Love and Righteous Anger: A Personal 2017 Perspective

How 2017 began–women marching.

I love women’s anger. Without realizing it, I’ve been waiting my whole life for women all over the place to finally admit how PISSED they are.

As a child, I was peripherally aware of my mother’s struggles against the entire fabric of society in order to be successful on Madison Avenue, rise in her field, be a divorced woman in the 60s when that meant social ostracism, all the while raising a daughter on her own with literally no support system she didn’t have to pay for.

I was aware of all that through a glass darkly, as I went about my business, blessed by my mother’s visionary decision to put me into a girl’s school where I could just be. But as I grew up watching her closely, as only daughters of single mothers tend to do, it was clear that she was never angry enough. She was too afraid that her anger would be a strike against her in a man’s world, or so I imagine. She swallowed ALL of it.

And then she went crazy. Probably not direct cause and effect, but sure enough, after her psychotic break, the anger was reallllly close to the surface. And who can blame her? The last 25 years of her life were spent paranoid and delusional, it’s true, but her conviction that she was and had long been a victim of countless injustices was based largely on the non-alternative fact that she was a strong, smart woman fully marginalized in a world run by men. Story of the world, right?

But not for much longer. Because we are so very, very pissed. Somehow, the rise of the Trump Machine primed women across our country to take it to the next level. (You notice I don’t say “all women” because there are those women who still vote for guys like Roy Moore, as if inviting men like that to fuck their preteen daughters as long as no one can have an abortion and whites can still get first pick of jobs and neighborhoods and colleges).

First, women marched. And they wasted no time about it. Within two months of the “election” of 2016, millions upon MILLIONS of women (and their kids and a bunch of very cool men, too) mobilized and marched the hell out of DC, NY, Boston, LA, and a many more American towns and cities, and in Europe, and Antarctica too. Yes, that happened. It was magic.

And with the rising up, it was almost as if there was a change in the air we breathe—we humans who breathe air because a woman birthed us to do so. A change in the tone of every moment and the feeling of every “hell no” that gets spoken instead of swallowed…. That rising-up has continued unabated for a year.

And in that year, the #metoo movement powered by empowered women has empowered other women to speak up and fling the truth in the faces of anyone willing (or, frankly, unwilling) to listen. And men are going down, right and left. The predators are slinking off, some of them with stunning lack of grace.

And women are not just marching and speaking their truths, they’re running for office.

Everyone is fully aware of the fact that, in 2018 and 2020, women are going to rise to seats of power like at no other time in history. Badass, go-for-it organizations like Putting Women in Their Place are making sure that happens.

Like so many of my sisters-in-arms, I am pissed and feeling unable to swallow that feeling just so the men around me don’t have to feel fragile and threatened and thus lash out at me and make my life a living hell. There is something to be said for solidarity. It is, truly, empowering

Meanwhile, in a parallel and vivid reality, I met someone. I met a man—one of the thousands of single men within 500 miles of me interested in a relationship with a grown-up woman not 25 years younger than they are. Yes, there are quite a few men who actually like women over 50 (this is good). But this man, you see, fits me. He surprised me. He won my heart. He opened his. I’m getting to know him more every day and, guess what? I’m really happy.

One of the many cool things about this man is that he does not take it personally that women are pissed at men. He has daughters, a sister, a mom, women friends… but guess what? So do most men—yeah, the ones who perpetrate and the ones who apologize for the perpetrators. Just being a person who knows and loves women is not a guarantee that a man will embrace feminism, demand equality for women, or even believe them.

But lucky me.

So what to do with this year of sorry lows and a great big high? Well. Here it is: we can embrace our rage—long overdue—at the system, at the patriarchy, at all the individual men who have power over us (in government, for example), and the individual men who demand we smile, put out, shut up, or who just take what they want without asking. We can embrace that anger, and still love a man.

Postscript: Feb. 25, 2018. Though this relationship, sweet as it was for awhile, did not last, it gave me hope and my position on all the above has not changed.

How 2017 ended.–companionship in the “bed office” morning of the 31st

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Love and Righteous Anger: A Personal 2017 Perspective

  1. As a male friend of Spyralwonderwoman (over 60 too!) I was taken — and taken aback — by the power of this essay.

    Viscerally receiving the two passionate tracks of this piece of writing — anger and love — quickly brought me to two conclusions: the first a sense of a larger, welcome change in our culture; the second, much more personal and quite lovely… a reminder of the very human wonder of genuine meshing and sharing.

    This blog entry talks about the end of 2017 and even looks ahead to 2020.

    Stepping back, as a reader can, I am reminded of a favorite quote from The Little Prince: “that which is most important is invisible to the eye.” Which then made me think about all this bye-bye 2017, hello 2018 stuff… and it occurred to me that much of what is really important is not of the calendar either, the best is timeless.

    Calendars are two dimensional and life in all its passions is very much three dimensional.

    I celebrate love, I mourn pain, and I applaud forward positive change.

  2. I’m pausing after the first paragraph to tell you I’ve got goosebumps already. Let me just thank you for the ride I’m about to take. Your voice is one I am looking forward to hearing speak about this. Much love!!!

  3. Pausing again after your Roy Moore paragraph to tell you my twitter account was just suspended this morning for saying something awfully similar about him (someone from Alabama fighting gun reform and actively participating in the smear campaign against the Stoneman Douglas survivors posted a picture of an Alabama school with their big digital school sign digitally manipulated -I hope!- to state their teachers and staff are armed to kill. Apparently, my dismissal of his opinion regarding his right to purchase assault weapons and his position against the MSD students with “How’s ol’ Roy Moore and his Alabama-lets-me-fuck-their-little-girls campaign doing?” triggered Twitter’s automatic child-sex-exploitation flag. It’s a problem unique to the web, I think, when automatically weeding out violators tends to also weed out the people protesting undesirable behavior.) I have 12 hours before they restore access. I feel like a badass. LOL

    • It is a weird phenomenon but I guess if we weed out the really egregious jerks but accidentally erase some well-intentioned comments too, in the end the greater good is served. And you are totally a badass.

  4. What a beautiful plot twist! Congratulations, dear lady, for not closing the door on the possibility, for
    recognizing it when it knocked, for embracing it when it entered. Satisfying (read that = equally carried by and beneficial to both) companionship is truly the icing. Not the cake (and isn’t that the hardest lesson for a heart to learn: you have to bring your own cake to the table), but it’s definitely the icing.

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