No Shock to Women Here

When I was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s (my family was always active in civil rights!), and later with the second wave feminists in the 1970’s and 1980’s (we also were always feminist coming from a Cherokee line of strong women), I repeatedly noticed out loud that my observation was that sexism went deeper than racism in western culture. Most of my African-American friends of course, disagreed.

To me, my suspicion was confirmed in the 1960’s when I said to one of my black brothers whose rights I was fighting for, “We really should join forces because we are fighting the same oppression.”

He physically recoiled and fired back, “Are you kidding! I don’t want to be down there with YOU. I want to be up there with HIM!” I have never forgotten that interaction as I felt a soul-level sadness with the hopelessness of it all.

That and many other experiences convinced me that for women, oppression is oppression and we need to fight it on every front. And, for many men, they draw the line at the male fraternity.

I always knew that it would be much easier to elect a black man (with very little experience) President of the United States than it would be to elect a woman of any color.

Oh, people can argue that Hillary is so “flawed” which, of course is true of anyone who would want that office. Yet, many of her “flaws” fall under the rubric of behaviors that men have been doing for centuries which are acceptable when men do them.

The fallout and attacks we women get for being strong, outspoken and self-motivated are still in many circles “unforgivable” unless they carefully follow “the male party line.” Phyllis Schlafly could be all the above and be accepted as long as she was urging women to stay in the house and not challenge the innate superiority of males.

From my perspective, no matter who we elect for President or have elected President, that person will be flawed. All human beings are flawed. That is the set up. Otherwise why would we be here except to heal, learn and grow? And, why in the world would we want to involve ourselves in politics, economics and power positions? I am sure that most people who aspire to that office want to serve (we may have an exception in one of the candidates this year!), AND there has to be a large dollop of arrogance, ambition, the illusion of control and other nasty traits that seem to be inherent in the job description.

The unfortunate reality is that these characteristics in men are still acceptable if not admired (even a little lying is okay if necessary) while in a woman they are “of the devil.”

We still have a long way to go.