Posts Filed Under politics

Dear GOP: What exactly are we supposed to unite with?

by Janelle Hanchett

Joe Biden wasn’t my first, or second, or, let’s be real, third choice, but it did feel like something amazing was happening on the day of his inauguration, beyond the obviously momentous occasion of the first female Vice President. And Amanda Gorman’s entire existence.

And it was amazing. It’s rare to kneecap an autocrat through voting, for a nation to buy herself some time. And we did it.

We walked right up to the fucking ledge, all the way to armed insurrection, to “very fine people on both sides,” to years of lies culminating in the Big Lie, to organized right-wing militias, to the beating of police officers and chants of “Hang Mike Pence” and a confederate flag flying in the halls of the American seat of government. We went all the way to domestic terrorists, backed by Members of Congress and incited by the President, storming our Capitol, replacing the American flag with theirs, and roaming the halls with zip ties looking for hostages.

So, yes, when I saw Biden repeat the oath of office, it felt like a damn big deal, like the biggest bullet ever had just blown right past our heads, and I felt proud of what America had done. It felt like a bit of relief, a breath. Some hope for the first time in a long time.

And yet, like the empty seat where the outgoing President normally sits in a symbolic sign of the peaceful transfer of power, Trump’s presence—even in his absence—runs beneath it all.

He’s a damn specter: We can not see it if we don’t want to.

What? That? It’s gone. I don’t see it. All I see is Lady Gaga’s brooch.

On January 6 we had no choice but to look at it all dead in the eyes, but now, if we want, we can go to brunch and never think about politics again. You know, like we used to.

Let’s never do that again. That did not go well at all.

We can “move on” and feel safe again, enjoy “decency” and full sentences in the White House, competence and the lack of name-calling, dog-whistling, conspiratorial, lying tweets.

But, uh, y’all, we had all that right before we had Trump.

And always there’s that empty chair and the 74 million Americans who voted for it.

There’s still Trump and his merry band of lying corporatists (in and out of his family), the nutjobs of Q-Anon, the tiny-men parade of Proud Boys, Boogaloo, Oath Keepers and Three-Percenters.

But mostly, my god there is the “sane” GOP. At least the far-right idiot brigade is clean, clear, and crisply disturbed. They are, quite clearly, fascists.

But the fascist-lite wing, the “we’ll work with the fascists as long as we can get tax cuts” wing, the “surely we can get Trump under control and just use him for court appointments” wing, the “since we can’t win on our ideas let’s appeal to the imagined grievances of white people” wing, the “sure let’s tell them the election was rigged because losing power sucks” wing—those people, the ones who gaslight us until our heads nearly explode—what the fuck do we do with them?

“Unite?” Please.

 

Watching them feels like a direct assault on truth, reason, and sanity because it is an assault on truth, reason, and sanity. Accepting what they’re saying requires us to deny what’s in front of our own fucking eyes, to accept a false version of reality.

As sane people—and I mean that literally as in, “a person who can distinguish fantasy from reality”­—we can’t do that.

But there they are, almost like legitimate leaders, walking the halls, getting interviewed on CNN and Fox.

They stand for nothing, dip their toes into accountability via mealy-mouthed rhetoric and only if there’s not a single thing at stake for them personally. (My, my they all get so brave as they walk out the door to quit, retire, or sign a contract for a 7-figure “tell all!” book deal.)

They tell us “The insurrectionists do not represent the GOP” five minutes before they vote against the material manifestation that the insurrectionists do not represent the GOP (see: impeachment).

One hundred and forty-seven of them in the House voted against certifying the results of a free and fair election, mainly votes by Black Americans, after they’d lost sixty court cases on the subject, and four hours after that very lie led to an armed insurrection.

And yet, people talk of “unity” with them. Quick question. What exactly are we supposed to unify with? 

The Republicans didn’t even have a 2020 platform, choosing instead to become the official party of Donald Trump. In their words: We enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda.”

And on January 6, the entire world saw where that “America First” agenda led. How the fuck do we unite with a party that is unwilling to unequivocally purge itself from the very agenda that led to a fascistic movement?

