Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Patriarchy in Pictures

Here's a picture from last Thursday's meeting, at which Mike Pence met with conservative male lawmakers to toss around ways to deny women decent maternity care and health benefits:
Here's a picture from today's meeting at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at which Donald Trump presided over a dramatic and symbolic effort to roll back past efforts to address climate change and earth destruction:
Could it be any more obvious?  Not a single woman in either picture.  Not a one.

Two pictures, two moments: and a clear signal that women's bodies, women's experience, women's leadership is not only unimportant, but an impediment to Trump's destructive agenda.  When the topic is women's health, women can only be in the way.  When the topic is making money and exhausting Planet Earth, women can only be a distraction.  So who needs them?

Is it not clear--let those with eyes see--that this President has nothing but contempt for women's creativity, women's power and even women's rights?  It's not like he didn't tell us himself (see 2016 bus tape). 

It strikes me tonight that the two pictures are deeply, critically related.  To honor the earth is to honor our sister's body and our sisters' bodies.  To honor the integrity of our sisters and mothers, our daughters and their daughters, is indeed to honor the integrity of creation.  There is no other way.  When we finally take care of the earth, it will be because we have finally grasped this truth.  In so far as Christianity (particularly American Christianity) has perverted this truth, we are profoundly complicit in misogyny and violence.  You can call yourself "Pro-Life" all you want, but these pictures (and the ideology they represent) are anything but. 

A key dimension (maybe the key dimension) of resistance in the Age of Trump starts with a feminist critique of power, of the institutions of American governance, of this President in particular.  We have to listen closely to the women (who are not in the pictures above, who are not in the stories these men tell around the fire) and draw strength, inspiration and wisdom from their instincts, experience and direction.  They lead us.  They must be the ones to lead us.  

Are we ready for that? I hope so, because these two pictures scare the hell out of me.