yesterday i took a walk with my dog.
it was the farthest i've walked with her off leash. she was such an awesome companion, splashing through the creek, coming and going but always staying within range. it reinforced my heart connection to the wild.
it was the best possible therapy after a really difficult week.
while i was walking with her and feeling alive, the voice of trump occasionally tainted my inner dialogue. it would barge in, saying trumpian things like, "i have all best trees."
i was walking through the woods, you see.
that the voice of this pernicious virulent xenophobe was echoing in my skull made me quite uneasy. his voice has become omnipresent. people are impersonating him (all the best people). he is being broadcast. and even when denouncing him through sketch comedy or political dissection, his voice is reinforced.
it feels personal.
it feels like an abusive man has manipulated his way into my psyche. a man with the ill intention to dominate, rule, and have his way.
i know i have the power to exercise his voice from my inner world. and i hold on to so much hope that no way will he be elected. but that his voice is there at all, digs the deepest pit of disappointment. so many of us are in that pit together. right now.
i scroll through my facebook newsfeed in the evening. sometimes once, sometimes multiple times. the dialogue about things that matter is one of the few good things coming out of this travesty of an election. a dialogue that has arisen out of very deep concern.
there is now the very prevalent spotlight on sexual harassment. and the bombastic voice of dismissal ringing out, minimizing acts of violence against women, and attempting to absolve the language of degradation. all the worst words.
as a woman i find myself recounting situations where a man, a leering older man, or a real fast young asshole, has invaded my space. i have not suffered rape. but i have had my sacred space penetrated.
like the time i was trying on a skirt at a fair; the shopkeeper was straightening it out for me when suddenly he groped me. just like trump describes. he grabbed me by the pussy. i was an adolescent. no man had ever touched me there. i said nothing, as if we'd brushed elbows. but i froze inside. i retreated into the dressing room feeling confused and frightened. i left without a word to my companions, who may have also been groped. what i can't fathom in my adulthood is why i bought the skirt.
there was the time i was home from college for the summer. i was walking down the street and an older man pulled over, asking me if i needed a ride. when i said no, he asked me how old i was. thinking that i should be polite, i told him, "18." he said creeper-like, "you look like a school-girl." i carried on and so did he. but i was left with a dirty silt on my skin.
when i was a twenty-something living in seattle, another old creep pulled over. he asked where REI was. in a friendly tone i instructed, "go straight three blocks. turn left. you can't miss it" he narrowed his eyes at me and said with thin lips, "will you get in and help me find it?" i carried on and so did he. but this time i wanted to throw street garbage at his car as it slowly crept forward.
there are so many other incidences. a stranger who telephoned daily after my grade school day and before my mother came home from work, saying nasty sexual things to me, until i fooled him into thinking the phone was bugged. a classmate who flashed his penis at me on the school bus. boys pulling my dress up. an old man in a medieval cypriot fort following me around telling me i'm easy because i'm american. a man sidling up to me in the woods on a himalayan trail insisting i "be his friend." a stepfather who called my mom and i words like cunt and slut. a boyfriend who told me it was my duty to have sex with him. and all those times a man has stared at my breasts, rather than my face, while talking to me.
these are the acts that trump defends and minimizes. this is the culture he brings with him to this election. it's time women spoke out. that we catalogue these incidences. i can't even fathom how many eerie stories will emerge. situations that are somehow just part of the fabric a woman wears. let's tag it #voicesinmyhead. because if he spoke, that voice is still likely there, and if he didn't, your voice is probably still processing the encounter. we need to share our stories and let people know that this is what presidential candidate not only condones, but encourages.
that is not to say there isn't a woman who has grabbed a man by the crotch or backed him into a corner forcing herself on him. when rumors of such things tear loose, the woman's reputation is surely taken down several notches. but not that many people talk about these things when men are the perpetrators.
it's the culture we all know. it's the culture we have been working on for so long to heal and transform. it's a culture that has made great strides. and there is such a long steep climb still. we don't want to slide back. we don't want to lose our foothold.
we need to have all the best arms pulling their way up that hill to victory. these arms DO have to reach out and vote. and my hope IS that they vote for hillary. because if she has enough votes to win, trump won't. and while we might not see wall street reform or world peace or an end to fracking, we WILL hold onto to the sacred female ground we stand on right now, and from where-we-are, we can continue to move forward on the issues that will make a better world for our children.
as women, we ARE the ultimate creators. the growth and protection of all earthly things begins with us. let's begin by protecting ourselves in this election. let's make sure trump loses.