It’s not that complicated. You can’t walk both sides here. You can’t say “Trump’s our guy” but also “Coups are bad” when TRUMP INCITED A COUP. You can’t stand behind Trump and his myriad bootlickers for four years as they ramp up fascistic rhetoric and imagined grievances and then, when all of that comes to its ultimate and logical violent end, declare “That isn’t us” while voting to perpetuate it all.

The GOP, in its current form, evidenced by its own behavior, is an enemy of democracy, the rule of law, and the republic until further notice.

 

And now, now they want us to unify with them while they continue to show the moral cowardice that got us here in the first place?

AGAIN, I ask, unify with WHAT?

Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt guy? “6 Million Isn’t Enough” guy? How about the confederate flag dude, or maybe the ones who built a noose or planted bombs? Do we share a cold one with those bastions of freedom who beat police officers with flag poles and a fire extinguisher?

Do we sit down and really get in touch with the white nationalists and ask how we can help them achieve their domestic terrorist goals? Sure, the FBI classified far-right extremists as the greatest terror threat in America, but you know, maybe if we really hear them out, break some fuckin’ bread, we’ll realize suddenly we’re all on the same team here.

WE CANNOT BE ON THE SAME TEAM HERE.

Or maybe we go the Q-Anon route. There are actual Q grifters in the House of Representatives now! Is that the new Q Caucus? Trumpy called Q folks “patriots.” His lawyer Lin Wood and his main man Michael Flynn are all about it. Anything for power, amiright?

So in the interest of “healing” do we join whatever backwoods website they’re still allowed on and ask them to elaborate on the Soros-run cabal of deep state politicians and Hollywood stars involved in the rape, murder, and organ harvesting of children?

Do we add “The Great Awakening” to our calendars and look for Q drops and cryptic messages from Giuliani, Pompeo, and random YouTube personalities telling us soon, led by Trump, who’s sent by Jesus, all the bad ones will die?

 

Look, I know, GOP, you aren’t those people. Of course you aren’t.

But you are.

Because they, too, support the America First agenda. And no, we cannot simply ignore them. We cannot just focus on the everyday, guy-next-door Trump supporter (who we all know extremely well due to the 7,000 profiles in the New York Times).

Our ability to ignore them ended the day they stormed the American seat of government.

Our ability to ignore them ended the day we saw all of these radicalized factions unite under the man you “enthusiastically support.”

Our ability to ignore them ended the day 147 of you STILL voted in line with the lie of a “stolen election,” with zero evidence.

Fascistic movements do not just go away, assholes. They don’t release one collective, sad sigh and say, “Oh, well, gosh darn-it, our leader wasn’t elected so I guess we’ll just go back to rubbing our guns and trying to get back on Parler.”

They evolve. They go underground and keep planning. They look for a new leader. And if the GOP refuses to unequivocally disavow Trump and his agenda, they won’t have to look very far, will they?

Look I know the GOP is fucked. They played with fire, thought they could reign Trump in, thought they could use him for those sweet tax cuts and court appointments, thought of him as a useful idiot—they gambled, and they lost. Because yes, if any of them vote for impeachment, they will probably get primaried and they will probably lose.

MAYBE THEY SHOULDA THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE THEY BACKED A FASCIST.

Maybe they should have thought of that before hitching their wagons to a white nationalist shitbag with bad spelling and brilliant rhetorical manipulation skills who effectively convinced tens of millions of Americans that a free and fair election was a left-wing conspiracy against Trump, orchestrated by dead Latin American leaders and “hacked” voting machines that don’t even connect to the internet.

Maybe they should have considered the unsustainability of backing an aspiring autocrat unless you’re willing to ride it all the way to the end of democracy.

The GOP needs to decide who and what it is and then talk to us about unity. And the left needs to settle for absolutely nothing less no matter how soothing it is to see normalcy in the White House.

 

31 Comments | Posted in politics | January 24, 2021

Believe the grin of white supremacy

by Janelle Hanchett

I am so tired of America demanding I not believe that which is front of my own eyes.

