“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” That is what my grandmother used to say when I was little. And she’s still correct.
Chester County resident and area attorney Michael van der Veen was one of Trump’s second impeachment lawyers. Technically he’s Bruce Castor’s new boss, another member of the last minute defense team, so umm was this really surprising?
I mean come on have you ever known any trial lawyers? They can have huge egos and often questionable choice in clients. Did I find it amusing that he joined the big orange defense team? Yes because not only did he defend the Haverford College student who tried to hack Trump’s tax returns, he filed litigation against USPS and Trump in 2020. But then I remembered what an old boss said to me one time with regard to his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer and it was simply put “if I have to do this again I’m hiring them.”
However, if I was a lawyer would I defend Trump? Oh hell to the no. But exactly how many lawyers does Trump or his family have on their payroll? OK scratch that does it really matter? No it doesn’t. Lawyers have clients and not all people like their clients.
The news has reported that people have vandalized van der Veen’s property here in Chester County. That’s wrong. No matter what you think of his choice of clients or potentially his politics, to do that to someone’s property is wrong.
Someone a little while ago basically told me I was a bad American because I think vandalizing someone else’s property is wrong. But it’s not staying on some “moral hill“, his wife and children and neighbors didn’t sign up for this. Can you imagine how they feel? We all should feel safe in our homes, and not be scared where we live.
This crap in this country needs to stop. No matter what you think of this man or Bruce Castor, their families shouldn’t be subject to this and neither should their neighbors.
You can’t just trash other peoples’ properties because you don’t like their perceived politics. It’s like when election officials in Pennsylvania and elsewhere were getting threatened over the election. That wasn’t right either, it was wrong.
And this is actually the gift, the enduring gift that the Trump years have left us. A stain on the American people where we cannot have conversations even with our next-door neighbors about politics. We can’t agree to disagree. It’s either you take a particular side or you’re wrong. And if you’re wrong, you can’t just be wrong, someone wants to destroy you, your life, your property.
People can’t you see this is wrong?
Whatever happened to the worthy opposition?
Apparently Mitch McConnell’s home was vandalized and something equally unpleasant vandalism happened to Nancy Pelosi. I despise McConnell and am not a member of the Nancy Pelosi fan club, but do I think it is right to deface someone else’s property? No I simply don’t.
I am tired of this political eye for an eye in this country. I’m tired of the angry rhetoric on both sides. We can’t allow ourselves to be ruled by angry rhetoric anymore.
People, we literally need to stop the violence and the crazy behavior. If we don’t, the Trump legacy will linger far longer than it will already.
I am not trying to sound like a trite 1960s Hallmark card by saying give peace a chance but damn people we really need to do that.
Can we please just stop the goddamn madness in this country? Can we go back to being neighbors and friends and colleagues? Maybe our politics will be similar, maybe they will be different, but do you remember when it used to be OK to have a different political opinions from the guy across the street?
And let’s not be naïve and think that this second impeachment was going to prevail. Once again it never had the votes. That’s not to say I don’t think it was wrong because I completely feel Trump is culpable for January 6 and all the angry crap and vitriol from the election and over the past few years. But if we as Americans don’t draw a line in the sand to begin again, Trump ultimately wins and is that what people want?
Anger, violence, vitriol, and destruction and vandalism of property is NOT going to change the BS in this country. Only we can do that, and the only way we are going to be able to do that no matter what you think you know about politics is it cooler heads start to prevail.
I haven’t fallen and hit my head. I’m sure some of you were just wondering so I’ll make it simple: ten years ago next month I started to deal with my then reality of a lump in my left breast. Within weeks of that, I received an official diagnosis of breast cancer and began to plan surgery and treatment. When you face your own mortality dead on, maybe it changes your perspective.
My perspective is the USA is like a giant Humpty Dumpty and we need to put her back together. We need to make changes, we need to learn from our collective mistakes.
Please. 2020 was a horrible year. Let’s not allow 2021 to be the same. We as human beings can choose between right and wrong, and work for peace in this country.
I love stick people because often they can explain what most people can’t comprehend. It’s very basic and very elementary school, and I think now we need to go back to basics in this country.
We need more stick man explanations as given how politicians former and present wish to define protests. As in comparing peaceful protests to suborning anarchy and domestic terrorism. If you want to increase your relevance (well Ryan Costello it has been a few years, right?), and a reporter gives you a sound byte, maybe this was ummm really coloring outside the lines??? See:
📌”Ryan Costello, a critic of President Trump who held the 6th District House seat before Houlahan, said “watching these protestors invade the Capitol reminded me of the left-wing protestors who would storm in and occupy my congressional office and harass my staff on a weekly basis. Politics has become an invitation for extremist behavior; to be rude, dangerous and disrespectful to our institutions and policy-makers.”📌
(And look, if dude wants to run, he can run. However, if he wants to run as the type of politician he used to kinda sorta criticize ummm????)
Let’s talk about the sit in which occurred in Former Congressman Costello’s former West Chester Office once upon a time, OK? Start with this video [click here]. Below is a photo array that are public photos I found posted on the Internet and social media. Please explain the violent fringe intent?
Sorry not sorry, I do not get it. So does that mean these protests had bad people:
Or the Womens’ Marches? Pink hats are super threatening I suppose?
