“Balls!” said the queen

June 27, 2016

My kitchen window.

“Balls,” said the Queen. “If I had two, I’d be king.”
The King laughed, not because he wanted to (two) but because he had to (two).

At dawn the air is cool and if I open all the windows and French doors for a few hours, the house stays fresh and cool most of the day. When the sun starts inching up over the horizon, the windows close and the cool air remains, staving off our need for air conditioning, at least for a while.

It’s in those cool mornings that I look out my window, both literally and figuratively.

“We,” but not “us.”

The view from here tells me that no matter how far we’ve come in California or in the nation, for that matter, women are not part of that “we.”  Women have lagged behind here just as we have in every other state of the union. Just ask the woman who was raped by the Stanford swimmer who got 6 months for battery and whose father said it was too high a price to pay…

All the rape crisis enters and well-trained, sensitive law enforcement don’t mean a damn thing when a judge can minimize the rape of a young, drunk woman and the male perp’s father can make a statement like that without embarrassment.

Dudes. Seriously. Screw your heads on straight.

Few men get this:

It’s sadly obvious that almost 100 years after suffragettes worked hard so that women got the vote, 50 years after our last big wave of feminism, even after all this? Nothing’s really equal. As a group we still make less money and are marginalized at every turn. And as happy as I am about Hillary being our nominee, the campaign so far (and probably until the end) also points out far too many areas in which we are still considered second-class.

The double-standard is still alive and kicking, and that is a sore that has festered for a long time and still does. It cuts deep, because I spent way too many years working in sexist industries, for sexist companies and sexist bosses. I have seen the bad behavior of male executives ignored or excused while the bad behavior of female executives is reason for sanctions. No bad behavior should be excused, of course, but if you think there isn’t a gender difference in how that behavior is viewed, take my word for it. It’s still going on, and that’s enough to bring me to tears.

There are very few men who get this–but I do know some, including one I call “Me-With-A-Dick.”  I can tell you this, though. At my age I just don’t want to hear men argue with me about anything having to do with sexism or female candidates, executives or female power of any kind. Because if they’re arguing, they are clueless– they don’t get it and really, it’s hard to understand unless you’ve lived it.

I’ve lived it.

Ignore history and we’ll have a nut in the Oval.

The view from here tells me that if Bernie Sanders runs as a third party candidate it could very well land that crazy, delusional man in the White House and no, I don’t mean Bernie. For those who don’t remember, Ralph Nader’s third party candidacy cost Al Gore the presidency and gave us Bush in 2000. It was a shocking turn of events because the reason Gore lost was not the hanging chads or the count. It was the votes Nader took from him. The margin was that narrow. So all those idealistic, fresh-faced liberals who think that Sanders should run need to spend a little time learning about the 2000 election.

Oh, and don’t do it Bernie.  Be a team player.

There’s a bottom line.

The view from here tells me that Hillary is the most qualified to be president. I don’t much give a sh*t if she was rude to staff in the White House, bashed Bill over the head with a lamp or any of that suspiciously sexist crap that’s coming up. Does. Not. Matter. Just as many things male candidates do or say don’t seem to matter. Why shouldn’t that knife cut both ways?  I am extremely sick of hearing that people “don’t trust her.” Don’t trust her with WHAT? It’s a crazy statement that has no meaning and I believe some of it is rooted in her “not knowing her place” as a woman.

Here is my bottom line: She was a Senator well-respected on both side of the aisle. She was an effective Secretary of State. And she is by far the best qualified candidate we’ve seen in a very long time and far better qualified than our current president, who took an election that was rightly hers.

She’ll keep us safe. She’ll find ways to cooperate if that dysfunctional other party doesn’t dig in its heels. And if they do, well, she’ll know how to handle them.

She ain’t perfect. NONE of them are perfect. That’s just reality. It’s not even a sad reality, because the day human beings are perfect are the day they hit the Pearly Gates. Ain’t gonna happen here on Earth.

The view from here tells me that not much is likely to change in the perception of women and their treatment by the time I leave the world, and that makes me sad….very sad, indeed.




34 comments on ““Balls!” said the queen
  1. Jennifer says:

    At first, I thought Bernie was having a little tantrum moment by not bowing out, but now I think otherwise. From what I’ve been reading of Bernie, he understands that Hillary won the primaries and will vote for her. But he also understands that he needs to bring his posse back into the fold. At first, many of them had been saying they won’t even bother voting (which would give Trump the win.) And Bernie understands that and knows that he’s got to get some of his issues onto Hillary’s agenda so that his people will stay in the vote. And that’s important. So let’s hope both do the right thing at the convention.

