I watched the presidential debate.
And I am still hurt by what I heard and saw.
To be clear, this entire campaign has been painful to watch. The racism, xenophobia, and sexism demonstrated by a candidate for president of the United States has been unreal, and the fact that people support such a candidate, including members of my own inner circle, has been quite difficult to stomach.
But for me, Monday brought it all home.
The interruptions (Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times). The mansplaining (like when he tried to call Clinton wrong on stop-and-frisk). The accusations hurled at Hillary: she smiles too much (The Atlantic Editor David Frum) and her smile is condescending (Richard Grenell, former diplomat and GOP talking head), she’s over-prepared (tweet from Meet the Press), her finger-wagging (NY Times columnist Ross Douthat), her face was not attractive (Brit Hume of Fox News). I’ve had the same things happen to me many times; when I complained, I was blamed for being an uppity bitch.
And let’s not forget all the people Trump ridiculed for being fat, which I find ironic coming from a fat man. But, I digress.
I had lunch with a friend this week, and she said she didn’t understand why I had such problems with a former supervisor because she’d never had a problem with him. I’m not surprised. Not seeing gender bias for what it is is a coping mechanism. As long as I believe I’m the problem, there’s something I can do to fix it. If I accept the problem isn’t me, I have to ask myself why I remain in a place where I am treated so badly. The denial makes it difficult for other women to complain and often easier for talented women to move on. Perhaps that mass exodus of good employees is not for the reason you think it is.
For a long time I thought the problem was me, then I watched how supervisors treated other strong women.
Here’s one incident that stands out. We were having a staff meeting, and a woman in quality control agreed to speak to our work group about the QC standards by which our work was graded. The supervisor was rude, refused to make eye contact with the woman, and one time he did engage her it was to interrupt and accuse her of misinterpreting a previous interaction in which he was rude to her. She, in turn, effectively shut him down and went on. While she talked, the male supervisor sat and worked on his laptop. As soon as the presenter finished and before she had even gotten up from her seat, the supervisor sent out an email thanking her for her presentation. His passive-aggressive actions made it look like he cared, but it was obvious he’d been typing the email instead of showing some true respect by actually listening to the presentation.
And he’s still there.
I want to thank Hillary for showing the world the truth about gender bias. Unless you’re a damn fool (or a misogynist), there was no missing it if you bothered to watch.
I also want to thank Hillary for showing me a woman who doesn’t lie down and take it, but fights back. While it bothers me she had to prep to be “appealing” to the masses, I applaud her for doing so. I felt like she shoved it up the ass of every man whose shit I’ve had to put up with during my lifetime.
To those who continue to support that bigot whom I refuse to name: I have lost respect for many of you, and wonder how you look yourself in the mirror each morning.
I pray that son-of-a-bitch is not our next president.