How can we move beyond misogyny?

shrine for dead fish, arranged by children (July 2016)

Last Saturday on a road trip, I stopped for lunch at the Globe restaurant at Truck World in Hubbard, Ohio. As I filled my plate from the salad bar, I heard two men (and maybe a woman, it was hard to discern) conversing about the presidential candidates. Here is what I captured:

Man 1: Who’re you voting for?

Man 2: Oh, Trump, all the way. Everybody in this area is voting for Trump.

(Someone, then others, chiming in): (Benghazi, Benghazi, sick of these liars, etc.)

Man 1: About all Hillary’s got going for her is her looks.

(Someone, maybe a woman): She hasn’t even got THAT going for her, she’s getting older.

As I listened, nausea filled my bones, my gut. As I type the words now, I feel it again: fear, vulnerability (as a woman, traveling alone, and also myself “getting older”). Part of me wanted to say something to them, but I sensed that nothing I could say (nothing I could think of on the spot) would change their minds.

I did not feel safe to speak. (This is too often the experience for many women.)

But this is my blog, and I’m speaking now:

I am finished with misogyny.

I am done. Overt hatred like at Truck World, or subtle slights like in places where I work with people who might consider themselves liberal yet (due to ignorance or passivity or whatever reason) perpetuate the notion that women are lesser. No matter its shade or flavor, misogyny tastes like ash in my mouth.

It is the flavor of bullshit. A dead flavor.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Ohio primary, but when he did not emerge as predicted to be the Democratic nominee, I immediately planned to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I have no patience for those who equate Hillary Clinton with Donald Trump, saying there’s really no difference.


There are HUGE differences between those two humans that go deeply to the core of who they are. Reading this blog post from Tribe of Dreams helped me reframe the importance of this moment in history, and made me feel even more right about supporting Hillary Clinton. Some of the post:

This is a medicinal moment for humanity.

This statement is not an ignoring of Hillary Clinton’s sins or ignorances or dangerous choices or allegiances

nor is it a free pass for her to lead without continued immense pressure from those of us she leads to make choices that honor life, peace, people, and planet

but even with all of her shadows out in the light

Hillary Clinton is holding within her body right now an apex of the return of the Feminine

a center point of the tipping of the scales back into balance on planet Earth.

Here’s the thing that we (especially, I think, women) who are lefter-leaning and progressive can do: Help Hillary Clinton. Forgive her. Allow for the reality that—as least in her version of the journey to this point in her life—if she had not made a million compromises, she would not have made it to be, potentially, the first American woman to serve as President. She would not be poised to help us heal. (p.s. I would not want that job.)

I intend to do what I can, even if it’s just on the energetic plane. I intend to encourage Hillary Clinton to trust, deep inside herself, what Clarissa Pinkola Estes and others call The One Who Knows. Because that deep, feminine power is some awesome medicine. I have experienced its wings. The kind of transformation we would like to see takes a long time, takes patience and work, but as the song says, “One by one everyone comes to remember we’re healing the world one heart at a time.”

I hope gratitude is never tardy

shadow and light in Glen Helen
shadow and light in Glen Helen

Sorting through my office, confronting the hamster nests of papers in order to pack and move, I found a piece of yellow legal paper on which I drafted (but never ultimately sent) a note of thanks to send to friends after my daughter Merida’s accident in the summer of 2011.  (I blogged about her accident here.)  Because the world of people to whom I’m grateful continues to expand, I am posting it here.  (You know who you are.)

Here’s what I wrote back then.  Back then, I would have refined it before sending, but now, I won’t:

Dear friends,

This is a note of belated yet enduring gratitude.

Your compassion, company, cards, and meals collectively sustained us after M’s accident.  Today as I cooked a pack of Annie’s mac & cheese, I remembered when a friend who brought us a dinner of summer bounty (fresh veggies from the garden, quinoa) had also included a box of Annie’s–a thoughtful addition to the feast that might only suit grownups.  So many little things like this made such a difference.  And to everyone who’s become part of our lives since, teachers and friends at Antioch School…

As we celebrate Merida’s healing, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the part you played in supporting us through it all.  Maybe one of the most important things she’s learning in this is how beautiful community can be.

It’s still true.  And gratitude, its physical feeling, feels good.