I’ve written about this before, about the gaslighting of America, but my god, it’s coming at us from the fucking left, too.

Let’s talk about those Covington boys. Let’s talk about the sneering video and then the counter interpretation and then the counter interpretation to the counter interpretation. Whatever.

I don’t want to recount the details in excruciating detail because it doesn’t matter. IT DOES NOT MATTER. Yes, I understand some Black Hebrew Israelites were slinging terrible slurs at the #MAGA teens.

And that’s wrong. Yes. Excellent. Thank you.

I also understand that this has no material effect on what happened there, other than to give Trumpers and white middle-of-the-roaders everything they need to frame those boys as victims and uphold the white patriarchy they embody.

We all saw that teenager’s sneer. We all know that grin, because it’s not new. Those assholes aren’t new. I know them. You know them. We all went to school with them. We encounter them daily still.

That is the shit-eating grin of white supremacy.

At this point you have to be downright delusional to argue that Trump supporters are anything other than:

  1. Outright racists; or
  2. Accepting of racists as long as it brings them something they want.

And the line between those two is thin as hell.

 

Okay, so we see a group of Trump-supporting youth sent to march for “life” (hahaha) or, in more accurate language, against women’s reproductive rights, and then we see them chanting and blocking and sneering at brown people, and moderates are like let us not jump to any conclusions.

Motherfucker the conclusion has already been jumped. IT JUMPED TO ITSELF. The conclusions were jumped at the appearance of the red #MAGA hats.

At this point, it is unequivocally true that wearing a Trump hat is screaming into the world: “I AM AT THE VERY LEAST COOL WITH RACISM.”

So get the hell out of here with “Let’s not jump to conclusions.” Those are tiny misogynistic racists acting like tiny misogynistic racists who will become big misogynistic racists just like their parents, Brett Kavanaugh.

Yes, both parents are Brett Kavanaugh.

The willingness of people to show up for these boys. To minimize their racism. Why? Because people were mean to the boys?

Is the entire context of this situation – namely, boys screaming I AM A BIGOT AND LOATHE WOMEN’S BODILY AUTONOMY – erased because they were called names?

 

Once again, we bring knives to a gun fight. We are so fucking quick to let them mostly off the hook. We are so quick to see them as victims and declare that we just shouldn’t “ruin their lives!”

These are Hitler youth and we’re worried about their futures.

We are staring into the face of fascism and saying “Let’s just hear out both sides.” We are staring at babies in cages demanding the officers have a chance to explain. We are Donald Trump saying surely there are some “very fine” Nazis. We are getting angry that Antifa broke ATM machines during a white nationalist rally. We are yelling at #BlackLivesMatter protesters for shutting down our freeways.

These boys did not happen in a vacuum. They cannot be separated from the social situation surrounding them.

And those hats, those boys, hold all of it. All of that context.

They are pussy-grabbing.

They are “Why is the term ‘white supremacist’ a bad thing?”

They are “brown people are dangerous.”

They are babies in cages.

They are “laziness is a trait in blacks.” – Trump, 1999

They are “shithole countries.”

They are remove access to birth control but also abortion but also you need to sleep with your husband at all times.

They are “that rapist has such a promising future ahead of him.”

They are the endless lies streaming out of Trump’s mouth.

They are the deconstruction of the free press. 

They are the government shutdown and government officials calling it a “free vacation.”

They are the trans military ban.

They are the shit-eating grins of white supremacy, and we saw it with our own fucking eyes, and instead of recognizing this, people are concerned about the boys’ feelings, with making sure we aren’t mean to them, that we get them every benefit of the doubt, that we protect their fragile little selves.

 

They made clear where they stand when they put those fucking hats on. Why are we so hesitant to make clear where WE stand?

They’re over there screaming “I hate brown people!” and moderates are like, “Oh, honey. Were those black people mean to you? I get it, sweet boy who looks like my son, you were overwhelmed. It was complicated.”

Oh, you were praying for your safety around those mean black men? TOTALLY GET IT NOW, JOSH.

