I know, I know, I’ve been an exceptionally bad blogger. My tooth pain didn’t go away no matter how much I tried to pretend it wasn’t there, resulting in much misery, three trips to the dentist, and oral surgery. I’m on the mend now, not all better but much better than I was.
Have I ever mentioned that I have a dentist phobia? I do. The pain, the sounds, and most of all, the someone is in my frickin’ mouth!!! If you’re now tempted to explain how illogical this all is, save your breath and your fingers. Phobia. Irrational fear, I get it.
And now for what I don’t get, but I’m even more afraid of. What’s happening for and to women in this country.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, started making notes for a post about what ever happened to feminism, pushed it to the back burner. Well, it’s now so front and center my eyelashes are singed, my bra has burned off, and my ovaries are experiencing shrinkage.
Some say the War On Women is a myth, fabricated by those stinky, left leaning, unshaven and leftover hippies. I don’t think so. I think it’s real. Never in my life have I heard so many ignorant, threatening comments made by those in positions of power (yanno, those “service” positions– politics), never have I seen and heard about so many attempts to repeal women’s rights, as I have over the last 18-24 months. I can’t help but wonder if I’ve been naive. If it’s so widespread across the US, if there is so much support for those making these statements, I suspect it’s been there, this war, all along. I just didn’t hear about it because there weren’t cameras everywhere catching these speeches, these comments, there was no twitter, no internet, and a limited number of channels and news (?!) shows on tv. I think it’s been a Cold War, and now the heat’s been turned up using the fuel of electronic eyes and the internet.
I’m upset, I’m nauseated, I’m afraid. Why? Well, because of this. How the fuck is this ok? Down what black hole have I fallen to find myself in this alternate history where it’s systemically acceptable for police officers to sexually assault women, and do it in public while putting their health at risk too? Yes, I said it, systemic. One lone or occasional psycho I understand. Still horrible and scary, but I understand. But this wasn’t one renegade mama hating small weiner syndrome sociopath.
Whether it’s written in the manual or not, obviously this is an issue that goes beyond one evil trooper. In the first instance, the male state trooper called for a female trooper to come perform this cavity search. On the side of the road. And don’t forget to recycle, use the same glove for both women. Yeah, these troopers were all about caring for Mother Earth, after all, these cavity searches were prompted by a cigarette butt being tossed out a car window. littering. Another by speeding (waste of gas) And they might have smelled marijuana in the car during one of those stops. Cause every pot smoking woman I’ve ever known would have the instinct to shove a joint up her hoo haa and or butt. And nothing poses a bigger threat to the public, necessitating an immediate public and unsanitary cavity search than a skunk weed tampon.
Number One Threat to Public Safety. Oh, why be coy? We all know Public Enemy Number One is
So no, it wasn’t this one evil female state trooper, it was a process that involved multiple officers all thinking this is acceptable. And it turns out this isn’t limited to one instance, there have been others in other parts of Texas. And don’t think of blowing this off as a crazy Texas thing, because there have been documented instances in other states. For the record, the female (and only the female) trooper was fired. I’m guessing she’s cursing the fates, smoking women, and the (I assume) unwritten policy that caused her to assault these women in the first place.
Another no, I don’t feel smug and secure because I live in left leaning, blue voting New York. If you’re a New Yorker, you shouldn’t either. Remember, we’re the country’s capitol of Stop-and-Frisk. Not such a big leap from Walking While Black being a crime to Walking While Female.
I think of the Holocaust Survivors I’ve met over the years, the history we haven’t learned well enough. In the beginning, it was all about well they’re only coming for them. Only “them” came to include many. The psychology we KNOW and have studied. “How could the individual SS officers commit these atrocities?” Pretty damned easily. They were broke, unemployed, hungry and afraid. They were given purpose, respect, food, commands, and fear. Told by their superiors, those holding the food and safety of their families, “You have to do this. For your safety. For your family. For your country. Do it. They aren’t really people. They’re a threat to us all. They’re JewsGaysMentally/PhysicallyDefectiveNotUs.” And from post war experiments conducted, we learned that most humans are sheep. We don’t actually need to be hungry or threatened. Just told to do it. Cause another person pain, suffering. Too easy.
Maybe this is the last roar of a dying breed, those who pine for the good ole days. Except the good ole days weren’t really so good, unless you were wealthy, white, and male. I hate to be the one to break the news, but “Leave it to Beaver” was fiction. Being poor sucks, being hungry sucks. Nothing new, it wasn’t fun to be poor and/or hungry 50, 100, 150 years ago either. Being a person of color continues to involve multiple indignities that too many pretend don’t exist. But our President is black has replaced But my best friend is black. Does anyone really believe there’s a significant difference between those statements?
I get it. It’s all about fear, and I understand fear. I’m afraid for me, afraid for my daughter, afraid for my women friends, my goddaughter, my sons’ female friends, the women of America today. WHY aren’t we continuing to move forward instead of sliding backwards? I don’t believe our rights to own property will be revoked, our consumerist society will never give up consumers. The right to vote? I don’t know. Perhaps full body searches will be required before women can cast a ballot. You know, for everyone’s safety.