And this past summer? The Black Lives Matter marches? Some protests were peaceful. Like around suburban Philadelphia. In the city, not so much. And I found the violence and destruction in major cities including Philadelphia abhorrent, but were those really the people who organized protests? I still don’t think so. And with those protests, yes I wasn’t in favor of them especially after the destruction of center city Philadelphia which did things like terrorize lots of elderly city dwellers like my own parents. You don’t know from fear when you can’t get your parents out of a city because it’s locked down yet crap is still happening. So after that point I was yes, in favor of getting the word out other than by protest. But people continued to protest and along the Main Line it looked like:
Was it a sea of humanity during a global pandemic? Yes. Would I have been in that crowd, even with a mask on? No. But these were neighbors, friends, kids of people I know, and local police to keep them safe. So are they to be mischaracterized by a broad politically motivated brush as well? I did not agree, but these were peaceful and powerful.
So now we come to this past week. A date that will literally live in infamy: 1/6/2021. Not since the British stormed the Capitol in 1814 had such violence been seen. This was an angry mob. And violent. And destructive. Suborning anarchy and domestic terrorism. We all watched it unfold. There was zero peaceful intent. You had a crowd whipped up to a fever pitch by a sore loser malignant narcissist (Donald Trump) and his attorney Rudy Giuliani using an incendiary phrase “trial by combat“.
Embedded are two videos from the U.K. and two from US — Watch them.
I have had people write to me saying how wrong I am to be so disgusted, appalled, terrified by what took place in the US Capitol. They told me it was “no different” than the Black Lives Matter Marches or Women’s Marches. That I was smarter than that and being taken in by political hype.
Ummm oh hell to the no. See these images from Washington from the Internet (random sampling):
That is not peaceful. That is not peaceful intent. That is wrong.
It’s time for all of this to stop. It’s time for us to stop being a country ruled by extremism from either side. The majority of Americans, who are never heard, lie in the middle. They can’t be heard over the din of extremism.
It’s also time for people seeking political relevance and various and assorted politicians to stop trying to compare peaceful demonstrations outside local places like the old West Chester Courthouse and elsewhere to what happened in Washington DC as a direct result of the culmination of years of Donald Trump’s abominable and unPresidential behavior.
Give peace a chance. Now more than ever. Be safe out there and pray for our country.
Yesterday was not O.K. Yesterday was a study in horror. Yesterday we could have lost democracy and what makes America well….America. Every American regardless of creed, color, political affiliation, and so on should NOT be O.K. with January 6, 2021.
Watching the mob scene on Capitol Hill over the last several hours, I was numbed by the whiteness that blanketed the screen.
As I get older, and possibly wiser, I find myself increasingly thinking about whiteness and of the mind-boggling degree to which my life as a Black American man has been impacted by it lately. Some 400 years since my ancestors were forcibly brought to these shores, and more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed them and their immediate descendants from enslavement, whiteness has dominated their (and now my) imagination, dreams of their/my future, and alas, even their/my joy.
To be clear, when I refer to whiteness, I mean the privileges, expectations, and elevated humanity afforded those in American society whose skin happens to be white; who exist daily in varying degrees of proximity to white people; who actively seek the affirmation of and their raison d’être from white people—and/or those whose aspirations for themselves, their families, and their communities are modeled on some kind of reflection of whiteness.
Today, this theme struck me with massive force. Televised scenes showed thousands of Donald Trump–supporting rioters and criminals, largely white and typically mask-less, descending on the nation’s largely Black capital.
I know according to Trump I am just a lowly suburban housewife, but my thoughts?
This is not America. And the last time the Capitol was stormed by invaders? 1814. Yes, sit with that a while. The last time was 1814 during the War of 1812 when British forces set fire to the Capitol. (You know when Dolly Madison was trying to save things in the White House?) These folks muscled by law enforcement and I am fascinated by what I saw on TV including when officers moved barricades to let the marauders in. I don’t know if that was tactical because they were being overwhelmed but it begs the question of why there wasn’t more of a law enforcement presence from jump?
One of those at risk yesterday was my friends’ daughter. She is young, and a Senate Page. I can’t imagine what her parents were feeling as this unfolded. I know I kept wondering how my own Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan was. And friends who just live in Washington D.C.
A special note to the one on Facebook a lot of my friends and I know who thinks we didn’t see her post “1.6.21” as a standalone post on her timeline. We saw. And she can delete what she posted and try to back peddle with people, but it will not change the ugliness she has deliberately been projecting with her posting for quite a long time. I still wonder if her little plastic housing development will secede from the union? And this woman was full of fake indignation and moral outrage at anyone suggesting those who stormed the Capitol were Trump supporters. Yes, seriously. I think she even had her virtual smelling salts out.
And for another woman who posted it must have been Antifa dressed as Trump supporters? Then honey, I must be the tooth fairy, and that must have been a Trump impersonator with Rudy Giuliani.
I will also note I know people that I believe are true patriots and they don’t behave like what you saw yesterday. And it wasn’t just some small percentage who were at fault because they got into the Capitol building. As we saw it unfold live before our eyes on television screens, computers, and smart phones from coast to coast, and around the world, that was the intent of the entire crowd. And was that the actual intent of Trump who really isn’t fit to be president even if he only has what? Two weeks left?