You think the Trump-sycophant GOP is telling everyone not to jump to any conclusions about brown people? About women who say, “I have been raped?” (It’s a very dangerous time for men, you see.) You think they’re extending grace and decency to the children ripped out of their mothers’ arms at the border? Are they respecting Americans while they feed us endless lies to further their nationalistic, authoritarian agenda?

I’m not saying “They did it to us so let’s do it to them.” What I’m saying is that we need to stop playing nice while these motherfuckers are happy to let us die, to kill us, to decimate democracy, to remove my daughter’s rights over her own body.

Fuck the expectation that I allow these assholes a way out from themselves because some PR firm wrote an adorable letter stating his shit-eating grin was actually the face of a humbly praying, scared young man.

I am tired of not calling this what it is: Racists acting like racists, gleefully.

We will gaslight the hell out of people to protect white patriarchy. All we have to do is flip the narrative to turn the white man into the victim and boom! Miracles happen! Now #MAGA smirk guy is all over TV, adored across the land.

No more unearned “grace and courtesy.”

I have an idea: If you want grace and courtesy, stop supporting a neo-fascist who refers to human beings as “vermin.”

If you want grace and courtesy, speak out against what your party has become. Speak out against this racism.

Sure, not every Trump supporter is an overt white supremacist, but every overt white supremacist – KKK, neo-nazis, white nationalists, proud boys – is a Trump supporter.

Mere coincidence?

Nah, it’s because that is the party, the platform, Trump himself, and a person wearing that hat is loudly declaring they are just fine belonging to the party of Nazis.

I don’t care that they’re teenagers. They are the face of the next wave of everything disgusting about our country, and we’re over here worried about paving the way for them to succeed. Actions have consequences, and all these boys learned, as well as all the boys watching them on TV, is that they can be race-based bullies and not a goddamn thing will happen to them.

In fact, they will be coddled and celebrated.

Can we please for the love of god stop being so fucking “polite,” stop playing by the rules in the name of some faux wokeness we’ve invented for ourselves? Can we recognize the part of ourselves that defends white patriarchy? Can we face our own lingering investment in white supremacy and the benefits it affords us?

We need to fucking stand for something, just like they do.

All of this middle-of-the-road false equivalence delicate flower bullshit is partly what got us into this mess. The GOP is a flaming pile of dog shit, but they sure as hell own that pile, don’t they? They have built an entire platform on bigotry but goddamn that message is clear, ain’t it?

The Trump GOP stands for evil but by god it STANDS FOR IT.

Can we do that? Can we be absolutely unwavering in our fight against Trump and everything he stands for?

We aren’t being deep over here in the gray area. We aren’t being a “bigger person.”

Change comes through those willing to stand on the right side of history even if it makes them uncomfortable, and they do it every time.

They believe that which sneers before their very eyes.

 

 

****

Hey, hi. I wrote a book, and the paperback comes out May 7, with new content in the back. 

Check it out.

51 Comments | Posted in politics | January 23, 2019

You are not going crazy. America is gaslighting you.

by Janelle Hanchett

Let’s get something really fucking clear right now: Our country is gaslighting us.

At this point, without willful ignorance or staunch denial or some special cocktail of both, there is no way to dodge the reality of our country.

Whatever hope any of us had (spoiler alert I had none) that Trump “wouldn’t be that bad” has crashed by now, and we are left with detention centers for children ripped from their parents’ arms, alongside a mural of our dictator.

Wait. We aren’t supposed to have a dictator.

When our President refers to a murderous dictator running a totalitarian state as “very honorable” and “very smart,” somebody who “loves his people,” stating that it’s an “honor to meet [him],” you have two choices: Admit Trump is dangerous as fuck and wholly anti-democratic or bury your head further in the sand.

The ship has sailed. We are here. POTUS lies so much we don’t even care anymore. He refers to the free press as “our country’s biggest enemy.” That shit barely makes the news.

Meanwhile, Russia’s meddling in our 2016 elections remains unaddressed. Not only is it unaddressed, our President advocates for Russia on the global stage, aligning himself with the world’s dictators while shitting on our allies. (Sure am glad he’s taking care of that pesky threat known as “Canada.”)

