Fighting mad

For the past year—since before the election, really—I have been depressed and afraid. Very afraid.

But now I’ve moved into anger.

I don’t know where that falls on the continuum of grief, but it is where I have landed. I am speechless with rage.  

Last Tuesday, I went to bed feeling pretty happy with the election results. On Wednesday, I couldn’t stop smiling. Then came Kevin Spacey. Louis CK. And, just in time for the weekend, Roy Moore. One can only imagine what will be revealed this week.

If I were a Christian, I would be appalled at the perversion of my faith.

If I were a Republican, I would worry about the future of my party.

As it is, I am a woman and I am fighting mad. I can’t stop thinking about the sign I saw at the Women’s March, which said, “I can’t believe we’re still fighting about this.” Yet, here we are. Still fighting for justice, autonomy, equality and the right to move through life unmolested and unafraid.

To all those who delight in parsing how many predators can dance on the head of a woman’s hairpin, I would just like to ask: in what universe is masturbating in public ever acceptable behavior? (Louis CK).

In what book of manners or morals is pedophilia ever allowed (Roy Moore and the “if-then” crowd)?

And what HR regulation empowers you to hire the spy agency of a foreign nation to intimidate and compromise an accuser (as Weinstein is said to have done with Israel’s Mossad)?

I became a health coach to help women like us overcome the limiting beliefs that undermine our confidence and restrict our ambition. I wanted them (and you) to learn from my experience so you can give yourself the permission to dream big and go after those dreams—and feel good doing it.

In that spirit, I’d like to propose that we (re)commit to hearing each other, helping each other and fighting for each other. Support and sponsor other women. Advocate for their interests and well-being when they are threatened. Don’t be afraid to speak up and stand up in the face of injustice. Believe in yourself and your ability to make a change.

We don’t all have to agree on every issue, but when we stand together we can finally put to rest the sense of privilege and entitlement that tries to silence us and keep us in our place. When we fight back, we become our toughest
{ selves }.

It's OK to be angry. How will you channel that anger into positive change? Please tell us in the comments below.

He said. We act.

Whoops, he did it again. Harvey Weinstein (60 and counting). Bill O’Reilly (millions and millions paid). Roman Polanski (recently accused of molesting a 10-year-old). And now, Mark Halperin (who only now recognizes his behavior was “inappropriate”).

Can’t someone rid us of these troublesome men? Yes, we can. We can take action.

Let’s start with the perps. The ones who make us choose between our money and our lives. Here’s a pro tip: Sexual assault and its handmaidens of threats, retaliation, trolling, revenge and blackmail is beyond wrong. It is criminal. It is not up to us to say no or live in fear of provoking you. It is up to you to not do it in the first place.

Let’s talk about families because respect and decency start at home. Parents need to teach and re-teach their sons that men of good character do not harass/aggress/assault women. Ever. Parents, especially dads, need to nurture their daughters’ self-esteem and empower them to stand up for their bodies and their dignity.

And let’s put sexual assault in the larger context of power plays. Because that’s what it is: an abuse of power. 

When legislators pass laws that deny you autonomy over your body (contraception, reproduction, gender expression), that’s abuse.

When companies perpetuate the wage gap or practice hiring discrimination, that’s abuse.

When the leaders of our country undermine our well-being with policies that threaten our civil rights, social safety net and the environment, that’s abuse.

The list goes on and on. But we can stop it. Hold the abusers/predators accountable. Speak up. Fight back. Tell the world. Whatever works. You won't be judged or shamed. The perps will.

By becoming our own best advocates, we become our most powerful { selves }.