This morning, I woke up thinking a lot about the ways we respond to women who have internalized centuries of misogyny and its attendant practices. Chances are, they are accustomed to the yelling, berating, chastising, humiliation, and accommodation. To the need to be authorized by the dominant male. I think that may be one of the reasons the Republican candidate resonates with so many women: his behavior feels familiar.
What's certain is that yelling, berating, humiliating, and chastising don't work to help women heal from it. It only normalizes their expected abuse, and their response to it, and strands them there. Our own response to their support for this angry, misogynistic, abusive man, creates anger in those of us who have worked so hard for women's rights and for dismantling violence against women. But our angry responses to women either furthers their self-hatred, deepens their misplaced anger, or feels so familiar that they are anesthetized against it. And they dig in.
photo: Jim Lee
This hideously long campaign of abuse, one he is more skilled and practiced at waging than we are at responding to, has boxed us into angry Otherness toward other women. It's at the heart of his strategy. And it pains me deeply that a dominant, privileged white male has created these conditions, perhaps well into the foreseeable future.
We have to dig deep to interrupt this cycle. Again.