Yesterday was a crap show and that was 100% orchestrated by Trump and he is responsible and knew exactly what he was doing, so I hope you all who have gone unmasked for him at all those events are proud, because that all played a part in events leading up to this. You all have a degree of culpability. I watched everything yesterday unfold I couldn’t believe I was once proud for decades to be a Republican.
Yesterday was not democracy in action. This is not the constitutional right to express yourself and protest. This was ugliness, suborning anarchy, and basically acting like domestic terrorists.
I thought Joe Biden was marvelous when he spoke yesterday. My Congresswoman, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan said in a release to her constituents:
“The attack on our Capitol yesterday was unconscionable, but it was not inevitable,” said Houlahan. “It was a direct product of four years of division and dissent that has emanated from the very highest office in this country and a horrifying culmination of months-long baseless and unsubstantiated attacks on the very heart of our democracy. Those who carried out this attack and those who inspired it, implicitly and explicitly, must be held accountable.
My colleagues and I owe a debt of gratitude to those who worked to secure the Capitol, allowing the business of the people to continue. I was unequivocal last night and remain steadfast today that the work of this body, the work of the American people, cannot nor will not be halted, no matter the attacks levied against it.
We gathered yesterday in the tradition of the joint session of Congress to count the results of the Electoral College and to certify the victory of President elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris. And despite the efforts of insurrectionists, we carried out our oath-bound duty.
I’ve heard many references recently to the War of 1812 and the attack on the U.S. Capitol but, as a Pennsylvanian, I am reminded of a particular different piece of our community’s history.
Many Americans have visited Philadelphia and the historic sites that are the cradle of our nation. Fewer people make it out to my community, which is home to Valley Forge. Here, General George Washington led the Continental Army to winter quarters. The Revolutionary War had not been going well for our young soldiers, and the winter of 1777-1778 was harder still. It was bitterly cold, there were food shortages and a smallpox outbreak. Many brave patriots died.
We remember what happened there because it was a test of endurance, a demonstration of devotion to mission and to country over self. Coming out of that awful winter and experience, our troops emerged better trained, united and ultimately victorious. In harsh, dark times, they found their common ground and their fortitude. The success was not by chance, General Washington led by putting service above self.
Just like then, it is in these trying moments where we learn who our leaders are. They are the ones who don’t just ‘represent’ or give orders, or ready us for a fight. They are the ones who also educate. Who speak the truth. They inspire confidence and unity rather than sowing division and strife.
There is a striking parallel between what our nascent country endured then in Valley Forge and what we are enduring now. A hard winter of division, with illness running rampant. And an uncertain future after yesterday’s attack.
Our country’s resolve is being tested. I believe we will pass this test together and we will be made stronger.
We owe it to the people of this country to move forward from this election with a focus on healing the divisions that have been created and on ensuring our communities build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. We must be a government that works for all people, a body politic that stands on the side of truth and justice.
We must move forward with a servant heart and a common resolve to preserve this great experiment that is the United States of America.”
These people yesterday are the ones who have listened to Trump since the election. Since he lost the election. They listened to his his repeated lies of election fraud. (Guess they all missed the part where he disemboweled the United States Postal Service so no one could vote successfully by mail?) Trump has undermined this country’s confidence in itself, and ourselves as Americans. It has been unconscionable and yesterday it turned violent. And yesterday they vandalized our Capitol. OUR Capitol. As a lover of history, I just do not get it.
And what else don’t I get is the double standard of treatment. If yesterday had been a women’s march, or a Black Lives Matter march, or anything else than what it was, how would the response have been? Hell they arrested Jane Fonda now a senior citizen again in December, 2020 at a climate change demonstration. The response disparity of yesterday is truly quite remarkable.
I have said it before, and will say it again, protesting is an American right by our very United States Constitution. I have done it. But not like that display of yesterday. But yesterday? That was destruction. That was an attempt to overthrow the government. Elections are won and lost, we don’t need to die over it. If these patriots would kindly remember this is why our forefathers fought so hard for us to have our lives today, it would be helpful.
It’s time for Trump to go away. Is their a straightjacket somewhere in his size? He does not get to destroy this country any longer like he has destroyed his businesses over the years. The true “art of the deal” is knowing when to fold ’em and leave…and please take your lovely family along with you, Donnie.
We have had four years of a nightmare reality TV show come to life. Trump, you’re fired. Now run along.
Thank you Twitter and Facebook for giving him a mute.
America the Beautiful? Let’s get back to that shall we? Thanks for stopping by and oh my oh my how many COVID19 cases will result in yesterday?.
Our late father did not serve in wartime but he did honorably serve his country between Korea and Vietnam. He was an officer in the US Navy. This photo unless I am mistaken is from Okinawa which was a place he was posted. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker” for doing so.
My Uncle Jack served in the US Navy during wartime in World War II. He also served his country honorably. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker”.
My maternal grandfather, my Poppy, served in the US Naval Reserve in Philadelphia during World War I. He did not see active duty during wartime, but he served as his country asked. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker” either. He also was registered as his country asked during World War II.
I even have seen thanks to Ancestry.com my paternal grandfather’s registration for World War II although he wasn’t called up.
My lovely father in law is a World War II veteran. He served with honor in the US Army.
I don’t have any ancestors or relatives that I am aware of who were extraordinary men except to their families who loved them. They weren’t super soldiers or anything like that but they served as they were asked. None of these men were “losers” or “suckers”.