  2. Leanne says:

    American politics this time around has blown me away – how Donald Trump has become so popular, how you can have someone throw their hat in the ring after they’ve bowed out, how candidates spend millions to try to be president. It all bewilders my little Aussie mind – I do hope commonsense prevails when it comes to voting time!

  3. T.O, Weller says:

    I used to believe the perception of women had gotten better. Now, I believe it didn’t get better, it just went more underground — where it can be more insidious.
    The hardest part for me has been to separate my self-perception from that perception. When I was the only woman in Technology and Development meetings 10 years ago, it never dawned on me that they were silencing me because I was a woman. I thought I simply wasn’t good enough. (Ya, really … because hadn’t the feminist movement changed things? Silly me.)
    When I discovered my salary was $20K less than the man hired after me to do the same job, I attributed it to the fact that I was a single mother and they were taking advantage. Likely true, but if I had been a single father? They would’ve been sympathetic and dishing out support for the poor man.
    The new challenge: to avoid getting bitter about it all. When I saw it all clearly a while now, I simply walked away. But now, I listen to the judgements made about Hillary and I cringe.
    What will it take for true change? You’re right. It’s sad.

  4. renee says:

    My grandchildren told me the other day that I should run for President because I have more sense than any of the ones running…nice to hear from 14, 10 and 8 year old kids….I must be doing something right!

  5. Haralee says:

    Amen Carol! Yes I think the word trust when used by Trump and his ilk is code for woman and implied in a very negative way.

  6. I think the trust issue comes from the idea that she is beholden to big money, even more so than most politicians. That being said, she may be the most qualified candidate that we’ve ever had and I can’t even imagine what would happen if that buffoon wins. I like Bernie, but it’s time for him to face facts

  7. pia says:

    This isn’t a woman issue. It’s a sane vs insane issue that will determine the rest of our lives.

    I was a Bernie supporter and thinks he brings good points to the table. But I’m a realist who likes “my debt free life.” So I support Hillary because in many ways I do like her, think she could be a great president who maybe understand finances a bit more than President Obama (who I love).People talk about how much the stock market has gone up. They don’t seem to understand the voilitality, how few stocks are represented on the Dow or S&P 500. I know this is seeming off topic but it’s not as too many of us are dependent on the stock market.

    I know many women our age who are “Bernie or bust” people. Can’t talk sense into them. They don’t get anything. They don’t see horrible Friday was.

    Then I know too many educated people who support that man. I’m hoping Friday and since has knocked some sense into them.

    All my life I believed America was the greatest country on earth and Britain the second…Now I’m scared as I’ve never been scared before. I think of me 10 years ago—how innocent I was.

    I hope Hillary wins and I hope she can get us out of this mess but I can’t help it. I’m scared.

  8. Ellen Dolgen says:

    My last job in DC was Deputy Treasurer of the Carter Re-election campaign. Before that, I worked for a lobbying organization on the hill. My husband and I were on Obama’s Finance Committee. Bernie is trying to push the democratic party to a progressive agenda as he feels if we don’t widen the middle class asap – our country is in serious trouble. Bernie deserves the respect that Obama gave Hillary.He gave her ALL of her demands….Secretary of State, a promise to help elect her President, in control of the inauguration tickets, and tons of patronage jobs! He knew he needed her! So he did it all! Now it is time for Hillary to do the same with Bernie. Put your hand out Hillary – you need Bernie and his tremendous supporters. Frankly, I was shocked and disappointed that she didn’t do it at their first meeting. Not smart on her part!,

    • Actually, I read that she did not want the S of S position. I can’t remember where, but it was while back. Years ago. I don’t like Bernie one bit. I think he’s the one who comes off as a stubborn old white man!

  9. Tammy says:

    Yes to all of the above. The road is long, hard and prejudiced. We have come a very long way…and a long way yet to go. We have not choice but to persevere despite the strongholds placed by out of touch and bigoted politicians. The present culture has changed tremendously, but as we have seen, there are still some prehistoric, small minded judges still standing. Time is on our side. And, YES, Bernie, with due respect, get the hell out of the way and support the team.

  10. Barbara says:

    You can’t see me, Carol, but I”m giving you a standing O! It is definitely a prejudice issue as it is with blacks and latinos and now Muslims, but more subtle. There has never been a strong woman in politics, even as wives of politicians, who haven’t been treated like ‘the little woman’. Old White Men. That’s our problem. They still miss the 50’s and wish they could have it back. Too late! The time is now.

