I’m Going to be Upset about Warren Maybe Forever

5 Mar

I want to start this off by saying that what appears below are my feelings and I have the right to have them. They are valid. You also have the right to have your feelings, and those feelings can be very much different from mine. And that’s okay. So just know while you are reading this that these are my feelings and I am in no way open to you arguing with me about them. So if you want to argue with me, just please don’t. Talk into a pillow. Call your friend. I don’t care. Just let me have these feelings.

I am so incredibly angry. And scared. And frustrated. And defeated. And so very, very sad. This isn’t just about Elizabeth Warren, although it is partially about Elizabeth Warren. This is about being a woman in America. About being a smart, capable woman. This is about being a Jewish person who is constantly afraid. This is about seeing my greatest fears play out in front of me over and over and over again. This is about a lifetime of feeling dismissed, talked over, ignored, under appreciated and under valued. This is about spending a lifetime in a society that fucking hates me and screaming about it and having no one take notice, having absolutely nothing change. I am so god damn tired.

These past few years have been hard. Like really, really hard. And I know they have been hard on every body – I know that a lot of the most horrible moves the Trump Administration has made are not about disempowering me personally, but they are about disempowering my friends and that IS personal. I also feel less safe knowing other people are being stripped of their safety. I won’t be held up at the border and separated from my family; I won’t be erased from a lot of the language on government websites like the LGBTQ community has been; I won’t be kept from polling places. As someone who, like so many others I know, has been sexually assaulted on more than one occasion, it is hard to explain exactly how psychologically damaging it is to have this president in office. This president who fills his key positions with thieves, liars and predators; who is appointing justices hell bent on taking away our rights; who lies about women, smearing their names and reputations, crushing them under the weight of his abusive, hateful language and his unforgivable, unmoving supporters. I cannot imagine how his victims must feel, seeing his face on television every day, one of the most powerful men in the world. I don’t know how they survive. I am so thankful that, somehow, they do. It reminds me that we have a lot more strength than we know, and that’s a good thing to be reminded of on a day like today.

So, today. Oh, today. Today and this entire election cycle. And the one before it. FUCK, I just want to scream. I want to start, actually, with August 28, 2019. That was the day Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race. That one hurt. And it didn’t hurt because I was planning to vote for her. It hurt because she has been such a fierce advocate for women and victims and that’s what tanked her. Al Franken tanked her. Maybe that’s too simplistic, so let me go a little deeper. Kirsten Gillibrand, rightfully, stood up to Al Franken after allegations of him being inappropriate with a number of women surfaced. He resigned his position. And she has been punished for that ever since. You can like Al Franken or not, I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. But he grabbed women’s asses in photographs and Gillibrand is being punished. This is what it is to be a woman in this fucking country. We are constantly blamed not only for being victimized, but for standing up for the victims. It is always our fault. Always. I know he was a good advocate for women from his position in the Senate, but you don’t get to neutralize horrible behavior because in front of people you do the right thing. It’s what you do in the dark when no one is looking that matters. It’s how you treat the voiceless people when you are in a position of power. But it seems like none of that actually makes a difference. And knowing that makes me feel so small.

I felt small the day Kamala Harris dropped out of the race, leaving less qualified people still in it. Knowing that if she were a man, but especially if she were a white man, she would have had a better shot. I felt small the day Bloomberg’s wealthy, unqualified ass entered and he took all the air out of the room. And I felt small every time I noticed a particular someone missing from polling data and articles. I felt tiny watching Elizabeth Warren get erased in real time, right in front of my eyes, knowing in my heart that she was the best person for the job. And it really, really hurt. It is still hurting as I type these words. And I think it is going to hurt for a long time.

It is hurting because, on a much smaller stage, I have experienced this. Most of us have. Ask the women you know. And especially ask the Black and Brown women you know. It is constant. Talk too loud and you’re shrill, too quietly and you’re weak; get angry and you’re a bitch, be measured and you’re calculating. And then you try and point this out to people and they don’t believe you. They simply disregard your entire lived experience. And there is nothing you can do about it except keeping talking, keep yelling even, and hope one day someone hears you. It’s maddening. It really is. To see who we have in the Oval Office and to look at who was left in the end and for it to be so fucking clear who was most qualified and have it not fucking matter. Because people hate women. People don’t trust women. Even women hate and don’t trust women. I am reminded how deeply entrenched sexism is in this country. As if I needed reminding. As if I am not reminded every day.

I really want to indulge my anger right now. My anger at all the people saying that Warren is to blame for how this election cycle has gone, Warren voters “threw out their progressive votes,” that people who voted for Biden didn’t know enough. But I don’t think I am in a place to make that productive right now so I will revisit it later. What I will say is this: seeing another able and exceedingly qualified woman lose to less able and qualified men is like taking a punch to the gut. My whole life I have been told that I can do anything, be anyone, accomplish anything. But that is not true. I can only do what they will allow me to do, be who they want me to be, accomplish what they allow me to accomplish. The sky is not the limit. The patriarchy is. And as much as I know this to be true, and as much as I try to fight against it day after day, it doesn’t hurt any less to be reminded of it again and again.

I am so tired. And my heart hurts so much. When will we get this right?

2 Responses to “I’m Going to be Upset about Warren Maybe Forever”

  1. Pete March 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi. Enjoyed this read. I don’t think there are any photos of Al Franken grabbing *anybody’s* asses though. Just one very juvenile photo of him miming the grabbing of a Hannity colleague’s boobs. Not diminishing the inappropriateness of that, but detail can get lost in “the fog of war”

    • FranklyRebekah March 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm #

      Glad you liked the read. Actually, there were at least two women who came forward alleging that he grabbed their asses during photos they took with him at events – at least one was at a State Fair. There are time stamped and dated complaints made by the women (on Facebook photos they posted, if memory serves) the day that it happened, which was YEARS before this whole thing blew up. They came forward begrudgingly; at least one of them voted for him after the event because even given what she had endured, she thought he was a better candidate than his opponents. Happy to send articles if you would like. Those are the women I was talking about. Their stories were barely a blip because, in my humble opinion, people don’t care.

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