There are many more who served in the US Military throughout time in my family. The ones I mention are just the ones who came to mind first.
So imagine how I feel about how our current United States President categorizes members of the armed forces?
But this horse is very much out of the barn. And it’s ugly. Especially coming from someone who never has served anyone except himself first. He umm avoided the draft a few times as a matter of fact. Four times. So he wants to describe deceased US Military as what now?
Ahh yes, getting political again and I don’t care. If you care, don’t read this post. Seriously. Because if you give me crap, this suburban housewife might verbally wield one of her rolling pins, while wearing an apron no less.
Recently I wrote a post about Trump’s mischaracterization of surburban and rural women. Well with apologies to Britney Spears, oops he did it again.
Well Oh Donnie Boy, the tweets, the tweets are calling. From glen to glen, and down the mountain side. The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling, It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.
I am back. And you Donnie Boy are indeed a national treasure. As well as being the poster child for a deranged, malignant narcissist. And yes I am saying that about a sitting U.S. President. Last time I checked they hadn’t revoked the United States Constitution. (Although I am sure someone is working on it?)
Allow me to re-introduce myself: part of who I am is indeed a suburban housewife. And I am offended that apparently we are all supposed to be pregnant barefoot in the kitchen, or at least chained to something in the kitchen. And drooling versus thinking.
If you love this President, there is no way on God’s green earth that you can talk your way around any of his tweets. They are consistently offensive to every woman everywhere.
And I say that as someone who has never exactly been a women’s libber but I’m starting to understand why you get to be that way as a woman more and more every damn day.
Gloria Steinem , I get it. Further and to the point, Susan B. Anthony doesn’t need to be pardoned by this guy and her ghost rolling over in her grave wouldn’t vote for him anyway.
So this is the guy who went from grabbing women by the pussy (not my words) to telling us suburban ladies how we are supposed to think? This is the guy putting up commercials aimed at little old ladies showing little old ladies in terror in their homes? This is also the guy saying the DNC removed “God” from the pledge of allegiance?
Umm hello? This is beyond ridiculous. This is beyond offensive. Lies and distortions and the rantings of a Twitterholic much? And people still support him. And I marvel at that.
So back to “suburban housewives”. Can we say sexist pig boys and girls? You talking about us? We are trying to do the man a favor. We are voting for Joe Biden so he has even more time to rant like a sexist pig on Twitter. (Picture me in an apron stirring a pot on the stove while saying this.)
We are all just here knitting socks, after all. My gosh, Mr. President you know we haven’t even one collective brain in our heads. I mean why we hadn’t even noticed you wanted to switch Puerto Rico for Greenland did we? Or that you are eviscerating the United States Postal Service so you can steal the election did we? Gosh honey, let us smooth our carefully coiffed hair we just sprayed with Aqua Net and give us a second to refresh our lipstick and don a fresh apron.
I’m sorry, am I being sarcastic? I am so sorry. I am after all, just a suburban housewife. I know not what I say. I do not have a brain. I am incapable of independent thoughts. I am but a mere mortal, female, and bobblehead. But before I turn Stepford, here are some runaway thoughts:
I don’t know when we moved into a dictatorship or oligarchy or something pretty damn close, but here we are people. More and more reminders every damn day of why this person doesn’t actually represent the American people.
This man doesn’t respect women or men. This man does not represent America. This man does not care about America. The only thing this man cares about is his own toxic malignant narcissistic self and what he can get out of all of us. As in how much money can he make of of us before he walks or gets shoved away?
This country is teetering on total disaster. And you can lay it at his feet. These toxic politics of running a country on Twitter has created a divisive, caustic atmosphere in which we all must try to just exist. That’s not fair to any of us, no matter what your political persuasion.
We are suffering from a global pandemic which Washington DC really still isn’t dealing with because telling the truth might interfere with someone’s re-election campaign, right? COVID-19 really isn’t real is it? It’s just something made up by politicians opposing the current administration, have I got that supposition down correctly? Essentially people are dying but as long as this guy gets re-elected that’s all that matters right?
WRONG. And I’m speaking to all the Republicans out there who secretly within the four walls of their own home know this isn’t a good person to have as a Republican president yet because they think they will turn to pillars of salt if they vote for a Democrat they will be among the Sheeple in November.
And let’s talk about other things in this country. How about the great racial divide? What has this administration done to combat racism? NOTHING. They have made it worse. Until 2020 I didn’t think it was possible to make it worse. Yet here we are and people are dying because of that as well.
People are rioting in the streets yet Marie Antoinette with a comb over would just let them eat cake (or more appropriately in this case, McDonald’s.) I would ask if he was a student of history but I think he was the one that mixed up World War I and World War II and the last global pandemic, correct? If this guy was a student of history he would understand how and why revolutions happen, right?
And I’ll remind you (again) I’m not a screaming liberal. I am a suburbanhousewife and former life-long Republican. I am also a woman with a brain who definitely resents the crap out of men who are sexist pigs and talk down to us. Or anyone.
And as a suburban housewife, I could probably tell the President of the United States more about affordable housing than he actually knows. To make such a broad and offensively sweeping statements over and over is also at its core, utterly ridiculous. To keep repeating the insulting suburban housewife tweeting points is also just pig ignorant. It will never make the comments true to keep repeating them, just constantly reinforce why no one should vote for him.
