I had a conversation with my wife a couple of hours ago that upset me mostly because she did not get pissed off. I realized that it is a behavior that affects most of us.
After a few minutes of back and forth, my wife said it was okay for me to include her story in this post and I am grateful because it helps me make a point. Women, forgive me for jumping into this discussion being a man and all, but I will wear the credential of an honorary woman some of my dear activist women friends extolled on me during the War on Women protests in Texas.
I was already pissed this morning because of the treatment Senator Elizabeth Warren received on the floor of the Senate where they voted to silence her. They invoked Senate Rule 19 which prohibits debating senators from ascribing “to another senator, or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” What was her sin? She was reading Coretta Scott King’s letter from decades ago that urged Senators not to confirm Jeff Sessions because of his racist past toward black voters. The Senate voted 49 to 43 on a Party line vote to silence her during the Session’s debate.
Senator Elizabeth Warren told to sit down as if she was a child
Today several other white male senators read the same text, and no one objected. We should also recall that Ted Cruz called Senator McConnell a liar, a few months back, and there was no sanction. Democratic politicians and progressive activist exploded in defense of Elizabeth Warren on Twitter, on TV, and in the blogosphere. But when Warren was asked by MSNBC whether the McConnell’s behavior was sexist, she deferred.
Of course, McConnell’s behavior was sexist. The fact that men doing the same or worse do not suffer the same fate infers absent any other degrees of freedom it was sexism. But just like black people, and other minorities, and other women, acquiescing to maltreatment continues to be the modus operandi. It is time to be pissed at the status quo.
My wife Linda is a deacon at her church. She was in the first batch of ordained female deacons at her church. Even though I neither go to church nor am I a Christian, — I am a humanist who only believes in the existence of a Supreme something because of reductio ad absurdum — I was proud of all the studying and work she did to attain that position. Moreover, as a deacon and a very active leader in her church, she devotes more time to the success of the church’s operation than most males in the church.
I ran downstairs to refresh my coffee. My wife was sitting on the couch, and I told her something that kind of pinged her memory. She said, “I have something funny to recount to you.’ She said she was standing at the entrance with an associate pastor welcoming members. A woman approached her and told her she had the wrong pin on her lapel. My wife was not quite sure what the woman was talking about with her statement. The lady then told her that her pin said Deacon and it should say, a deaconess. “No, it is correct. I am a deacon,” Linda responded. “But you are a woman,” the woman responded with disapproval.
My wife and the pastor laughed it off. “I guess she will not be coming back,” he joked. I got visibly upset after she told me the story. I did no think it was a laughing moment. It was a teaching moment. My wife and the pastor should have pulled that woman aside. She should have been told to look around the church. Which gender do most of the work in the church? Why should we follow the parts of the Bible that promote male domination but disregards others we otherwise find offensive in today’s society? Why does a penis as opposed to ability dictate one’s position in life?
We have been among friends that reacted negatively about her position in the church. I never took it lightly and in fact impugned their regressive thought processes each time. I expect that out of pastors that are leading the way in reforming a patriarchal anachronistic dinosaur of an institution. I expect that out of all of those aggrieved now.
I was already disappointed that the church duo did not bring that woman into the 21st century. I told my wife her story would incorporate well into this blog post. “Nah, don’t write about it,” she said. Are you kidding me? I know my blood pressure went sky high. For the most part, I temper my explosive-over-social-moralist-activist self which sometimes gets reflected in my blood pressure as I internalize my disgust.
I calmly recounted my version of the Hillary Clinton election losing story. Even though I support what Bernie stood for and supported his campaign, — I was one of his national delegates — I supported Hillary Clinton 100% after the convention. Ther is no doubt she was the only person of the four major candidates qualified to hold the office. I gave a litany of reason why she lost. Most were centered on womanhood being a bigger disadvantage than race in the leadership domain. That is one of the dirty secrets of our society. Ultimately, I think I was persuasive enough.
All aggrieved or oppressed demographics share similar behaviors. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, or others conforming to alleviate preconceived notions is ultimately ineffective. Women masculinizing themselves will not work. Hillary was probative. All the other conforming skills of different demographics fail society and demean one’s inner worth. One will never be brought in to be a real part of the team. One must commandeer their entry, period.