Grow up. Pink pussy hats are just an accessory.

 

beth gunn pink pussy hat

Beth Gunn, LA Women’s March 2018. photo credit B. McCauley

The shut down was smart. The shut down was stupid.

DACA is dead. Long live CHIP!

#MeToo will fix everything.

Aziz Ansari.

Bob Mueller will save us all.

Ugh.

There is much to appreciate about getting older but only if wisdom accumulates, the eyes from which you see the world are open and clear, and the reactive mind expands.

Take a breath and grow up.

Without maturity, without understanding subtlety, compromise, and shades of grey, we’re in a pickle (but not doomed—too conclusive). Without grasping the idea that defeat may come as often as victory, and that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, we’re stuck. Nothing advances.

And perfect is the enemy of good.

I read over the weekend about certain people who wouldn’t participate in the women’s marches across the country because they felt the protests were not inclusive enough. Boo hoo and I disagree. The Los Angeles event this past Saturday was inspiring. Perfect, no. Important, yes. Time magazine reports: “Roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016; since President Trump’s election, more than 26,000 women have reached out about launching a campaign.” In a nutshell, VOTE. And stop waiting for everything to feel good. Pink pussy hats are just an accessory. You don’t like them? Don’t wear one.

Next, the flood of opinion regarding the government shutdown, and subsequent re-opening, was quick and I’m drowning. The Democrats on the far left say it was a capitulation. Democratic senators in red states say no, no, no, we have to do DACA separately. Think about this. Think hard.

Congress is supposed to govern, on our behalf. We live in what is supposed to be a democratic republic or representative democracy. If we believe that those with a democratic ideology—individual liberty, social justice, progressive reform, capitalism (yes), the common good—are what’s best for us individually and as a country, then we need more Democrats in office than Republicans. We can’t lose seats in November. We have to gain many. There are disagreements on how this can be accomplished but we sure as hell don’t want to lose Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. And Claire McCaskill sure as hell knows her voters better than I. She thought the shutdown would kill her in November but that doesn’t mean she’s given up on DACA. Listen to her and try to understand.

And also understand this: I want gun control and the reinstatement of DACA. I want to take over Congress in November with a super-majority in both houses to override a presidential veto when gun control legislation comes across Trump’s desk. It’s pie-in-the-sky thinking and likely won’t happen. But shutting down the government took me further away from my dream-like society where shoppers go to malls, children go to school, and grown-ups go to concerts and movies with less of a chance of getting shot than today. Crazy idea, right? And impossible when Republicans control Washington.

Government shutdowns don’t really work for their stated goal anyway but perhaps Schumer’s calculation gets us closer by illuminating DACA’s profile. Will it work? We don’t know. But let’s not decide prematurely that ALL IS LOST. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) gets funded now regardless of what happens. And it is not written that it’s one or the other. Absolutes are rarely the path to success. We can still fight fire with fire but we may also have to use water or baking soda and do I have to continue this analogy?

And finally, I love men.

Okay, I love some men. I like many men. I get along with most men. Some/many/most. I’m not fond of men who harass, abuse, or demean others, especially women. I hate rapists. I also hate Donald Trump.

So there’s a lot going on in my head. I don’t generalize, although it drives me crazy that most boys seem to be born with a more natural sense of confidence than girls. That feels like thousands of years of oppression and being stigmatized as the weaker sex, in all areas. Eve came from Adam. My Catholic God growing up was Santa Claus. Father-Son-Holy ghost. All men. Pisses me off. I digress.

But at work, in Trader Joe’s, out walking the dogs, I’m just as interested and capable of enjoying an interaction with a man versus a woman. There’s a different energy and mostly I like it.

I understand nuance. I’m capable of discerning flirtation from harassment. I’m still on the fence regarding Al Franken and that’s my right. I’m not confused about my feelings toward Matt Damon. I want him to stop talking because I don’t need him explaining to me or anyone else that there’s a #MeToo spectrum. Same with Ashleigh Banfield. The Babe.net piece (they should definitely change their URL, I just went to Babe.com – oof) about “Grace” and her painful date with Aziz Ansari was unfortunate from all angles, but Banfield deciding it was the end of the #MeToo movement is ridiculous. And why? Because women’s issues must be flawlessly approached and executed? Oh for the love of God. Chinks in our armor means we’re fighting. Please give us a break. Progress, not perfection. (*See below.)

Let me drive my point home.

Most of what we want, what we need, and what’s important comes about imperfectly. If you throw the baby out with the bathwater, you’re left with nothing. And just because we don’t get something now doesn’t mean we won’t get it ever. We should learn to luxuriate in all that is grey, wrap it around us, make it our dear friend. Because in most areas—politics, parenting, social issues, forward progress—a black and white approach simply does not work. When you’re coaching a game and you’re losing to an inferior opponent and nothing is working, you don’t stick with your game plan. You adjust. That’s called maturity. (It’s also called good coaching.)

Oh, but one absolute. Bob Mueller will save us all. I’m counting on it, though I’m still canvassing, calling, and writing on behalf of Democratic candidates hoping to take back our country in the fall. Onward!

 

* A shout out to Madame Secretary, the CBS drama that tackles political issues with a much-too-shiny network sheen, but tackles them nonetheless. In this season’s Episode 4: Women Take on the World, the messy, painful, imperfect act of compromise is dramatized in ways I found courageous. Watch it if you can.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *