This Election is About Women.
Not a woman who may become President. Not even about a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, and all those things women and some men have been fighting for. Those are the things everyone in power wants you to believe this election is about.
But they’re wrong. This election is about the women we’re too ashamed to admit even exist. Women who’ve been assaulted on a date, women who’ve been demeaned at the office, groped and then told there just isn’t enough evidence to prove it–the kind of broken women we’re reading about more and more in fiction…but are afraid to admit really exist.
Donald is a demon. That may well be. But don’t think Hillary is going to help your daughters get equal anything. Why? Because the change we need goes deeper than institutions and laws, and that’s all politicians talk about.
A good writer sees what we are afraid to admit is there. A good writer reads the radar of things we don’t want to see coming. I doubt Laura Halse Anderson, Ursula Le Guin, or Margaret Atwood will ever be invited to join Hillary’s brain-trust, because these are writers who see battered women as more than just victims.
Sex assault victims are the lepers of our age. Sure, we help them with hugs and counseling; tougher laws and lip service, but the only way we are ever going to make them whole will be by standing up and admitting we’re all part of the problem.
We are men who secretly think the same things Donald is saying about women.
We are women who think the system works and all we have to do is get rid of a few bad apples.
We’re all broken, really. That’s what I think when I pick up a novel by Margaret Atwood, because she’s able to render that the problems we think are related to sex and gender go a lot deeper.
The only way I can show young people how deep the problem of sex and gender go is through fiction. The only way they can admit to me how afraid they are is by trying to talk about characters who aren’t real…
So, this November, vote for whoever you believe in. But don’t be fooled. Nothing is going to change until we admit we’re all part of the problem.
And please, before the rhetoric dies, join the real dialogue: http://www.fictionfaithandyoungpeople.com
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