It’s hard to prioritize women’s issues when there is so much else going on

Dear President Trump,

Nice as it was, I’m back from yesterday’s whale watch. How about you go on one though? And maybe get lost at sea. I know there would be a big fuss about us misplacing the president but if you were missing at sea you couldn’t say hurtful things to slain military people’s family members and we could steer the government back to its main mission of making it possible for several hundred million people to live together more or less peaceably. I know the whale watch idea is far fetched but you could go ahead and venture into the DMZ on the Korean peninsula; this would likely end up being equivalent to you being lost at sea. Not only is it a stupid idea from a safety standpoint, but it’s idiotic from a strategic standpoint and you would just be the object of ridicule and disdain for the cowboy antics. But you are your own man so far be it from me (obviously) to try to talk any sense into you. Actually, you should throw caution to the wind and really stick it to Kim Jong Un by pissing in his own backyard.

But dang it, this isn’t what I wanted to write to you about.

This morning I sketched out a series of three or four (possibly more) letters in my head on why I think it has been so very difficult to make much progress with regard to sexism and misogyny and I will lay out my arguments over the next several days. I am struck, though, with how hard it is, even for me, to prioritize women’s issues when there is so much else going on that feels like “hair on fire” urgent. I bet, though, we wouldn’t have so many insanely urgent issues if women had not historically (and currently) been silenced, marginalized, and disenfranchised. If women and men shared power equally, at all levels of our society, things would be very different, and based on many, many observations from developing nations where the overall community well-being rises dramatically when women are empowered, I think things would be light years better here. So really, it is extremely urgent that we figure out how to stop giving powerful men (and not powerful men) passes when it comes to how they treat women so that we can establish healthier dynamics and governance before we are overwhelmed by careening testosterone-crazed pseudo-leaders. So I guess this is installment #1 in my feminist rant. Stay tuned.

May all women and men be safe.
May all men be happy to respect women.
May women enjoy healthy self-respect.
May men and women together work out peaceful ways forward.

Tracy Simpson

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