A friend of mine reminded me we actually met Joe Biden years ago at something my father took us to. I had forgotten. But we were kids. And the thing about Joe Biden is he has never pretended to be perfect. He has in my opinion, owned his mistakes. He’s not a divider, he’s a uniter. Oh, and people like him. So I would say there is a lot of big orange jealousy going on.
The United States of America is not some giant reality show, but our great nation has been treated like one for four, long, angry years. We owe ourselves better even if for some it means going OUT of their political comfort zone. They need to realize they won’t be like Lot’s wife and be turned to a pillar of salt because I think the angels have been warning us over and over we need complete change.
I mean seriously, do you out there remember when the Republican Party were actually true Republicans? I do. It’s tragic what has happened to that party. But their tragedy is America’s disaster and none of us can afford it.
I am not a big Hillary Clinton fan. Never have been. But when she said the other night we can’t afford another shoulda, woulda, coulda election she is actually absolutely correct.
So Joe Biden, feel free to come door knocking on my front door. I would love to meet you and Kamala Harris. I do spend a lot of time in my apron in my kitchen. But hey, I am a suburban housewife. But as a woman with a brain, that’s not all I am.
God don’t like ugly, and Donnie Boy has cornered the market. He’s actually “winning” ugliness. Please for the love of all that is holy, vote-him-out in November.
I am watching Christine Blasey Ford give her opening statement. As women we are all wired differently, but in my humble opinion this this woman is not lying. She is telling and reliving her truth on national television. (CLICK HERE not sure if link will change.)
When as a country do we stop blaming and shaming victims of any form of assault? This woman has been the target of harassment and death threats since she came forward? She and her family have had to MOVE OUT of their home? Her email was hacked this week?
She says “my responsibility is to tell the truth.”
I have watched the emotions run across this poor woman’s face. I will note that while not consistently a Senator Diane Feinstein fan, I thought she was magnificent this morning.
I also thought Senator Chuck Grassley was a veritable tool in his opening remarks. He has been a tool consistently throughout. Senator Patrick Leahy just made me tear up when he said to Dr. Ford “We owe you a debt of gratitude…bravery is contagious.”
“Access to equal justice for all is what was at stake in 1991, and it’s what’s at stake now,” said Hill, now 62 and a professor at Brandeis University.
A friend of mine recently said on Facebook:
For me, the striking thing about the reports of the (alleged) actions and behavior of Kavanaugh & peers in the 80’s is how utterly unsurprising and familiar the stories are and how much I took such behavior for granted as normal throughout my high school, college, and twenty-something years.
Philadelphia’s Main Line prep schools are not very different from those in the suburbs of DC. In the 80’s …we marinated in a pretty formidable testosterone stew, and the drunken, groping party scene among the schools was the reality I knew. For the most part I stayed out of the fray, but certainly had moments in the heart of it all – it may have been luck that I wasn’t assaulted, but I’m aware of female peers who were and who still feel the impact today, even if they never reported anything. I’m familiar with some of the men I was told were perpetrators, who now are stable, engaged, contributing citizens who may not remember or even be aware of the impact of their actions years ago.
When I arrived at my traditional, predominantly male college, the drunken, groping fraternity party scene didn’t faze me since it corresponded to the social scene I knew, and was one in which I willingly participated. As in high school I mostly avoided assaults that some other women experienced, until the one time that I, dead sober on a weekday night, bumped into a male friend who was wasted, who wasn’t convinced that I didn’t want to hook up with him, who pinned me to the ground until I managed to push him off and run away. It’s just about the most scared I’ve ever been around another person – I can imagine the feelings of fear and panic and lack of control that Christine Blasey Ford may have felt – and avoided him for the next few weeks, yet I never went to campus police and may have only told one or two people at the time. Later the guy apologized to me profusely and sincerely. I believed him that he had scared himself as much as he had scared me. We remain friends and is someone I like, admire, and appreciate to this day. Not every woman at college was so fortunate.
Pledge season involved a lot of male nudity; it wasn’t unusual each spring to find myself on the dance floor with some drunken, naked guys (who by that point may have become so numb and inured to public nudity they didn’t think twice about stripping down). I thought it was adventurous and funny; in retrospect now I can imagine how unsettling or upsetting it may have been for others at the fraternity party. From my perspective at that point, that’s just the way it was – that was normal.
Looking back at this culture through the lens of 30+ years of maturation and experience, I feel a little like the proverbial frog in boiling water – if I had been dropped in, I might have jumped right back out, but having been immersed in it as it slowly heated up, I never noticed that anything might be amiss. For whatever reasons – obliviousness, immaturity, desire for social acceptance, preponderant male power and privilege, entrenched social mores – it rarely occurred to me to question what we then accepted as the norm. Others may have been more mature or enlightened far earlier than I. It’s taken me longer to wake up and recognize it as unhealthy and harmful. Waving your penis drunkenly in someone’s face (it’s surely happened somewhere, whether officially witnessed, reported, and documented at Yale in the 1980’s or not) is not funny or acceptable. It’s boorish and threatening, and also probably really unattractive. (Sorry guys – penises are usually pretty ugly!)
