10/19/2018 0 Comments
IN THE WAKE OF KAVANAUGH, FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF READING THIS
by Jacqueline Heinze
I write this post wrapped in irony. I agreed to write something about the Kavanaugh commotion two days before his confirmation, but after Senator Susan Collins spoke for 50-whatever minutes praising the Judge and chiding us from her distorted ethical platform, I concluded that words were no longer useful. After all, what more was there to say? None of Collins’ words—or McConnell’s or Graham’s or Flake’s (gaaaaawd!)—could erase what I had borne witness to. I watched Dr. Ford’s testimony, in which she was emotional, deferential, courteous, and careful. Then I watched Judge Kavanaugh, who was belligerent, disrespectful, misleading, and partisan. Neither Collins nor her GOP bros could explain away what I had seen and heard. Nor could they rewrite my own personal history with sexual harassment, emotional abuse, and silencing. They could not—cannot—argue me out of that which I know to be true. Dr. Ford still cannot return to her home because of violent threats against her and her family. Judge Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court. I get it. She lost. I lost. Women lost. We all lost. Again, what more is there to say? There are, however, things to do.
There are, however, things to do.
3. Take care of yourself. Blah blah blah, but it’s important and something I’ve been ignoring. For months, I’ve been vacillating between grief and fury. I’ve been forgetting to eat, although I have not forgotten to drink. My neck and shoulders are as solid as bricks. I am ready to yell at anyone (read, white men) who dares cross my path. It is exhausting, so I’m working to change my agitated state. This past weekend I marched my kid and me into House of Intuition, a metaphysical shop to help people heal, and bought myself a crystal that I can program with my intention. I asked my crystal to keep me clear and calm through the midterms. Mostly, I carry my crystal (can one name their crystal?) in my front jeans pocket and rub it whenever I have the desire to set fire to whatever manifestation of the patriarchy I can get my hands on. I am also binge-watching The Good Place. Find out what your needs are and meet them.
My husband and I canvass, phone bank, and write postcards to get voters to the polls for the midterms. We also organize an activist group. Each week, I send an email to more than 100 everyday people—people who are between jobs, people who are overworked, who are moving, who are going through a divorce, who have infants or complicated dating lives, whose kids are struggling in school, whose parents are sick, who don’t have the time—and I list the ways they can volunteer for the midterms and encourage them to do so. Many of them write back and let me know, with everything else they have going on, what they are doing to help. It’s when I weigh too many words against the actions anyone can take to affect our democracy that I come down on the side of action. It’s time to focus on the work.
I’m a writer. Of course words matter, but the noise in the fray is deafening. Much of it is also nonsensical and a great, big, gigantic lie, designed to make you go nuts (and, it is important to note, comes from a place of loserdom and fear.) Rather than react, find your focus. A good, solid primal scream could help, as could a book that validates what a woman warrior you are, or what an ally you are to a warrior woman. Get a massage if that’s what you need. Eat a bag of Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn. See A Star is Born for the second time. Then, take action. “Walk the talk,” or “Make it work,” or “Be the change,” or “Ride or die,” or whatever words you need to step away from your screen and get into the fight.
Then, take action. “Walk the talk,” or “Make it work,” or “Be the change,” or “Ride or die,” or whatever words you need to step away from your screen and get into the fight.
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