From the Washington Post opinion section:
A flood of rage is rushing through women’s brains. Why can’t men organize to change themselves?
Victoria Bissell Brown, a retired history professor at Grinnell College, lives in Haverford Township, Pa.
Grinnell College in rural Iowa is one of the highest paying liberal arts colleges in the world (especially when adjusted for the low cost of living) due to Grinnell’s endowment benefiting from some good investment advice from Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel, and Warren Buffett.
Professor Bissell Brown is available to lecture on topics such as “Jane Addams: Queer or Gay?”
October 12 at 6:00 AM
I yelled at my husband last night. Not pick-up-your-socks yell. Not how-could-you-ignore-that-red-light yell. This was real yelling. This was 30 minutes of from-the-gut yelling. Triggered by a small, thoughtless, dismissive, annoyed, patronizing comment. Really small. A micro-wave that triggered a hurricane. I blew. Hard and fast. And it terrified me. I’m still terrified by what I felt and what I said. I am almost 70 years old. I am a grandmother. Yet in that roiling moment, screaming at my husband as if he represented every clueless male on the planet (and I every angry woman of 2018), I announced that I hate all men and wish all men were dead. If one of my grandchildren yelled something that ridiculous, I’d have to stifle a laugh.
My husband of 50 years did not have to stifle a laugh. He took it dead seriously. He did not defend his remark, he did not defend men. He sat, hunched and hurt, and he listened. For a moment, it occurred to me to be grateful that I’m married to a man who will listen to a woman. The winds calmed ever so slightly in that moment. And then the storm surge welled up in me as I realized the pathetic impotence of nice men’s plan to rebuild the wreckage by listening to women. As my rage rushed through the streets of my mind, toppling every memory of every good thing my husband has ever done (and there are scores of memories), I said the meanest thing I’ve ever said to him: Don’t you dare sit there and sympathetically promise to change. Don’t say you will stop yourself before you blurt out some impatient, annoyed, controlling remark. No, I said, you can’t change. You are unable to change. You don’t have the skills and you won’t do it. You, I said, are one of the good men. You respect women, you believe in women, you like women, you don’t hit women or rape women or in any way abuse women. You have applauded and funded feminism for a half-century. You are one of the good men. And you cannot change. You can listen all you want, but that will not create one iota of change.
In the centuries of feminist movements that have washed up and away, good men have not once organized their own mass movement to change themselves and their sons or to attack the mean-spirited, teasing, punching thing that passes for male culture. Not once. Bastards. Don’t listen to me. Listen to each other. Talk to each other. Earn your power for once.
The gender war that has broken out in this country is flooding all our houses. It’s rising on the torrent of memories that every woman has. Those memories have come loose from the attic and the basement where we’ve stashed them. They are floating all around us and there is no place left to store them out of sight. Not just memories of sexual abuse. Memories of being dismissed, disdained, distrusted. Memories of having to endure put-downs at the office, catcalls in the parking lot, barked orders at a dinner party. And, for some reason, the most chilling memory of all, the one Christine Blasey Ford called up and that we all recognized: the laughter.
The Democrats should buy a 30 minute block on all the networks on the Monday evening before the midterm election to let Professor Bissell Brown free associate. Or maybe a 60 minute colloquy between Hillary and Professor Bissell Brown. Suggested topic: “Men.”
iSteve commenter CCZ writes:
Come on up, ladies, end the patriarchy!!
Ironworkers atop the 1,099 foot tall Los Angeles Wilshire Grand Tower, 2017