I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU. I BELIEVE YOU.
To all women, girls, and gender-nonconforming individuals: I am a middle-aged, straight, white, cis-gender man. And I apologize.
I see you; I hear you; I believe you.
And I am well and truly sorry that the country you live in has come to this: A self-admitted sexual predator occupies the Oval Office; a credibly accused attempted rapist and a credibly accused sexual harasser sit on the Supreme Court; a majority of the highest legislative body in the land simply don’t care if a woman was sexually assaulted, as long as they can claim a “win”. All three branches of our Federal Government are occupied by (mostly male) members of a privileged class who consider women as prey, objects, property, or merely expendable.
While all too many men from across the political, socio-economic, and cultural spectrum have taken advantage of women, of gender bias, and the long-standing attitude that “boys will be boys”, we are currently seeing an open attack on womanhood led primarily by the Geriatric Oligarchical Patriarchy that is a stain on our national moral conscience. What is truly mind-boggling is that these same perpetrators somehow conspire to wrap themselves in the sanctimonious piety of the fundamentalist Christian right – a religious “human shield” they bought cheaply – simply for the price of claiming to oppose a woman’s right to choose.
These sorry excuses for men seem to think that their race, their sex, and their wealth entitle them to the privilege of being able to abuse any woman they want, any place, and any time, as our “President” explains in this now famous Access Hollywood videowhich for reasons no one has explained to me did not derail his bid for the presidency. To refer to that “man” as a pig would be a grievous insult to perfectly fine swine everywhere. And yet, every day you are inundated by even more insulting news of what that representative of privilege has said, done, or tweeted that further insults or actually harms you, this country, and our fragile planet. And for that, I am heartily sorry.
I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to Dr. Ford, for her bravery and integrity in coming forth and telling her story before the Senate Judiciary Committee. While it may have seemed like she put herself and her family through a great deal of pain for nothing, I am convinced that her choice to come forward has galvanized women and men of decency to engage in the political process as never before. The greatest way we can honor her is not by awarding her medals and honorary degrees, but by turning the “good old boys” (and the “girls” who support them) out of office and replacing them with women and men of genuine character.
Today, I have a lot of other ideas about what we can do to change the cultural climate of our nation, and make this nation as safe, as friendly, as prosperous, and as full of opportunity for our daughters as it is for our sons. But today is not a time for a guy like me to offer to “fix” anything. Today, it is time for me and all the men like me to see what is actually happening to you; to hear what has happened and how you feel about it; to hold a safe and compassionate space for you; to stand in our own integrity and hold others accountable.
And on November 6th, we begin the process of changing this country for GOOD and ALL.