Tuesday, March 27, 2018

When are we all Stormy Daniels???

our daffodils!

Of course we'd never be a porn star or have sex with Donald Trump. PTL!

Nor am I planning to share any further photos here, at least none of Stormy with or without Donald. Maybe some kittens or puppies or flowers.

But one can not escape her unless you avoid all TV and radio and print news. What is it really all about? Some, maybe most are intrigued by the cheating, the salacious details, the weird little comments such as, "you remind me of my daughter," when she was around the same age (!) but there has to be more. 

The commentators (and her lawyer) insist that the real significance is the evidence this whole thing affords that Trump lies (we knew that), cheats (knew that decades ago), bullies (REALLY?!), and most important, has committed criminal acts of campaign finance fraud. Fine.

coming soon!

It's the age-old tale of a dozen people looking at an elephant, each seeing a very different thing. Here's mine. In the interview (Yes, I watched it!) I saw a woman who was moderately attractive, who looked very tired, stressed, and careworn for someone who is only thirty-eight. I saw someone who, legal or no, made a decision along the way to use her body as a tool to get the things she wants and needs. Talk about her being "intelligent and well spoken" aside, I saw a woman. By the way, who's to say that lots of porn stars and strippers aren't intelligent or well-spoken? Not me!

The extent to which we, as women, have traded our dignity, our bodies, our looks, and our lives, the only lives we have, to get security, money, adulation, or what we mistook for "love" is only a matter of degree but not of kind. The day we give our power and our integrity away, we begin to be a victim. And this culture mediates against women and leads them down this path in a multitude of ways. It's aided and abetted by women, who will take their sisters down, and mothers who raise daughters to play this role and  raise sons who perpetuate this whole scenario.

So, there's that.

But, maybe even more pointed: I also saw in this woman's face and posture and demeanor, and heard in her voice, someone who has been disbelieved, threatened, controlled, bamboozled, attacked, and gas-lighted, now and perhaps every time she has stood up for herself. Is she strong and tough? no doubt. Is she scrappy and maybe even mendacious? Possibly. Is she scheming and possibly dissembling? Could very well be! And.. all of these things are defense mechanisms employed by women who are discounted and disbelieved.

Here's what I want to say: I have been disbelieved and discounted. I have a chronic illness. I have migraine headaches about 25 days per month I can tell  people think I am exaggerating or making them up! I have had people in my own family, denominational "officials," and people in close relationships look at me and take a few steps back as if they think I am "crazy" or maybe too loud or too angry, because they don't want to hear the truth, and never apologize when the truth comes out weeks, month, or years, later. That's gas-lighting. Pure and simple. It happens to women. All the time. It happens because we know things. We're intuitive. Like witches.

It happens to victims of sexual assault. It happens to people of color, and marginalized people everywhere. It happens to children. 

That's what I'd imagine is happening to Stormy aka Stephanie right now. That's what I felt as I watched her in that interview. The one image that I can't un-see is the photo of her slumped in the chair, strapped up to the lie detector, her ample breasts still the most notable feature. I feel like women, and disenfranchised people of all stripes, and men too, often, go around like this, strapped up to a lie detector, always feeling like we have to haul a briefcase of proof around or produce witnesses to validate what we say or that what we assert is true.

But some of us (of all genders as well) but I can only speak for myself, keep coming back with the truth. We are like the daffodils in Kentucky. Damn things won't die! They've popped back up after three (or four?) big snowstorms, many overnight freezes, and wind and heavy rain. Resilient and determined, our mantra is "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

That's why we are all (maybe not all, but most, at some time) Stormy Daniels. Some of us aren't. If you keep your mouth shut, let "them" have their way, go by the script, you'll get by. But the truth will still be true.