Reason Speaks Softly But Screams to be Heard - Kavanaugh VS Ford

kavanaugh_ford_1538077234646_6129688_ver1.0_640_360A friend asked about my perspective on yesterday’s hearings from a “female” point of view.

The contrast between Dr. Ford’s “I’m so sorry; I don’t remember” and her efforts to make the people questioning her “like” her was magnified 100 percent by Kavanaugh’s belligerent, arrogant, disrespectful behavior. Every male pundit who praised the way she presented herself showed he had no understanding of what it takes to win in this environment. She was believable because she made you like her. She was believable because she apologized. She was believable because she was overcautious in everything she said. Most important, she was believable because she was not threatening in any way.

He was not believable. And it didn’t matter. With his bullying and by instilling a fear of reprisal, he silenced those who would’ve stood up for her. It’s easy to lull a group into silence that way. You can hide in plain sight in silence when there are others doing the same thing. And no one was afraid of her reprisal if he or she didn’t come forward to support her.

Many of my friends contacted me during the testimony to say they were weeping — and in some cases, they said they didn’t even know why. A few said they were crying because they felt so badly for her. Empathy is a great thing — and she certainly won the empathy contest — but unfortunately, that wasn’t what yesterday was about. For those of us who weren’t quite sure why we became so emotional, perhaps it’s because the disease to please appeared alive and well in Ford. And the attack, attack, attack to win exhibited by the candidate for the highest court in the land still stands in our society as a methodology that can’t be countered with any semblance of decency. Our desire to please and to compromise, to bring consensus to any major decision will always be my preferred methodology. But when going up against a GOP type of fighter, it’s like going into a Wimbledon finals match with a badminton racket. And what makes it all worse is that I’m not willing to do what it would take to fight their way.

So the hope that things have changed since Anita Hill testified 27 years ago were dashed yesterday. I believe Kavanaugh will be confirmed. I believe his wife will lose any sense of self-respect she might have had. I believe that most of the men in that room have zero respect for women. I believe we don’t know how to demand or earn that respect. I believe the gender differences are greater today than they were 30 years ago. I believe that we have to take it to the polls. We will never win in a fight like the one we saw yesterday. We will only win when more decent people are in office.

This same friend often tells me that ‘reason speaks softly but screams to be heard.’ Yesterday, Dr. Ford spoke softly, filled with reasoned certainty. Sometimes it’s hard for reason to be heard over the bullying raised voices of men like Kavanaugh and Graham. We’ll see.

July 4th, 1976

I had a great love in my life. I was in my early twenties and had just arrived in New York City from the cornfields of the University of Nebraska. He was ten years older than me, on his way to success, and further along in the “being a grown-up” arena. He was handsome, smart, funny and incredibly energetic — the kind of energetic that took others along for the ride. During one of the

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Kate Spade

The thing thing about Kate Spade is that her accessories made me feel pretty. Not “Chanel pretty,” which always made me feel like part of a club I didn’t want to belong to. Not pretty like Saint Laurent, who always made me feel that I better make my body deserve to wear him. Not pretty like Valentino, who made me feel masculine in a feminine way. Powerful. (I liked that, but I never felt pretty

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The American of Old

I was on the phone with my BFF, from Alliance, Nebraska, talking about conversations with aging parents. She said she loved the stories her mom told her about her father. Lorie’s mom is 97, and her father would be 120 if he were he alive today.

“Tell me one,” I said.

“My mom told me that her dad, who had come over from Lebanon to Nebraska, was a laborer and so proud to have found

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Good or Evil. Either Or.

October 2003

Last week the headmaster from the school my daughter attended through fifth grade was arrested for child pornography. It seems that he was entering chat rooms for 13- and 14-year-olds and sending them graphic pictures of things he would like to do to them. I forced myself to write the last two sentences. It is the only way to make real the fact that someone I know — an old, old friend —

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A Drug Addict's Random Thoughts ... as Told to Me.

Recovering Drug Addict & Pirate As Told To Chris “The difference between a thief and a drug addict is a thief will steal from you and deny it. A drug addict will steal from you and help you look for what’s missing.” Chris asked me why I keep calling myself a recovering drug addict. She said that she felt I was more than that and I should find myself another way to describe me.

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Focus & My Ex Husband

Much is written about being in the moment, whatever that means. I had an epiphany today. It’s not just about being in the moment; it’s about turning moments into habits. Let me explain.

Someone for whom we were writing something mentioned that she has her Saturday “Mommy–Daughter Day.” She doesn’t plug in on Saturdays; she and her daughter plan a full day together. and it’s written in stone, or blood, or whatever ink is used

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Bayley: Well Trained Terrorist

I’m pretty sure Bayley is being trained by the Taliban at night to be a terrorist. It’s really the only possibility because during the day, she is constantly with me, so there is no other access to her. They have taught her well.

She never strikes in the same place twice, so when you have protected the vulnerable location where she previously struck, she moves on to other locations along the perimeter. It’s really quite

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Abraham, Martin & John

Martin Luther King Day.

There was a song from the sixties, Abraham Martin & John, that personified the racially-charged times in which we lived back then. I used to listen to it over and over again. It occurred to me this morning, Martin Luther King Day, that it points out what is possible when leaders step forward to help us rise to our best selves.

My generation is really lucky. We have lived and watched

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Three Wise Men?

When I leave my house to go anywhere this holiday season, I drive by the Nativity scene set up in East Hampton. It’s the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the three wise men, a shepherd (maybe two) with some sheep, and a few other men who don’t seem to be of much use at all. Whenever I glanced over, I experienced this uneasy feeling, like I’m missing something or something is out of place. I

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