So there’s no real moral to my tale, just an observational outpouring based on my experience as a white, heterosexual, overly-educated woman of privilege who has lived primarily in affluent parts of America. The issues that have been raised by Me Too, Why I Didn’t Report, Time’s Up, and ongoing stories that shed light on the pervasive nature of sexual misconduct, assault, and crimes in our culture are bigger and broader than just my tiny little slice of life.
The stories being told by the women speaking out against Brett Kavanaugh, though, speak to a specific milieu I recognize. He may well be an intelligent, accomplished professional, a man of faith, a pillar of the community, and a devoted husband and father, but he could also have been an asshole as a teenager, especially when drunk, who casually and cavalierly exercised his entitled belief that girls were prey to be conquered or trophies to be won while glorying in his alpha male dominance and sexual prowess.
I don’t know him and I don’t know if that’s the case, but, if true, the actions outlined by his accusers fit a profile that I find fully believable and very likely possible. For this and many other reasons it really chaps my hide that a bunch of desiccated, crotchety, superannuated white guys are trying to force through a vote without some semblance of sensitivity to the nuances of the situation. There is nothing easy here, and it burns me up that the response by some of those elected to lead our country is to say, essentially, “hush now – stop making a fuss over nothing and let us go ahead and do what we want.” Wonder how a younger generation of men may ever have picked up the notion that they might be entitled to casually and cavalierly conquer, belittle, and suppress women while glorying in their alpha male dominance. It shouldn’t be normal.
Thinking about all the parties from high school forward and thinking about times even as a young adult in my early 20s having to dodge this total tool who tried to trap me in someone’s parents’ bedroom coming out of the bathroom at a party I completely agree.
Being slammed up against a wall of a bedroom like that was not sexy or fun, it was terrifying.
All I remember about that were thoughts racing through my head that I had to get out of there and telling myself I couldn’t afford to panic. I was able to knee the guy in the crotch to get away. I can still see the draperies, the coverlet and canopy of this now long gone proper Main Line master bedroom. I can tell you the bathroom I used was the interior master en suite bathroom in the back of the bedroom.
Most of us have stories like this from our single days. The funny thing is I don’t actually know many women who don’t have at least one of these stories, if not more. Most of us, myself included, have multiple stories. Suffice it to say, it was an experience I had as a teenager which propelled me in my twenties to just get out of that room.
Being raised by mothers who just expected us to be good and proper girls, did not actually prepare us for the reality of it all growing up. And how many of us had mothers we felt we could truthfully discuss these issues with? I love my mother but I know I couldn’t discuss it with her. I still couldn’t.
Back then, women/girls were blamed first. It was always “what did you do?” not “Oh my God, what can we do to make this right?” Even today, the initial knee-jerk reaction is to blame the women/girls first instead of listening.
Not all of us want to talk about these incidents. Because back then if you talked about them it was also whispered that you were “fast” or “easy”. The guys in this equation were just sort of patted on the back and sent on their way. It was expected, and almost condoned behavior. Just “boys being boys” only it never felt that way if you were on the receiving end.
I also remember the stories of college girls when I was a freshman who were supposedly “trained” by fraternity brothers when I was in college. “Riding the Train” of course today would be called gang rape. Back then it meant they all lined up and took turns. They would ruin a girl’s reputation but what they in fact did was commit gang rape. These things were whispered about, not reported. We learned whom to avoid and what parties we probably should avoid. But the “boys” persisted.
Stories range from attempted assault to rape. And then there are all the women who won’t talk about what happened to them. Ever. Or not for decades. Some women deal with it in therapy or somehow push through it. And there are those who never dealt with these issues and what happened to them has continued to play a part in their now adult lives. Because as a society we don’t deal with these patterns of behavior, they persist to future generations. Maybe you will disagree with me, but those are personal observations.
And I don’t think as a society we can judge people for waiting however many years before they come forward. These were traumatic events and they have triggers. People can bury these things in their subconscious for years, until there comes a point in time or something triggers a memory and they all come flooding forward. And then it’s like these women have to live it all over again because they didn’t deal with it in the first place. And a lot of the times they didn’t deal with it in the first place because as a society we’ve only just started becoming supportive. As a society, we did not used to be so supportive.
Jessica Knolls’ book Luckiest Girl Alive comes to mind. It is kind of the way it was, although factionalized. Here is a New York Times article discussing the impetus:
….She is no longer dodging those questions. On Tuesday, Ms. Knoll published a raw and chilling essay describing how the gang rape depicted in her novel was drawn from her own experience in high school, when she was sexually assaulted by three boys at a party, and then tormented by classmates who labeled her a slut.
“I was so conditioned to not talk about it that it didn’t even occur to me to be forthcoming,” Ms. Knoll said during a recent interview at her publisher’s office in Midtown Manhattan. “I want to make people feel like they can talk about it, like they don’t have to be ashamed of it.”
Anyway, I think these women deserve to be heard. I also think they should not be judged about how long it took them to come forward.
Societally, this is something that women are NOT supposed to talk about in public.(Just Google #WhyIDidntTell And while there are a lot of people who have used the #MeToo movement for personal gain, and there are plenty of women who were not truthful and cried wolf, it has also given a lot of women a voice that is long overdue.
I will also note I have a problem with women who cry wolf. Women who fake it in this category are reprehensible. They make it more difficult for actual victims of abuse to come forward and even be heard. Sadly, my gut reaction to this whole scenario now unfolding on a national and international stage is still that I believe these women.
