Skipping Stones

Posts from the first one hundred days…

Destruction is desired. Chaos, a tantrum shitstorm in the face of a massive cultural turn to increased freedom for all.

Apocalypse, a dull, eroticized appointment with death. The death wish, a loss of a sense of agency and control, the bully blaming the bullied for inciting him. Every bully a victim. Every bully, vindictive and self-justifying. For everyone who obstructed Hillary, whatever you think of her imperfect politics and past decisions, this is on you.

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They cannot believe, they cannot believe at all, they were governed by a human of color and about to be governed by a female human. The thing that is happening is a shit-storm tantrum, a wish to destroy everything touched by the POC and the female as quickly and thoroughly as possible. A tantrum sparked when knowledge is simultaneously registered and disavowed. It did not happen. There was no African-American man. There was no woman. They did not control us. The fascists know this happened (revenge) and erase it at the same time (it was a disease we are eliminating). This is the crazy inside doublespeak and doublethink.

Every fascist and totalitarian regime immediately legislates to control the female body and police and corral the bodies of perceived “others” as a way to reinstate all forms of control and order. This is symbolic and also believed to be a practical remedy for social unrest. Controlling out-of-control bodies that have polluted everything reinstates the “ordained” and “natural” structure of power with whiteness and male on top.

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My mother was a racist until, during the last three years of her life, she came to share her apartment with people of color. She had a stroke and needed the care of home aides all the time. My mother’s aides were mostly women from Caribbean countries, plus several white women and a gay man. Day after day from the moment she awoke to the time she closed her eyes at night, she was in the hands of other people. She came to love them, not all equally, but love was somewhere in the room. She was a racist who had to rethink what she had believed but had not experienced. She taught them Yiddish. She used Jamaican slang in conversation. She shared her bed when her aides piled on to watch TV. She was a funny monster who was poignant in her helplessness and in having to remake her understandings at the last moments of her life. She became a human being right before she was no longer anything but a comic memory to her aides, who nine years later still talk to each other and to my sister and me about how they taught her to be a person.

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I watched the first episode of “Good Girls Revolt.” It includes a consciousness raising gathering that spoke to the gap in current understanding–at least in mass cul versions–of what those times were like. The episode takes place in the late 60s, but in this depiction, the women are more creatures of the 50s “Mad Men” era, compliant and twittering into gloved hands about their vulvas. There is a leader at the CR session. There were no leaders. That was the point. And the leader calls the women “ladies,” the way bored waiters at brunch refer to a table of female humans. The term “ladies” is about now and the slip backwards female humans have been shoved toward by the retrograde times. In the early days of the women’s movement, we were radically uninterested in producing comfort zones for anyone about what female humans were and could be. No one called anyone a “lady” unless they were taking off Jerry Lewis–“Hey, Lady.” If you’re going to depict that tremendous burst of freedom we all lived in, get it right.

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There is an ad on my FB page with a picture of Cher and Chaz Bono, and I got to thinking if I were a kid with a sexy mother, a mother who played big and showy with her naked body and decided to name me Chastity, I would have wondered, what’s up with that? Only one person here gets to be sexy? How is Chastity ever a good thing to call a person, or Prudence, or all the other stringent, repressive names? Even Honor. That has to be a burden. The name Cher is a kiss or a breath. Really, Cher, not kind or generous.

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A male human who has been loved in his body, in his juice and flesh, does not force that body onto unwilling others. He knows that sex is in the waiting. The waiting for air to ignite when eyes meet and a hand is extended. This thing I will not call a government is an expression in every sense of rape culture and the lonely unhappiness inside it. How dare you not love me. How dare you prefer not-male and not-white to me! I was promised I was the thing to be loved, and you, world, have lied.

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