In Sunday’s Guardian, writer Barbara Kingsolver framed her essay “End This Misogynistic Horror Show” on the current presidential election around an age-old argument with her father, who when she was young, told her flatly that no woman could be president, moving forward to his determination that he would vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Barbara Kingsolver is a stunner on any scale. Every single one of her books since 1993 has been on the New York Times bestseller lists. Eight of ’em. From Animal Dreams to Flight Behavior, there just isn’t anybody quite like her. A trained biologist and novelist, she is known for her wonderful wit, original take on things, and cutting to the bottom line. Her awards and honors go on so long, you’d tire of them, so just let’s name one shall we? The National Humanities Medal.
Recalling that argument with her country doctor dad, she reflects, “I ended that evening curled in bed with my fingernails digging into my palms and a silent howl tearing through me that lasted hours and left me numb. The next day I saw life at a remove as if my skull had been jarred.”
“I’m horrified to watch the bizarre pageant of my nation pretending these two contenders are equivalent. No one really imagines Donald Trump applying himself to the disciplines of the presidency, staying up late reading reams of legislation, instead of firing off juvenile tweets. It’s even harder to imagine Clinton indulging in the boorish self-aggrandisement, intellectual laziness, racism and vulgar contempt for the opposite gender that characterize her opponent. If anyone still doubts that the inexperienced man gets promoted ahead of the qualified woman, you can wake up now.”
A hard-working, smart, decent, rich by her own talent woman, she observes: “Months ago, Trump bragged that he could commit murder and still retain his following. He was right. Legions have clung to this foul troth right up to last month when he declared that we really don’t need to hold an election. “We should just give it to Trump now, right?” Because there is no other candidate – she’s tainted, we don’t need reasons; it goes without saying, the woman isn’t a person.”
She warns us: “Listen: it is not politics as usual when one camp continually threatens the other with imprisonment and death, screaming female-specific vulgarities, painting her face on targets, hoisting her effigy being hanged. No candidate in the history of the US, Barack Obama included, has been subjected to so much jubilant violation.”
She concludes, “More than half the world’s people are female; the principles of democracy suggest we may claim that space as ours. What we get to do now is lock arms and march to the polls to vote for Clinton. My father and I have waited half a century to see our old argument settled. Both of us hope with all our hearts to wake up on Wednesday and see that he was wrong.”
Do yourself a favor. Read the entire article by clicking on this link. What gets me through the dark night is knowing they are out there, the women like Kingsolver and Clinton, who somehow have made this “man’s world” their own.