If you ever experienced anything like what these women are recounting, sorry not sorry, you know. You know because you experienced what has been pshawed off for far too long in this country as if not acceptable but almost expected as a rite of passage.
There is a recent Huffington Post piece that I think should be checked out:
Watching these proceedings as they unfold today I am struck by the two lines of questioning: legal questioning by the legal expert Rachel Mitchell constantly interrupted by some absurd five-minute rule by I can’t desacribe as other than politics.
Dr. Ford was asked one of the things she remembers most, remembers vividly. She responded the laughing. Sorry, I remember being a teenage girl and right or wrong, and while boys might block it out, or compartmentailze it away, girls remember the laughter.
Being laughed at or about is something you do not really forget. You grow up, you move on (or should if you can), but you do remember. We learn from our own personal histories just like we learn from actual history. However this shakes out, we need to be different in this country. It’s not about the political correctness police running amok, it’s a question of respect.
Whatever happens today, I hope it’s not another Anita Hill scenario. For both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, put the politics down and get to the truth. Waht an ugly time we live in.
The #reality of #Harvey. I have a very dear friend who literally just bought herself a house outside of Houston Texas after moving there a couple of years ago.
Emphasis is on just moved in. She was evacuated last night. We had hoped because she lives in a place that’s higher than most spots that she would be OK. She reminded me yesterday via text that a lot of people forget around Houston is a lot of bayou.
Above is what appeared on her Facebook feed last night. Her name and face are blocked out to protect her privacy but I wanted people to see what this was all about – this is no joke.
She has a son who live near NASA who was evacuated yesterday, and I have two other friends in the path of the storm. I don’t know if they are still sheltering in place or have been evacuated — they are actually Chester County PA transplants.
The other two photos are from my friend in Houston who is more in the thick of it in the city.
So while our president tweets BIG words, this is where this country actually needs him to BE presidential- not just tweet as the president.
Prayers for all in the path of the storm, including first responders. If my friends in Texas send me more updates and or photos, I will post them.
When you see photos like this they just make you happy. Obviously in love, on their wedding day, their whole lives ahead of them. Until ICE (immigration) shows up like modern day Nazis at the Septa train station in Haverford and arrests the husband.
I used to live in Haverford. I used to work near Haverford Train Station. I grew up in Haverford. I just can’t imagine the terror this man felt. I learned about his plight when a friend posted on Facebook:
I thought this possibly couldn’t be true, then I remember conversations I have had with people even locally in Chester County about ICE going into schools, ICE raiding restaurants and other businesses country and city, ICE rounding people up off the streets and throwing them into vans, asking for papers at SEPTA stops in Philadelphia (a supposed “sanctuary city”), tales of immigrants with “go” bags packed by their front doors in case they have to run, and does this seem crazy that we are living in a country that allows this?
We are a nation formed of immigrants. Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor. I have friends who emigrated to this country. I thank God that all of them are legal citizens.
Jonatan Palacios is his name. His lovely wife Lillie Williams has a You Caring Page up. I don’t know them personally, but what is being done to them is a crazy horror show at the hands of the US Government.
My name is Lillie Williams and early yesterday morning, on May 11th, immigration ripped me away from my husband.
We are working with a lawyer to get him out and get him back home to me as soon as possible, but we need help covering all of the expenses, fees, and loss of income as we work to do everything I can to get Jonatan out and back to his home and family.
Why did we get caught in this mess? Because we were going through proper legal motions. We submitted an I-130 spousal petition for him in October. We were working with the system to correct his legal status from his case when he entered as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 16.
Jonatan is my best friend and soulmate. I appreciate any help and support that you can provide to help us through this difficult time.
Jonatan and I had went on our first date the summer before my Junior year at Bryn Mawr College, on May 24th, 2010.
My roommate at the time had been dating Jonatan’s older brother for about a year before we started dating. Always thinking herself the matchmaker, she had made several attempts at getting Jonatan and I together before it finally happened. The final straw that brought the two of us together was a mishap one night, where my roommate had accidentally locked me out of the apartment in my pajamas when she was late to a date with Jonatan’s brother. I called my forgetful Italian friend to please turn around and let me back in, but instead she sent Jonatan to my rescue. He then had my number and asked if he could keep it.We started dating only a few months later and it was as if there was a magnetic force that brought us together. We were inseparable. Then, several hard events in my life happened which brought us even closer together. We both became each other’s home.
We were legally married at one one of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Amada on October 11th, 2014 and a year later we had our religious wedding ceremony with friends and family at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on October 15th, 2015.
The pastor from Jonatan’s church officiated with the service in Spanish and translated into English so that everyone there would understand. It was one of the happiest evenings of our lives.
When we were getting ready to get married, I learned about Jonatan’s case. I thought that it was something that we would be able to resolve with marriage– since I am a born United States Citizen and my ancestry goes back in the United States to colonial days I thought it would be a simple case of petitioning for him once we were married. I found out after that the case was a lot more complicated than either of us had thought.
It turns out that people don’t become citizens simply through marriage to a US Citizen Spouse. It is a long and difficult process and sometimes, if you are unlucky, things can go wrong with your case.
More About the Issue:
If you would like to know more about the overall issue, there is a whole organization of families like mine that have gone through or are going through similar issues, American Families United. You can learn more by going to http://www.americanfamiliesunited.org/.
