Be nice to the women in your life right now.
I mean, you should always be nice to the women in your life. And I will say this before some asshole shouts “All lives matter” that we should all be nice to each other, too, yes. But be especially nice to women right now.
Two weeks ago I watched as women – in public forums, in secret groups, in private emails – began to confess to each other experiences they had had, much of which they had never told anyone before. They were sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, sometimes at work, sometimes by family or friends, sometimes just getting out of bed and going to school in the morning. But it wasn’t just the events that were purged, it was the long suppressed emotions that these events precipitated: shame, anger, fear, self-doubt. And as each woman relived this experience sharing her story, and then again, reading others, she also watched aspects of her own play out in the news: the initial outrage give way to people minimizing the behavior, excusing it, or even just outright denying it. All of this followed by brave accusers with more guts than I coming forward to far too many cries of “Why didn’t she come forward sooner?” The answer to which is so goddamn obvious it will drive you mad as if the chorus of “It’s happening again. It’s happening again” that echoes like a steady drumbeat in your head wasn’t doing it already.
That was two weeks ago.
In the last 24 hours I have seen another group of women, again far more brave than I, come forward to talk about the absolute worst day in their lives: the day they had to terminate a wanted pregnancy in their 3rd trimester. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my biggest foe and I can wish ass cancer on a nemesis with the best of them. That this is hard for those women who are revisiting a place they never wanted to be in to begin with solely in order to make some of us understand the reality of political word play goes without saying. But it is also hard for the women who have been in their situation, but who aren’t able to talk about it. It is hard for the women who lost pregnancies far earlier. It is tough for women who have chosen to terminate a pregnancy for reasons we can never know, the ones who tried like hell and never got pregnant and the women who are pregnant now who have to spend the next months wondering if this will happen to them. Far too many of us read their stories and are reminded of painful parts of our own life.
Both these issues strike at our most basic sense of self: our body. Who has a right to touch it, to say what happens to it? We should be in control of our own bodies, and all too often we can’t be whether it’s on account of someone else, or something beyond anyone’s control. It’s no big surprise most women spend a large portion of their lives hating their bodies.
And the truth is this election was wearing on far too many women before we got to this point. Watching a woman
who has worked her ass off her entire life be characterized as ruthless, crooked, pushy, overly-ambitious, cold, and evil, hits too close to home for women whose contributions are often overlooked in the workplace or criticized when they’ve asserted their hard-won authority. We’re watching Hillary carry an elephant while riding a unicycle across a tightrope with no net, and as in awe of her as we are, we can’t help but think of all the tightropes we have to walk to be feminine but not too feminine, or pro-active but not aggressive, or whatever other bullshit needle we’re trying to thread just to be seen as men are seen. Every time they talk about Bill it’s a reminder of all the ways in which our husbands or boyfriends get more respect than us, or that a woman is never allowed to be her own person like a man can be.
I just googled “Hillary Clinton Cunt Meme” and found 5 different ones before I stopped looking. Earlier this week a guy tweeted a photo of himself pointing a gun at Hillary on the TV and asked Donald Trump to just say the word. I’m fucking exhausted. I’m spent.
So be nice to the women around you. Some of us are taking this hard and know exactly why. Others of us feel on edge and can’t quite place it. Whether you like Hillary or not, everything about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century has been scrutinized and taken apart and criticized these last several months: who we are professionally, sexually and in our families; the decisions we make, how we achieve them and what say we have over our own actions and bodies while doing so.
And women let’s be nice to each other, especially. Sometimes we can be the loudest critics of the difficult decisions we all have to make.
*originally published Friday, October 21, 2016
11 thoughts on “Be Nice to the Women in Your Life Right Now *”
You are my new heroine.
Hey, I was about to say that!
I just saw your in-studio comments about those who voted for Trump. Bravo. I am now a fan.
You are a very sick minded person
Just saw “C World”… Love ittt. First person I’ve heard (post-Gloria-Steinem) dare to call out BernieBros.
I love and respect my mother and sisters. I respect all women who God created to be a help meet for the man. Women endure so much… And the really good women,… Women that should be emulated by the younger women because they are virtuous role models… Most definitely should be praised… But what I have found in you miss Rafferty is very much what I would liken to a Sow. Foul mouthed. No moral compass. Obnoxious poor excuse of a woman. You are everything a mother, wife and woman should not be. Your short rant displayed your character and quality perfectly….I feel sorry for you. I feel sorrow knowing that a young woman might actually allow herself to be influenced by the likes of you. If the person reading this is a young woman… God made you to be noble. To be virtuous and kind. Find your own voice rather than parroting this foul mouthed woman Tess Rafferty… You’ll find so much more value in life by doing so…. Miss Rafferty…. You truly are a disappointment to humanity and America.
Reflect, think, empathize, listen, and for Mary’s sake, Joseph, don’t talk for a while. Joseph, please do us all a favor and just sit in the corner and try to look handsome. Okay? You weren’t invited because of what you think.
Great report! Thank you very much. What frame size was your test-bike? Would you (your size is 5′ 10″, right?) choose 18 oder 19,5 frame?
I am a Guy Mr. Kelly to you. I know, fools everybody, even the people at the fast food check in place. Um. Sorry I came late to this comment section. I discovered you late (you may have read my stuff in another comment and decided that I am a stalker but hopefully the good kind). Anyway, on to Joseph.
Dude, what is wrong with you? From the looks of it you have taken every woman you ever met and put them up on a pedestal so high that you can’t touch anything but their feet (I bet they smell nice). I’ve been married for a very, very long time. 34 years this year. I know something about women. What I know is that your version of what a women is, is total bullshit. Women are complicated and messy and messed up and screwed up in all kinds of ways. They’ve got problems and issues that you can’t even begin to understand. One of there biggest issues, believe it or not, is men. God, the things we do to women, just by existing. Then you come along and add a wagon load of expectations about what a women should be.
Joseph, No Women Owes You Shit. Not Your Mother, Not Your Wife, Not Your Sister, Not Your Daughters. I yelled when I said that so you would understand that. Women are not on Earth to please you, you sanctimonious pile of puss. If anything it is the other way around. If, a women, or women, grant you the privilege of existing within their life’s sphere, then take it. But keep in mind it comes with baggage. You bring your shit, and she brings hers. The key is, can you make them all fit in the same room.
Honestly Joseph, I don’t think you can. You’re kind of a moron.
Thanks for speaking so forcefully in your video and expressing righteous outrage at Trump voters shameful behavior and weak rationalizations.
And chalk up one more book sale!
I am a Bernie supporter. I mean a hard core Bernie supporter. We can bicker about who would have won, (Bernie of course), or I could regale you with shouts of THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED. Which it proved to be. But when that day in November came around, I did the ONLY thing that I could, I voted for Hillary. I entered the Church where the polling place was located and said a prayer that she would win. Sadly I now wake up every day and wish the REAL winner of the election had actually won. This fucking lunatic, Donny tiny hands, is in charge of the nukes. In case you missed it, which you didn’t, HE HAS CONTROL OF THE NUKES!
James Clapper has told us he is afraid that in a fit of pique, he could send us to Hell. No wonder the suicide rate is up in this country and personally I wish they would give us more opiates instead of taking them away. Anything to numb us to the fact that we’re in deep shit every day. Just wanted to tell you I love both of the Aftermath videos and I can’t tell you how I sometimes sit and listen over and over. Creepy Right! Don’t worry your safe with me. I live in Ca as do you but I’m in the infamous San Bernardino and I hate having to drive more than 2 miles.
Again you are a treasure and I love your work. I wish I was with >HER.