Women, Shine Your Light in the World!

It was an emotional week. Rarely do we get to watch our Congress men and women in action, unscripted, in real time; much less a confrontation between a psychology professor and a Federal judge, reduced to the somewhat level playing field of a Congressional hearing into a sexual assault alleged to have happened 36 years ago.

Like everyone else I know, I was drawn in, cheering the tightly controlled Professor Blasey Ford and aghast at the immature behavior of the aspirant to Supreme Court Justice.

But then, what else should I have expected from a Trump appointee? He played Trump in the hearing: a boorish lout, alternating between arrogant entitlement and whining recriminations.

He made it entirely possible to believe Blasey Ford’s haunting tale of a boy who forced her down on a bed, laughing as he held his hand across her nose and mouth to stifle her screams as he mounted her. He was too drunk to do the deed, but the encounter scarred her indelibly. And apparently she wasn’t the only one to have been treated this way by young Bratt—oh excuse me, I mean Brett.

As has been noted by the commentariat over the past few days, in high school and college Brett was a good old boy in the making. People like Trump and Graham and the rest of them—they probably honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about. Boys will be boys and after all, he didn’t actually rape her.

Never mind that he would have if he hadn’t been too drunk—oh and by the way, he was drinking illegally, the legal drinking age in Maryland was 21 at the time. And she was 15.

One of the most horrible moments of his testimony was when he talked about his young daughter “praying for the woman.” What could have been in the mind of this girl as she watched her father, by turns belligerent and sniveling, confronting “the woman” accusing him?

What is in the mind of Brett’s wife, or his parents, the ones who know him best? Does Brett behave that way at home, too? Have they seen how mean he gets when he drinks?


There is a movement afoot today among women to black out their Facebook profile photos, to symbolize what it would be like if women disappeared. The idea seems to be to encourage more respect for women and what we offer to the world.


I’m not participating. I don’t want women to disappear, not even for a moment, not even symbolically. The world needs women to step up and become more visible, not less.

I am so grateful to the women who made themselves visible and heard at Congress during the hearings, including Maria Gallagher and Ana Maria Archila, who confronted Senator Jeff Flake, camera rolling, and made him listen to how his apparent lack of regard for Professor Blasey Ford’s testimony made them feel disrespected and invisible.


Women in patriarchy have been taught to be nice, quiet, demure, polite, submissive, acquiescent, meek…we have so many words in English to describe the proper behavior of women, don’t we?

Well, look where following those rules has gotten us, ladies and gents. We are living in a time of broken people, broken society, and broken ecosystems.

This is what I’m talking about when I say we must bring the personal, political and planetary into alignment with our vision of positive transformation. We cannot fix the big problems that beset us—climate change, political corruption, misogyny—without starting from the personal.

We can see now very clearly how much the character of a Supreme Court Justice, or a President of the United States, matters. Indeed, good character—by which I mean integrity, trustworthiness, responsibility, the earnest wish to do good and at the very least do no harm—might be the most important qualification for any leader, at any level.

We can also see how the system has been rigged to favor those good old boys, who always close ranks around their bros when threatened. There is a reason so many powerful adult men came up through fraternities—the same fraternities we hear about occasionally killing young boys with their violent hazing rituals, often involving a lot of drinking.

The #Metoo movement, as well as the unprecedented wave of women running for political office, is all about women saying enough is enough. We’re not going to be nice and quiet and let boys be boys anymore.

In 2016, we were sure Hillary Clinton would win and be the first women POTUS. And she did win the popular vote, but the boys had the system rigged from inside and from outside, calling in the Russian cyber goon squad to make sure things would go their way.

But we’ve seen through it. We see you, frat boys, mean boys, domineering, leering, despicable men. You’ve gotten away with it for too long.

A new world is struggling to be born now, through the hearts and minds of people who believe that truth and justice are not just fairytales, but treasured aspirations.

The founders of the United States had some good ideas, but they were still blindfolded by the darkness and prejudices of their time. They were racist and misogynist. They believed they had a “Manifest Destiny” to hold dominion over the beautiful land they called America.

We are living through a precious moment of transition from that old order to the new one we can see glimmering in potential. We have the chance, in the 21stcentury, to preserve what is good about the old American Dream and make it better; to fully realize that idealistic vision of equality and justice for all—all people and all living beings on this beautiful Earth.

For this, we need the feminine in all humans to rise. We need the nurturing, loving side of humanity, so long denigrated and dominated by the aggressive, masculine side, to step into its full warrior woman brilliance.

And it’s happening. We can see it in women like Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez; in Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Stacey Abrams. We see it in Maria Gallagher and Ana Maria Archila, demanding the white male senator listen to them. And we can see it in the 1600 men who signed and paid for the full-page ad in The New York Times last week, proclaiming their support for the courage of Dr. Ford—and, belatedly, Anita Hill—in speaking truth to power.

1600men ad in paper

This is not a time for women to disappear. On the contrary, it’s a time for women to shine our lights most brilliantly, to be loud, demanding, forthright and incisive.

It’s time to take America back from the frat-boy louts who currently crouch in power like so many Jabba the Hutts, enjoying the helpless fear of all the little people whose chains they like to jerk.

In the next month, we have to mobilize to get people out of to vote, including the half of eligible voters who simply haven’t bothered in the past. I am worried about another hacking of the election machines…I wouldn’t put it past them for a moment. We must be vigilant. We must shine our lights into dark corners.

Now is not a time for blacking ourselves out, women. On the contrary, now is the time to shine!

listening for Gaia copy

Leave a comment


  1. Jutta Martin

     /  September 30, 2018

    Beautiful blog, couldn’t agree more! Thank you for speaking up.

  2. mmace63

     /  September 30, 2018

    Yes. Please continue to make your voices heard.


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