October 2, 2016

Hillary is our Power Totem.

Clinton Trump Debate

The scene was all too familiar.

There was an angry man talking over a carefully composed woman who demonstrated that the only way to deal with someone attempting to tear you down is to not engage. Women watched with shocked recognition, remembering the many times we have been on the receiving end of this treatment. And here it was played out on a national stage in the middle of a presidential debate by a man who is a legitimate candidate for president of the United States.

Trump didn’t attack and talk over Hillary simply because she’s a woman; he did those things because he’s threatened by her, and I expect he attempts to overpower and silence all those who threaten him.

It struck a chord with women, though, because many of us are treated this way by men as a matter of course. Being dismissed, talked over, and silenced is part of systemic sexism.

Whether we agree with her politics or not, we saw ourselves in Hillary during the debate. We remembered our own experiences and strategies, and our successes and failures in dealing with sexism. We recognized her cool exterior as our own, while we also know that beneath that lies the pure righteous anger that comes when others try to subjugate the power of women.

This is an ancient, universal anger that women have learned to wield with delicate precision, like a scalpel to carve out hate and injustice, or the fine point of a pen to illustrate the sharp edge of intellect.

The choice to remain calm and centered through focused attention and to not allow those who wish to dominate us to gain control of our thoughts and feelings is a power move. And Hillary, standing steady at the debate podium and looking directly into the camera, showed us how it’s done.

As troubling as Trump’s version of masculine is, there is hope in the rising feminine. During the debate, we recognized the behaviors of one candidate as too similar to the men in our lives who have mistreated us, and we also recognized the strength of another as our own. Misogyny is old as dirt, but women are strong as hell and no man can change that. We’ve got this.


Author: Angela Meredith

Image: Youtube Screenshot

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Angela Meredith