  11. Amy Putkonen says:

    You definitely give me some food for thought here. I am a big Bernie fan. I am also a very proud of standing up for women’s rights, but I don’t think that Hillary is the best choice as a model for women’s rights. She has shown us many instances of being just a different coat on the same old problems: she’s all for big business and big business is what is ruining the health of our public through a corrupt medical system and big business is the problem with our food resources being corrupt as well. I agree, however, that Bernie and Hillary should work together to win for the bigger picture. Right now, Hillary is the best option and to me that is not about her being a woman. Yes, it would be nice to have a woman president, but I am choosing her for all the wrong reasons. I would prefer to choose her because she is awesome and to have a woman that I am proud of to be our first woman president.

    • Hillary is an accomplished woman. The reality is that campaigns need big business money and until we change the system, that is a fact for any politician who wants to be elected.Any of them. If you want the job you need big money. I don’t lay any of the problems on her. The entire system is corrupt, She didn’t make it that way and she alone can’t fix it. Bernie is completely unrealistic.
      I agree about corruption entirely. I don’t think any politician is awesome–just the fact that they get elected makes them unlikeable for a host of reasons. But I am extremely cynical. I’ve been up close and personal to too many politicians. And I’ve been in a man’s world my whole life. That makes me extremely realistic, too.

      • Amy Putkonen says:

        Yes, I wish the system would change. I am tired of the fact that big business does so many things that hurt the lives of our people and don’t seem to care about it. Example: In California, they tried to pass a law that medical colleges had to teach more nutrition because understanding nutrition is VITAL to understanding how to make people feel better. They only wanted to make medical students take less than 10 hours of training during their educational career. The law didn’t pass. You know why? Because the medical community of CA fought it. Why would they do that? Because if people learned about good nutrition, then they might suggest that patients eat vegetables instead of pills and pills are what bring in the big bucks. It is SO SAD. Money is being chosen over health BY OUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. That is to say nothing of the food system that we have. Our SAD American diet is killing people left and right and big business spends billions of dollars to keep people thinking that is OK. I am for any system that can change THAT STUFF. I was hoping that Bernie could, but it doesn’t look like they are going to let him do it. Somehow, I am not surprised.

  12. Diane says:

    I’m just sad. Plain sad. Can I leave the planet for a while? I promise to come back…

  13. lori says:

    I just had my first female manager after working in the pharma industry for over 12 years. She was awesome! I see more and more women being in leadership roles.

  14. My daughter-in-law is “Bernie or Bust”. Her parents are Trump supporters. (She went to college. They didn’t). They all drive me insane (politically), but I bite my tongue in the interest of family harmony. I hope Bernie will tell his supporters to vote for Hillary (he may just tell them not to vote for Trump) and I hope my daughter-in-law will come to her senses. Her parents, I fear, are not going to change their minds. PS: I do think that Millennial women don’t realize how it was for women in the workplace–not so long ago. When I attended law school, they still had urinals in the women’s room because when they built the building only 5 years earlier, it never occurred to them that so many women would soon be attending law school. I also recently heard that just a few years before I started law school, the law librarian there wouldn’t allow women into the library unless they were wearing a skirt or dress.

  15. Peggy says:

    I’ve voted in every Presidential election since I turned 18. This is the first time (I’m 52 now) that I don’t want to vote. Unfortunately, “none of the above” isn’t an option.

  16. I feel your fury and frustration, Carol, and I’m right there with you. I too thought women had gotten further along, but the misogyny has been there festering all along because the old white men are still holding the reins in far too many settings. Please, please may Hillary win. I know she’s a lightning rod for a ridiculous amount of misperceptions and outright hatred, but I truly believe she’s this country’s only hope.

  17. It’s time for women to take over the world. I’m with Hillary and Elizabeth Warren and the three female Supreme Court justices who helped save our reproductive rights in Texas today.

  18. Janie Emaus says:

    I’m not quite sure what to feel about this election. I really wanted Bernie, but I guess that’s not going to happen. But I do I DO NOT want Trump!

  19. Very little surprises me in the world, but I am always stunned by how far we have NOT come in terms of male/female equity. I’m completely with you on the point that the same things men do that don’t seem to matter shouldn’t for a woman, either. Goose/gander, you know?

  20. Mary Lou says:

    I stumbled upon this while googling something, and, wow, our history has taken some horrible turns since this was wriiten, hasn’t it? There was a reason a lot of us gnashed our teeth and cried on that November night in 2016. We knew. We just didn’t know how bad it would be.

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