What This Administration is Teaching Our Children

The last two years in politics have been an utter shit show. It’s hard to keep up with all the shit going on. The key players change weekly. The plot twists happen so fast if you blink you miss it. And we have all had to face the harsh reality that we are a nation run by racists and sexists.

But this isn’t just about surviving these four years and hoping that we still have elections and a right to vote and that we don’t end up in a nuclear war in the meantime. There are very clear, very dangerous lessons we are passing on to the next generation right now.

The youth of our nation are watching, and we are teaching them horrible truths.

What our boys have learned from this administration:
-There are no consequences.
You can treat a woman however you want. You can violate her body and the law and openly brag about it. You can blame alcohol. You can deny. You can coerce. If you want it you can have it. And nothing bad will happen to you. You won’t go to jail. You won’t lose your job. You can even rise to the highest power of our nation. So what’s stopping you from taking it?

-Women are not credible advocates for their own story.
Look at Dr. Ford. She has advanced degrees, a prestigious career, and has multiple sources supporting her credibility and honesty. She was calm, poised, eloquent, and professional. And yet she was maliciously questioned, attacked, and told all the ways she had misunderstood her circumstances. Meanwhile Brent Kavanaugh can scream and cry and behave like a bafoon and his testimony is considered the credible one.

-If you don’t like the truth, you can just call it fake.
The new mantra any man can use now when someone is telling a story they don’t like: Fake News. And that ends the conversation. A woman accuses you of rape? Fake News. There is undeniable evidence that you payed hush money? Fake News. There is testimony from multiple sources that support claims of sexual assault? Fake News. Man can determine truth and lies based on what is most convenient for them. The reality they want they get.

What our girls have learned from this administration:
-When men yell, they are passionate and full of conviction, when women yell they are unhinged and discredited.
We all know the narrative. If a woman expresses an emotion she must be on her period. And if she is on her period we are not to take her seriously. Because being on your period means you are irrational, and more importantly incorrect. This narrative is pushed in every platform. Find me one sitcom that doesn’t push this narrative and claim it to be humor.
And we women have learned that because of this ridiculous narrative that we must remain calm, quiet, and patient when we are fighting for what we believe.
During the last two years our girls have watched countless men yell and scream because they weren’t getting exactly what they wanted how they wanted when they wanted. While a woman calmly and patiently stood her ground and told the truth. From Hilary Clinton to Sally Yates to Dr. Ford, our girls have watched powerful and intelligent women stand their ground while men yelled and screamed at them.

-What happens to you in your teenage years doesn’t matter, because what teenage boys do doesn’t matter. Boys will be boys.
Just as boys have learned there are no consequences for their actions, girls have learned there is no protection to be found when they are violated. There is no protection, no justice, and their bodies are not their own. And more girls are learning to fear coming forward.

-His future is more important than your body.
We can’t punish him for raping you because think about his future? It doesn’t matter that he was caught in the middle of the act by two sober men who will testify exactly what they witnessed. It doesn’t matter that there are multiple women coming forward with the same story. It doesn’t matter. Because his future is more important, and we must protect his future, not your body.

 

We have to change the message we are sending to our children. This isn’t about republican vs democrat. This isn’t about political parties. It’s about teaching our children to be honest, respectful, and good. Otherwise our children’s fate will be worse than our own. #MeToo won’t matter, #TimesUp won’t matter, women won’t matter.

Our girls deserve better. Our boys deserve better.

The Mid-term elections are almost here. Go vote on November 6th. And maybe we can tell a new story.

 

-Darci

 

A Car Salesman Found Me Intimidating – But Why? 

Recently my partner and I purchased cars. It was a life step he was very excited for, and I was dreading. See, to me, a car is just a way to get from point A to point B as safely as possible. I don’t get excited about cars, I don’t find them sexy, and I don’t want to show them off.

But it was time for a new car. My car was old. My car was about to need work that would require putting more money into it than it was worth. And while it was a loyal and wonderful car, its time had come. So we did our research and made our short list of cars to test, we checked the dealership websites, we learned what these cars were actually selling for, and we got our game faces on.

Now what you don’t know about me is that I work in sales. High pressured, fast paced, major expectations sales. I don’t sell cars, but I know all the tricks. Which makes me kind of a car salesman’s nightmare.

I hate the process of buying cars. But we survived and walked away from the weekend with new cars that we are happy with. And when we finally negotiated my partners car down to a deal we were happy with and ready to move forward with, the salesman said to me, “I mean this as a compliment, but you are a very intimidating negotiator”.

Ok let’s back up for a moment. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this salesman. Pretty much from the moment we started working with him I was not impressed. He talked too much, he talked over me too much, he couldn’t get to the point, he took a long process and made it 3x as long because he wouldn’t stop talking. But my partner is a much kinder person who was taught not to dislike people, so he was fine with the guy. And it was his car, so if he was fine with the guy that was what was important. But I was not impressed with this guy.

So when he first told me I was intimidating, I’ll be honest, I was almost flattered. In a world where men dominate, it is satisfying to knock them down a peg or two and remind them that women are a force to be reckoned with. But then I started thinking about it and started to wonder, what made me intimidating? I wasn’t chatty, I was knowledgeable about the car prices and discount options that were available to us, I had to ask him specifically to stop talking over me during the negotiating process, and I wasn’t putting up with his bullshit.

But here’s the thing, he didn’t try talking over my partner. When my partner spoke, the salesman let him speak, and waited for him to finish before talking. The salesman didn’t have to be asked to let my partner speak. When my partner asked him questions, he answered them directly, he didn’t flower them with stories meant to charm. When I told him the price wasn’t good enough he went on and on about why the price was the price, when my partner told him the price wasn’t good enough he went to go negotiate a lower price.

So it wasn’t so much that I was intimidating, but more that I didn’t fit his expectation of women. He expects the men to come in with knowledge about the car and knowledge about the market, he doesn’t expect women to. He expects men to negotiate, he expects men to keep their cards close to the vest, but he doesn’t expect women to. He sells to women very differently than he sells to men, because he thinks women have different values. He doesn’t respect women like he does men, and he doesn’t expect women to demand his respect.

Look, this guy isn’t a villain. He doesn’t start his day hating women, he doesn’t end his day hating women. In fact, he probably considers himself an advocate for women. He doesn’t realize the socialized sexism he carries with him every day. This man wasn’t sexualizing me, he wasn’t harassing me, he wasn’t even degrading me. And yet he was still behaving in a very sexist way. He doesn’t realize how drastically different he treated my partner vs me. He doesn’t realize the obvious lack of respect he had for me. He has these subconscious expectations of women that inform how he treats women. When I didn’t fit his expectations, when I demanded equal treatment, when I demonstrated my competence, he didn’t know what to do.

And that’s why I was intimidating to him. All of these micro aggressions he is allowed to get away with on a daily basis I would not put up with. I was intimidating because I wouldn’t take his bullshit and I demanded his respect right then and there. And he clearly was not used to that.

And if that doesn’t explain the battle women fight every day I don’t know what will.

 

 

-Darci