They’re trying to gut health care, again. Net neutrality is gone.

Meanwhile, Trump attacks actors in misspelled tweets and the White House remains a revolving door of appointees and Antarctica is melting. We can’t even care about climate change. That’s like way low on the list, amiright? Think about that.

The hits just keep on coming, so, so fast. Every fucking day. And we’re expected to just carry on. On the one hand, what else are we supposed to do? We have to live. We have to feed our families and raise our kids and pay our rent.

But all this “normalcy” in the face of absolutely not normal at all creates a sense of dizzying and lonely dissonance. Gaslighting. The sycophantic GOP twiddling its thumbs letting this shit all slide, as if it’s all business as usual. Gaslighting. Fox News has clearly become state propaganda and millions of Americans believe that shit. Gaslighting.

I walk around in a perpetual state of ARE YOU NOT SEEING WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? Even with some acquaintances. And family members. People are flat out fucking delusional. Somebody tried to argue recently that Trump is bringing people “together.”

WHAT NOW?

Gaslighting.

We are forced to carry on our lives in The United States of Fascism Light. We have to just keep on living. We see democratic principles being systematically annihilated every fucking day, maybe hour, and the never-ending newsreels cover it and cover it like it’s standard politics and the GOP does jack shit and we see what’s happening but all this inaction by the people in power tells us every day, all day, that everything is fine.

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

I read Twitter and Facebook and comment sections of news articles. Trump supporters quote the Bible and call people liberal snowflakes, citing shit Obama did, rejoicing in some idea of regaining America greatness, of vague nostalgia, while they get fucked by the oligarchy and don’t even see it. Their bigotry is so rampant they’re overjoyed at the prospect of “tough on illegals” without recognizing what it really means is that we’re removing children from their parents. They love Trump’s posturing, his Big Man persona, failing to see how they’re being played. The rich simply rejoice in their tax cuts. Dizzying. Infuriating.

As if any of this is the fucking point.

This isn’t about us vs. them, folks. This is about the soul of our nation and thus the soul of its people, and it’s about where we’re headed, and how we built this, and whether or not we can survive it.

Am I overreacting? Being hyperbolic? Maybe. But explain to me a detention center for children with our President’s face painted on the wall. Explain to me a President attacking the free press. Explain to me a President who FLAT OUT DOES NOT CARE that Russia meddled in our elections. Explain to me his praise for Kim Jong Un. Explain to me his constant barrage of lies. Explain to me his pardoning his friends and installing of loyalists. Explain to me Congress doing nothing to stop him.

I have no answers. How could I?

What I want to say to you, friends, is that what we have to do right now, every goddamn day, is look for the truth.

I’m not referring to truth in the media. Although, yes, also do that.

Right now what I’m talking about are the artists. The people speaking the truth of humanity, of love, of freedom.

Read more than you ever have. Read James Baldwin and Toni Morrison and Tolstoy and Austen and Sylvia Plath. Read everyone. Read every fucking day, even just a little.

Follow @nitch on Instagram. Follow painters and poets and weirdos. Follow the ones making shit. Right now. Do it.

Get your ass to a museum and look at some art. Look at local art. Look at fancy European art. Look at photographs and sculptures. Watch people doing amazing things with their bodies and hands and minds.

Turn your music up. Turn it way, way up. Get thee to festivals and dance. Bring the annoying children. Dance with them, too. Dance in the living room. Turn it up so loud you think your ears may break. Your favorite songs. The ones that rip your heart out. The ones you loved when you were young.

We have to stay centered, friends, grounded, in life, in the people speaking the truth, in those with the moral courage, then and now, to insist on the power and beauty and creative force within all of us, to revolt and resist and survive, or we will grow tired, and we will forget, and we will give up.

We are living right now in a nation that’s lying to us, every day, forcing us to deny and ignore what see with our own eyes, what we know to be true, and that’s a horrible way to live. A horrible way to raise children. A demoralizing, confusing way to live.

Remember you aren’t crazy.

