — overall, society was working towards new levels of self-awareness, thanks to feminism.
I was wrong.
Mostly, I wanted to forget the Midwestern cornfields of my college years — where working at a bar reminded me that sexism is still alive and raping. Back then, I was very clear on how much American men could hate women, because I encountered it nearly every day at work.
After college, I ran off to Europe and then to San Francisco, where I’ve bubbled myself in with like-minded women and men. I mocked Men’s Rights Activists on Reddit and other sites for their ludicrous desire to do things like repeal the rape laws. Their stupidity was downright laughable — as if they were yearning for dungeons or witch burnings. These bastards were just lazy self-entitled gamers living in a basement with Costco levels of lotion and tissue next to their computer and zero sway in the real world.
I was wrong.
I took the queer movement and the legalization of gay marriage as a harbinger of just how far America had come in understanding gender politics — that we were indeed progressing towards justice for all.
I was wrong.
The shit and fan have made lasting contact
My bubble has popped. The president of the United States believes that high status men are sexually desired by ALL women. Implicit in this is the negation of consent: it’s not assault because ALL women actually want a high status man to “grab them by the pussy.”
Basically, a high status male = female consent, in Trump’s worldview. There is no autonomy or choice here — this is blazing sexism and rape culture personified and elected to be the leader of the free world.
It was free… right? Sort of. Maybe. Maybe we’ve been ignoring a puss-filled wound in the psyche of the American male as we happily repealed archaic laws, believing we were all marching towards a better future together.
No pussy hat or woman’s march is going to save us from the truth of just how deep, dark and dedicated rape culture is within American society… or how this culture thrives in the hands of powerful men who would never march for women in the first fucking place.
Society can still arc towards justice for all
but not without women willing to wake up and smell the truth. It is time to do more than passively believe we’ll get there if we only wait till Trump is gone. We’ve marched, after all, what more can we do?
We need to know that — as women, we’re all sisters. If we don’t fight for each other now, we will lose ground to the sickness infecting the minds the men and women who support and think like our President — people who make and enforce the laws of the land.
Having a vagina in the time of Trump means we have to stand up and fight rape culture and sexism. Today. Every day. Until it’s well and truly in the past where it belongs, because clearly — it’s alive and thriving in this country and our silence is feeding it.
Join the community and the movement: sisterhood.today