Men will tell you that voting for a woman, because she is a woman, is wrong headed and biased. He’ll tell you that men understand the issues surrounding Americans just as well as a woman does. That beyond their ability to bear children, women are just like men. So vote for the better man.
A woman’s lived experience is not the same as that of men.
Nuanced interactions lead to nuanced thoughts, which the average man will never experience, in any meaningful way. If you have, then you’re not average and this statement doesn’t apply to you.
Can men listen?
Do men listen?
I appreciate and value those men who center the marginalized people in their lives. They are few and far inbetween.
Who you center is more important than who you value.
You can value black lives and you can value women, but if you are not centering them, you aren’t putting your hand to the plow. Words and good intentions don’t mean anything in a society run by men, bound up in the power of whiteness.
What is the power of whiteness?
The power of whiteness is the structure of patriarchy. It is a power which centers men and men only. The men of color and the women who support these men are side shows. Though they can often be portrayed as features. The proof is in their willingness to stand on their own. To advocate for the people in their community. Watch what is done to them when and if they do. What you’ll see is the men of color and the women upholding patriarchy removed from the spotlight.
Their power lies in the one who gave it to them. Not in the communities they represent.
Which is why it is your job to educate yourself on the differences in power structures. To know whiteness when you see it. Even if it is presented to you by the face of a black man, a white woman, and even a black woman. Whiteness is a structure in the house of patriarchy.
These men and women are chosen to deliver the message of whiteness. To plant the seeds which will take root in shallow minds, run deep, and break down barriers to their intended path. Yes, this powerful messaging system works for good and evil.
Though the structures it builds, from the ruins it created, are fragile and easily damaged by the witness of moral justice.
The shallowest mind can see that locking children in cages is morally repugnant. Their witness is not a victory, it’s a small light which needs to be fed, until it is a scourging fire in the souls of all who witness it. When a Republican representative shows horror at children in cages, don’t be aghast, when they turn around and vote for an equally brutal policy, but with better window dressing. Keep fighting and holding them accountable.
Our country lacks accountability.
We are told that there is nothing we can do. It is all shrugs and well wishes when a black woman is run out of political office in Vermont. A white man ran her out of office but it is we who are collectively to blame. We gave him power, we gave him agency, we gave him voice. You did this. It is your fault. You need to make it right. I need to make it right.
“If federal programs were not, even to this day, reinforcing racial isolation by disproportionately directing low-income African Americans who receive housing assistance into the segregated neighborhoods that government had previously established, we might see many more inclusive communities. Undoing the effects of de jure segregation will be incomparably difficult. To make a start, we will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility.”
― Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Accepting responsibility for the actions or inactions of others has traditionally been woman’s work. Women have more experience when it comes to cleaning up the mess men leave behind. We’ve seen the steadfast leadership of Nancy Pelosi. We’ve witnessed the misogynistic attacks on her femaleness and her age.
Anyone suggesting that voting for a woman is biased, is someone with an agenda. A hidden thing they don’t want you to see.
Women are carrying the anger of men on their shoulders. It’s not their responsibility, it’s not their job. But we’ve been told it is a woman’s job and we’ve been told that it is our fault, if/when hate comes in.
Ms Morris says friends and colleagues tried to convince her to change her mind. After her announcement, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, offered to support her re-election, warning that her resignation would allow the forces of hate to win.
That, according to Ms Morris, is victim-blaming.
“The systems need to change to support individuals in office so that they do not have to live in fear and terror,” she says. “These are incredibly violent times, and I do not feel any need to martyr myself or my family.”
It can’t fall on her, she says – or on any one person – to try to fix a broken system. It takes a “chorus of people”. via BBC
The same men who could have centered her, did not. The same women who could have called their local police department and demand accountability, did not.
We are the reason she left. This is our fault. This is your fault. This is my fault.
“We did everything that we were told to do, reported everything, held nothing back and trusted in a system that, in the end, was insufficient and inept at addressing and repairing the harm done… we were told there was nothing to be done.” via Raw Story
There is something we can do.
We can work at local levels, state levels, federal levels to make sure that marginalized people are centered in policy.
This is your job. This is your responsibility.