Put on Your Serious Hat

We are speeding toward Florence this a.m.  Before leaving our wonderful apartment in the residential section of Venezia, I checked my emails and to my shock and dismay, I saw the headline about Eric Schneiderman blast onto my screen.  Four women..a powerful man who is currently suing Harvey Weinstein are making headlines.  WHAT?   How can this be?  I find myself dumbstruck by the news.  Then I see Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine (which I subscribe to) has broken this devastating story.  Turning, averting ones eyes is impossible because she is such a brilliant journalist with a staggering amount of investigative reporting in her body of work.  co-authoring was Ronan Farrow, the up-and-coming journalist.

So I settle in the red chair in the apartment to read her reporting.  Now, on the train which glides across the Italian countryside carrying us to Florence (Firenze), I find myself utterly sad because of this article by Ms. Mayer and Mr. Farrow.

Four ( at least) described to the author their darkest secrets regarding their association with this man that I had held in high esteem.  What courage they had lacked when brutalized by this apparent serial abuser over months and sometimes years, is now on full display.  Where they were weak, they are now strong.  Their courage has triumphed over their fear for the benefit of all women as they hope by coming forward, others might avoid this man into the future.  The larger benefit of their shocking revelations is that all women in related ( read abusive) situations with their partners might find the courage to speak out.

Beautiful and successful women endured this abuse. It boggles the mind that this was so.  That the most powerful legal man in the state of New York could use intimidation and threats to lord power over each of his victims makes me want to understand the sexual politics of the situation.  

This #MeToo movement is so very important as illustrated by this story.  Women are so disadvantaged as a group of beings.  My life story as a grown woman is far removed from this type of experience and yet I think I can relate.  I had one relationship with a man who was emotionally abusive and it was terrible yet I tried to make it work with all manners of denial and Pollyanna-ish rationalizations.  Not only am I remorseful of this past experience, I feel a certain amount of shame and a tremendous amount of regret of time lost.  The courage now on display by these women on the pages of a magazine that is available for the whole world to read  cannot and, indeed, should not be trivialized or diminished.

And I reflect on all those tapestries hanging in the museo Vatican depicting men with daggers killing babies and wonder how it is that we are in the 21st century and brutalizing women (one way or another) is still a thing.    It’s not  only that women are raped and beaten but they are also murdered by guns in domestic violence situations daily.  

Oh, how I wish women would unite to demand equal treatment, demand legislation to regulate guns, demand reasonably priced health care, demand the right to control their own bodies.  We have the power if we would use it.  It is important that a baby of a sitting woman Senator was allowed Into the Chamber this year, 2018.  It is telling that no father ever thought of doing that.   Yet, here we are.  

And finally, Mr. Schneiderman did the right thing and immediately resigned.  But two things jump out at me.  Why does the daughter of a preacher man still stand at the podium of the President and lie for him?  She should be ashamed.  If she had an ounce of courage these women had in the The New Yorker piece, she would resign and expose the President for the liar he is.  And how is it that Kelly Ann Conway can send out a tweet saying”gotcha”, to the perpetrator of these crimes against these women?  Is she not a woman herself?  Is she so unfeeling that she is not moved by the accounts of these women?  She comes off as cruel and heartless… a political hack that does not even understand that while she tweets this vile sentiment, she is working for and enabling a morally corrupt man who lies every times he speaks.  

Where is our humanity?  Where is our empathy?  Where is our moral compass in our government today?   It boggles my mind and I write of it now to try to make sense of all this, now and then. Here and now.  


add comment

Leave Comment