Never Date a Tow Truck Driver

So when you are done laughing, here it is. I was in a zoom call with a group of women that I love and trust. And after we got done talking about the important and serious stuff, we got talking about this and that.

It is always a surprise to me what women end up talking about when we are just talking. I love that our conversations are unpredictable in their course. And the best is that it is not about gossip but about the random vagaries of life in the world.

In this particular group of women there is great diversity of age, ethnicity, stage of life, parenthood, etc. What we have in common is that we are all women growing in ourselves and in the world. We are all becoming, all the time.

One memorable such conversation was one that during an outdoor socially distanced lunch centered on toilet paper. Not on the current difficulty of acquisition, but on our individual tastes. How on earth do you end up in this conversation when the world is such a confusing mess? Maybe it felt safer. In this more current discussion we ranged from the appearance of grey pubic hair to the futility of dating later in life to wanting to beat children to death (mostly figuratively) to dog surgery and needy cats.

They say that every minute laughing adds a year to your life, or something like that – I forget the formula. If so, I just added a decade to mine. The best and most hilarious dating advice I have ever gotten (and it was today) was this: “never date a tow truck driver.” I can promise you that this was not an attribute I would have been seeking in a partner but I will take the advice to heart!

Democracy Is Not For Whiners

Ok, I am so tired of everyone’s facebook entries, tweets, etc., today. I can’t say how many people said, in essence, my vote doesn’t count.

What part of your vote always counts do people not understand? As a woman, all I have to do is think about how recent it is that women were allowed to vote. All I have to do is think of the suffering, the beatings and jailings, that brave women endured to give me the right. How dare I squander the privilege. But… There is a difference between winning and having your vote count.

I am a constitution defending geek. And in that tradition I say, and believe, that your vote is the most precious gift your democracy gives you. It is your voice, your chance to say “I disagree”. If one side won by 100% of the vote because the other half stayed home there would be no mandate for elected officials to think about all the electorate once they take office. When you win office by 1% of the vote you darn well know that there is power in the other 49%; that your political life may be short lived.

You vote to be heard, you vote to participate, you don’t always win. That’s the thing about majority rule… the majority rules. You speak your piece and then move on with the business of life, or governing as the case may be. The whole issue of gridlock and elected officials who don’t seem to get this currently is a discussion for another day. But this is the nature of the democratic process.

It is hard to say your piece and lose. It is demanding to accept the will of the majority, particularly when you deeply disagree with the apparent will of the majority. But there is no alternative. There is however, good news ~ there will be another election, another chance to speak, to vote, to win. But you have to wait and work for that day. Those of you who are like minded have to work together to convince another 3 or 4% (in the 51% scenario) that you are right. When that happens, you will win and the other will be the 49%, waiting for you to forget that they are almost half of those represented.

[tweetshare tweet=”Nobody likes to lose but all of us must, from time to time, in a democratic society. Clearly, democracy is not for whiners.” username=”@trienahm”]

Violence against Women

So I am driving down the road, minding my own business, thinking about the world. And a crappy little rusty shitbox car in front me sported a bumper sticker that said “Loud wives lose lives”. Now I know that there is still a lot of gender discrimination, and domestic violence and misogyny in the world but OMG, that is just right out there; about as far out there as anything I can imagine. I think there may be lots of men who think it but in today’s world, not so many that would overtly shout it from the rooftops. This particular car also had an iron cross and a confederate flag on the car. Now no offense to those who feel the confederate flag is a simple symbol of their birthright but to some of us these symbols seem to belong together, the ultimate symbols of facism and racism. I am the first to admit that I know nothing more about the driver or owner of that car but I feel that I know more than I would ever want to know, just by what he chose to advertise on his car; and yes I assume it was a “he”. So later that night I am watching the Tudors, one of my favorites, and there is a young man, a beautiful fresh-faced young man, besotted with the new, very young and beautiful queen. He is obsessed with her and watches her constantly, discretely following her from place to place. In a later scene he talks of her desirability and his frustration. The next thing we know he is violently raping a peasant or farm woman while his fellows hold her down. Part of what is shocking about this scene is exactly how fresh and innocent he appears up to this point. And then how ordinary it seems to him, how acceptable to take this course of action as a perfectly acceptable way of alleviating his frustration. Finally, when her husband comes seeking justice, saying he will take him to the sheriff, he kills him thoughtlessly, with no compunction. I am slightly unsure why these two unrelated events in my life became linked in my mind, but they are. The medieval callousness toward woman and the modern misogyny. In a way it seemed to me to illustrate what a short distance we have come; despite how far we have come. The feminists of my age fought for the right to be paid for equal work, to engage in “men’s” careers, to wear pants. The feminists of the generations before fought and lost their lives for the right to vote, to hold property in their own names. And the women of ages past fought just to survive the injustices in their lives. That bumper sticker made me mad, made me sad, made me want to shake the driver til his brains rattled. He probably lives with a mother who still cooks and cleans for him, does his laundry, irons his jeans. I wonder if he knows how his mother feels about that bumper sticker.