This is so unreal. Their crime was being naïve and thinking they could trust the United States of America. They filed what they thought was the correct paperwork and instead of help, he gets arrested at the Septa station in Haverford with assistance by Lower Merion Police Department. Ok, so let’s be fair, I am guessing Lower Merion Police Department did not have much choice in the matter when the Federal Government comes calling, but can you imagine the abject terror he must have felt along with anyone else who was around there on May 11th?
Ok so those of you who are die hard conservatives are getting ready to sharpen your keyboards and read me the riot act for this post, but please.
Stop and think about this for a moment. This young couple were trying to right a wrong. They were not trying to be deceitful. Now this guy is sitting in some jail facility in York, PA and do we even know if he has been able to see his wife? Or other family? They were not hiding and they were punished anyway.
For every one of these stories I hear, the mental image of World War II come to mind. The stories of Holocaust survivors and immigrants of another century telling the stories of Nazis demanding papers during World War II era Europe. Tell me, how is this different? Because it is happening under the banner of the United States of America?
What is it that is carved on Lady Liberty? What is the exact figure of immigrants who came through Ellis Island and passed the Statue of Liberty between 1820 and 1920? 34 Million? This is the poem Lady Liberty wears:
“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “”Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I am the descendant of immigrants. I am descended from three nationalities which were once discriminated against and disparaged against – Irish, German, Italian. I grew up with many tales including “Irish need not apply” and WOP jokes and disparaging German comments . I fear for my legal US citizen friends who emigrated here because some still have the lingering traces of the countries they were born in. What could be done to them in error because they don’t have your typical American accent?
Whether you know this couple or not, if you can peacefully or peaceably help, help. Attend the vigil, write elected officials (including all 14 commissioners in Lower Merion Township to ask WTF??, essentially.)
Whose America is this? Whose America are we living in? I am not sure and I am so sad at this latest turn of events.
I shared a link from the Daily Local about Congressman Ryan Costello and a “pop-up” town hall meeting. I said I thought Costello was a nice guy.
Basically I have taken a lot of crap for that ever since.
Congressman Costello, I do think you are a nice guy, but these folks are right: nice isn’t going to get you re-elected next time. We are. Or we aren’t. How it happens is up to you.
Your constituency feels abandoned by you. You can’t just dance to the tune of party bosses and donors and PACs with deep pockets. Not trying to be offensive, it’s how the game goes.
See below, Congressman Costello. Do the right thing. And by right thing I do not mean robo-calls that lead to on the phone town hall meetings. They aren’t town hall meetings they are conference calls where you don’t have to look your constituents in the eye.
Do the right thing. I might think you are a nice guy, but it’s not my job to take crap because of what you aren’t doing- I sure as hell do not work for any politicians.
But I am a blogger and I do feel it is my responsibility to pass along these comments, even highlight them.
Good hardworking Americans from coast to coast feel completely disenfranchised by the current state of affairs in Washington DC. Truly we are terrified at what the land of the free is becoming. It’s like a cancer is spreading across this country. The only question is what will YOU do to stop it?
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson
You will note I have not said much politically as in national- elections-politically in a very long time. Except for mentioning that after the most recent US presidential primary I went from being a life long Republican to a registered Independent.
I haven’t mentioned anything because on both sides of the aisle the ranting and raving especially on social media has been upsetting. We are officially a country of extremism politically at this point and I find that terrifying.
Our President Elect seems incapable of getting out of his own way. He attained the highest office in the land, literally. So why is it at this point so close to the inauguration that he can’t behave in a more shall we say “Presidential” manner?
He likes to criticize people like bloggers and the media and celebrities and basically anyone who disagrees with him in any way. OK so it’s fine to be a cranky person who reacts to everything on Twitter, but this guy is going to be our president officially as in sworn in officially in a matter of days and the only thing he can do is attack Meryl Streep for exercising her right of free speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony?
It’s not like it’s anything new is it? Award ceremonies are used by celebrities all the time to voice their political opinions and platforms.
Meryl Streep is eloquent and thoughtful. And once again our now President Elect has vilified yet another woman. Why does he have issues with women so often?
Apparently no one else is allowed to say anything he might find upsetting, distressing, personally distasteful. But in that double standard world in which he lives, he can say whatever he wants it’s just everyone else who has to keep their mouths shut.
Newsflash Mr. President elect this isn’t Mother Russia. Pravda need not apply. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s opinion, but our forefathers fought for our freedom’s including freedom of speech.
I actually wonder in addition to trying to completely dismantle our healthcare system if he will try to well rollback freedom of speech a couple hundred years. I am waiting for laws that will hurt bloggers and reporters and anyone at all who has an opinion that differs from the party line that the incoming administration wants out there.
By Elahe Izadi and Amy B Wang Arts and Entertainment. January 9 at 8:32 am
Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. Okay. Go on with that thing.
You do not have to share Meryl Streep’s politics to know she speaks the truth. And this country was founded by people who fought so we could speak our truths and not live under the thumb of tyranny. They died for this.
As Americans are we going to allow the clock to be turned back to a more oppresive form of our country? you know a country where women were barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and didn’t open their mouths?
I could go on but I won’t. I just felt like I had to write about this. Every day I fear more and more that the next four years will be so ugly. We should not be ruled by political extremism and reactionary politics. We should not be ruled.