You know the truth and the truth knows you.

We must insist on it.

And vote in November or I’ll kick your fucking ass.

I love you. Art. Art now.

He’s learning guitar and playing these old songs and the kids and I sing along. We have to not forget.

***

“I suppose some of us don’t have the luxury of neatly wrapped truth, of affirmations that rest on our tongue like peppermints. Some of us need to be doused in gasoline and set aflame, until the truth consumes us, and we have no choice but to recreate ourselves. A collision, I suppose, when one must choose to live or die.

I didn’t want to feel better. I wanted to live.
I didn’t want the pain gone. I wanted it to mean something.

And when I found my voice, I found a purpose for every moment I had lived. I found power in every blackened room in my mind, every fear, every molestation, every sad parent, every futile word and nightmare memory.

Because it led me to you, to the place where we are the same, to the place where words draw a line from my bones to yours, and you look at me and say, “I know,” and I look back at you, thinking, Well I’ll be damned, I guess we’ve been here together all along.”

 

71 Comments | Posted in politics | June 14, 2018

I am tired of your small, sad God.

by Janelle Hanchett

Let me get this straight. God created everything. He (we’ll assume God has a gender and it’s male, because I’m guessing you’ll like that better) made the sun and moon and clouds and oceans. He made every animal, every fish, bacteria, plant, and bug.

He made volcanoes that erupt molten rock and oceans pulled by the moon and gravity and seasons and delicate ecosystems that live and die and recreate and live again. He created the earth in all its ornate mind-boggling complexity to allow for the inhabitation of human beings. He made our cells hold together just so and our brains so complex we can’t even begin to understand them entirely and we are the ones who have them.

He created bodies that birth and heal and function daily with a beating heart and flowing blood and he did all this in addition to, um, creating the motherfucking universe.

An ever-expanding universe. Galaxies of billions of stars. Ever-expanding galaxies rushing into an infinite void.

And this dude, this God, this white dude you evidently worship, this omniscient being who created everything from our ever-expanding universe to the micro-bacteria that keep us alive, also gives a shit if you serve a bakery cake to a gay dude.  

That’s right. NO PASTRIES FOR THE GAYS.

He’s also super involved in bathroom issues and making sure transgender folks don’t have access to Civil Rights. This is extremely important to the creator of the universe.

He also wants to make sure brown people don’t make it into America with their wily, brown-people ways. Especially if they don’t speak American. You gotta look American and speak American to be in America. That’s God’s will.

God loves America. That is why he created national borders. Wait. Did God create national borders? Are you arguing God created national fucking borders?

ARE YOU REALLY FUCKING ARGUING THAT GOD FUCKING ALMIGHTY CREATED RANDOM ARBITRARY LINES WE CAN ALL FIGHT OVER AND KILL PEOPLE FOR SO WE CAN EARN MORE GREEN PAPER WITH NO ACTUAL VALUE WHICH WE WILL ALL LOSE ANYWAY WHEN WE DIE?

It’s cool. I’m fine.

How am I doing so far, oh far-right fanatical “Christian?” Am I holding strong so far?

God is okay with endorsing child predators as long as it will beat Democrats.

God really, really hates Democrats.

God hates Democrats almost as much as he hates gay people.

So what if a grown man preys on children? They’re just girls. God doesn’t like girls as much as boys. That’s why the violation and objectification of their bodies is of minimal importance in light of political gain, particularly in the service of the obscenely wealthy.

God gets really angry when the richest 1% of America aren’t served more and more money bags. That’s why the Bible says: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…”

Wait. It doesn’t say God wants billionaires to rake in more wealth on the backs of the needy.

Whatever. Let’s move on. Maybe your God doesn’t come from the Bible? Huh. Weird.

Anyway, God obviously hates poor people. If he loved them, he would have made them rich.

Like a blessing.

Let’s not forget how God is not worried about human influence on the delicate balance he created and in fact believes climate change is fake news.

FAKE NEWS!

He does, however, occasionally punish Californians with earthquakes and wildfires for being queer antifa pieces of shit.

