Our Long National Nightmare Leaves Me Saddened

hillary trump nightmare election
Candidates in the nightmare election / via

It escaped me briefly me that I’d be writing this post just days before what will be, whatever the outcome, a historic and life-changing Presidential election. My anxiety eased in the last two weeks as the mangled apricot hellbeast nose-dived, and I was looking forward to a slightly easier time of it. Then, James Comey, apparently ignoring strong discouragement from the Justice Department, as well as protocol, launched his vague, misleading bombshell about “new” Hillary Clinton emails into the crowd of angry voices (mine included) — and Friday afternoon went to crap. I was on a film set in Greenwich Village, on a very cushy job with a Christmas theme (what could be bad?), and Facebook ruined my afternoon.

Stiffing the little guy is one of Trump’s specialties.

There are a million reasons I resent the living hell out of Donald Trump, and one is the amount of time he has occupied my head without paying rent. But I understand that stiffing the little guy is one of his specialties, so why should I be any different? At least I never had to be in close proximity to him when I was a hot young thing, because I’m sure I’d be complaining about something much more awful right now.

This is an exciting and terrible time to be a woman. I wish I could leave it at just “exciting” — I really do! But just as our ugly racism has been exposed in the last eight years, so has horrific misogyny recently. And though I am neither a racist nor a misogynist, I blame myself for every time I blithely enjoyed white privilege, and every time I giggled at sexual harassment when I should have gut-punched someone, if only verbally. Like most women, I learned to navigate a white man’s world by ignoring and tolerating a lot.

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I’m glad these debilitating issues are out in the open now but that doesn’t mitigate the sadness I feel. Trump’s behavior has opened many wounds and exposed hidden ones. I can talk to any woman and she’ll tell me least one story about sexual harassment or assault. This claim won’t surprise any of the women reading this. I can assure you, they will be nodding their heads. I’ve been followed to my room in hotels, been physically and verbally assaulted by employers, had my breasts grabbed in a theater dressing room, had my ass grabbed while purchasing a subway token. One day in 1976, I looked up and realized someone was masturbating — just for me! — in broad daylight at Rockefeller Center. Catcalls and whistles go without saying. Like other women, I’ve had to revisit these memories and more this past year because of high-profile men like Trump, Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes who’ve long been protected from exposure by money, intimidation and an apparently prevailing opinion that women are around for their service, pleasure and amusement.

Sexual Harassment
Some things never change.

Apparently no hard evidence that he’s completely unfit, grotesque and corrupt can change the opinion of Trump supporters: not a foul recording of him documenting his pussy-grabbing stance, not the hundreds of people ripped off by Trump University, not his lewd and stomach-turning commentary about dating his own daughter, nor the child rape case that’s receiving a hearing in December. They don’t seem to care that he wants to cozy up to Vlad, who plans to restore the KGB while he helps kill thousands of people in Syria. All this stuff is recorded. You can see the Trump’s lips moving and hear him saying words he denies hours later. I understand there are people voting for Trump that don’t like him, and just want to shake up the system. I get it — the system is a mess. This would be a horribly destructive way to do that, however. It’s baffling.

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Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, can’t even get pneumonia without being bludgeoned in the press. All she has to do is wake up in the morning as a strong female in America. As Katha Pollitt said Monday night at a benefit I attended for Our Bodies Ourselves, “I can’t believe we’re still fighting these battles.” Women always have to walk the line. Firm? Shrill. High standards? Bitch. Forgave her husband? Political marriage of convenience and oh, she’s probably a lesbian. She’s held to different standards (and I use that term loosely) because she’s a woman. The scum just make stuff up about her and treat it as truth, and spread it everywhere like manure. I’m bored to tears with drivel that has been proven untrue over and over. I’m offended by heinous lies. How stupid does a person actually have to be to say Hillary sold her soul to the devil?

We are so backwards…

I don’t mean to say everyone should love and trust Hillary Clinton. No. I appreciate that people have different opinions about economic and social issues, international trade policies, and though I am steadfastly pro-choice, I know abortion is a complicated topic and a deal breaker for some. I understand people are looking at what the future holds for their kids, and wondering, “Is ISIS part of it?” No, what is killing my spirit are presumably decent people (I know some) who’ll support a serial liar and abuser of women, a blatant racist, a homophobe. For President of the United States of America. People who are ignoring bona fide news sources in favor of the lunatic fringe. People who have turned Hillary Clinton into a monster, despite all the real proof to the contrary. We are so backward.

I heard a woman say yesterday she wants her thoughts and words to go out in the universe like flowers. I hope they do! I’m mad at myself for allowing this campaign to tweak my better nature.