God also hates Starbucks cups that aren’t sufficiently Jesus-y.

After creating gravity, The Almighty articulated paper-cup printing standards.

 

I’ve noticed your God doesn’t care about a lot of things I would think he’d care about, but I guess He’s a complicated guy. Some may say “hypocritical” and “nonsensical” but one thing your God hates, I’ve observed, is critical thinking.

Critical thinking must be of the devil.

Let’s get back to sexual assault of young girls. Apparently, because Mary was underage when she was impregnated by God, raping teenagers is A-okay.

Sure. That seems real.

He also doesn’t care about men who brag about the physical assault of women because it’s just “locker room talk.”

Also, that Moore guy is definitely innocent because he’s Republican and women are liars and he’s not a Democrat.

Like guns, sexual assault and racism are God-given American rights.

ALL HAIL TRUMP JESUS, sent from the Almighty.

Praise.

 

You know what?

Fuck your small, sad God. Fuck him all the way to hell. You’ve deployed the concept of religion to oppress, beat, rape, kill, and harass. I’m tired of your pathetic dreamland spirituality. Your ever-shifting imaginary ego God. Your evil, slight, simple-minded, nonsensical Creator.

Nazis in the streets? The ones chanting Third Reich slogans? They call themselves worshippers of your God, plus Hitler. (Hitler? Remember him? The one who burned babies in ovens?)

The money-and-power-worshipping men in D.C. creating laws to strip the most vulnerable among us of their health and money? They call themselves worshippers of your God.

The Westboro Baptist Church? The ones who rejoice in the deaths of gay people, harass their family members while they mourn? They call themselves worshippers of your God.

You know what Jesus did?

He washed the feet of his disciples. He ate with sinners and whores.

Your story is a lie.

You are some grade-A fake news.

And if there is a hell, you’re first in line. No worries though, I’ll pray for your damned soul. That’s a lie. I probably won’t. (I ain’t that holy.)

It’s time we bury your small, sad God.

Maybe next to Nietzsche, though surely his atheist ass did less harm.

 

 

 

On rage and helpfulness. Or, of course women are furious.

by Janelle Hanchett

A few days ago, I sat at my desk reading two articles that outlined in detail Harvey Weinstein’s harassment, assault, and intimidation of women.

As I read about the way he threatened and assaulted women – placing them in the position of giving him what he wanted or facing his wrath – which could (or would) essentially ruin their careers, I began thinking of my own run-ins with men who believed their physical or positional power allowed them to sexually threaten, touch, or intimidate me.

I thought all the way back to the neighbor boys in grade school who pulled some shit when my mother wasn’t home, and the bra-snapping in junior high, and the older cousin who stuck his hand down my shirt while I was sleeping. It was a family sleepover. I woke to his hand on my right breast and him looking at me, silently, like, “What?” Stunned, I didn’t say a word. He removed it eventually.

I hated myself for not yelling. I was ashamed and humiliated. I assumed I had done something terribly wrong to make him think he could do that to me. I never mentioned it.

I thought about the boss in the restaurant where I worked as a busser at age 16, the boss who told me there was “one way I wouldn’t lose my job,” pressing his erect dick against my thigh as I stood pinned against the kitchen wall. I wrote about that here.

I thought about the boss I had in college who told me one day that he thought “it would be a really good idea if we had sex,” and I realized he may fire me if I didn’t fuck him. I didn’t. I began looking immediately for a new job.

I thought about the man who stuck his hand up my skirt as I sat at a bar stool. I thought about the two men who tried to rape me on two occasions, and my narrow escapes, and I thought about the strangers who took my hand and placed it on their penises more times than I can count.

I thought about all that, and how we elected a man who bragged about this exact type of assault and I got fucking angry.

I shared this post on my Facebook page and wrote these words: “#HarveyWeinstein, fuck you, and our pussy-grabbing president, and everyone defending the sexism of either of you. May you walk into the fire of a million women sick of your shit.”

I didn’t think about it. I just posted it, in anger. And then, I began receiving the standard disgusting comments one expects when one states such things publicly, but a couple of comments indicated that my anger was “not helpful.” And that got me thinking.

First of all, I’m nobody’s fucking life coach.

If I ever indicated that I’m here to guide spiritual development, well, I didn’t, because that would be delusional. I am a fucked-up, often immature, mercurial human being waking up each day and hoping for the best. If I were some sort of mystic, I’d be somewhere leading silent retreats with a stoic face, as opposed to here, at my desk, eating a cowboy cookie and wondering if you’re going to like my blog post.

I can say I do my best every day, but the fact is my “best” is occasionally (often? regularly? weekly?) rather pathetic.

I’m human at best. A complete asshole at worst. And every day feels like a battle between my higher and lower selves.

And yes, my higher self knows screaming FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU from the rooftops is not particularly “helpful.” Nobody’s going to go home and say, “Wow, Janelle screaming FUCK TRUMP SUPPORTERS sure did enlighten me! I see it all differently now!”

And yet, I’m not entirely convinced our anger on this front – the sexual assault/rape culture front — isn’t necessary and vital.

Because women have been told since childhood to shut the hell up about these small and large assaults because “that’s the way boys are.” It’s just “locker room talk,” you know.

We’ve been taught since birth to be grateful because it could have been worse.

We’ve been taught to be quiet because you don’t want to be one of those women, the ones who walk around accusing men of every little infraction. Consequently, women minimize and overlook and tell ourselves “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Later, at night, we shudder to remember. And later still, with our friends, we realize every single goddamn woman we know has been assaulted or molested or harassed at least once.

We’re taught to ask ourselves what we could have done to cause it. We’re taught that our bodies were made and built for male consumption – don’t get too fat. Don’t get too thin. Don’t show too much skin. Don’t use your breasts for breastfeeding. Don’t complain. Don’t attack. Don’t be too sensitive.

We’ve been taught to cover ourselves to avoid getting raped, to carry pepper spray and not get too drunk and look around at night while walking and avoid certain places – and we’ve been taught that this is mature, sound womanhood.

We’ve been taught how to WOMAN safely.

We’ve lived and breathed this information and LIVED and BREATHED it again – this way of being –  every fucking day since we knew we were “women,” and it’s all been done with an air of normalcy, an air of “nothing to see here, folks, just another woman trying to stay safe from men who want to assault her.”

SO FUCK YEAH WE ARE ANGRY.

Wouldn’t you be?

Fuck yeah we get to scream for a bit. Fuck yeah we get to come out and yell that we are done living like this and it isn’t “normal” (or shouldn’t be), and we will fight and burn this shit down and maybe our fury right now is our fuel — some fire in our step, some flames to our voices, because we are tired of being attacked and silenced.  

Attacked and blamed.

Attacked and told how to not get attacked again.

Attacked and told how to keep our daughters safe from attack.

Sometimes rage is the first liberating emotion. Sometimes we have to recognize we are furious before we can move on to other emotions.

Sometimes rage leads us for the first time to our voices.

I believe this anger needs to bubble up and out of us in one steaming explosion of united rage, so we can come together in the pain and love that moves past anger and into a planet that’s safe for our daughters.

Nobody asked me if I wanted my body violated. Nobody asked me if I wanted bosses who suggested sex as my obligation to them. Nobody asked me if I wanted to play along with this, and I did, and it got me nothing but a pussy-grabbing piece of shit president.

And the nation made clear it doesn’t want to hear our voices.

So yes. If we have to scream, we will scream. And if it’s in rage, it’s in rage.

How about this?

We will be helpful when you stop violating our bodies in person and legislation.

Until then, rage on, sisters, because I know it’s rooted in love. Love of ourselves, our daughters and granddaughters and sons and grandsons. Sometimes love is fierce as hell – a fighting, relentless, burning thing – and the nation has made it clear it won’t hear our whispers.

So fuck whispering.

We’ve tried that. It’s time for something else. We get to be furious. We get to fight. And we get to win.

 

I wrote this note and stuck it on my wall after the conversations about my lack of helpfulness.

 

35 Comments | Posted in politics, Uncategorized | October 17, 2017