Joy in the Midst of Predators

I’m so tired of seeing Roy Moore news everywhere. I’m tired of writing about him. He’s gross. He’s a misogynist. I don’t want someone like that representing any population of people anywhere, but apparently, other people feel that the Republican agenda is more important than his individual record or character.

Sigh.

Meanwhile, there are more men being outed for their sexual harassment or assault every day. And here we are, women watching this, lots of us, survivors of sexual assault ourselves, being triggered every time we turn on the news or the radio or any media outlet anywhere.

And this is good. This is pushing women to take a stand, to write, to create, to tweet, to be angry and all of that leads to change. But we’re also tired. Tired of the systemic misogyny, tired of men trying to explain to us what it’s like to be in our position, tired of remembering our own assaults over and over. So so damn tired.

It’s ok to be tired. This is a lot. The events happening themselves would be bad enough, but we’re also contending with people all over social media coming out in defense of these predators and that was a shock I wasn’t expecting. Oh well hello there former colleague, I didn’t realize you were a misogynist too. Good to know.

 

So how do we navigate this important season?

I don’t think anything will make the stress and frustration go away, but we can be gentle with ourselves and engage in some radical self-care as we traipse through this misogynistic valley we find ourselves in.

Advent is a season of joy and just because everyone else is losing their shit doesn’t mean we can’t have joy in the midst of it. Haven’t we lost enough to people like Moore already? They don’t get to have our joy too.

I grew up thinking joy was this thing you had to manufacture, this chipper happiness that you’d just exude if you tried hard enough. I thought it was being happy even when things were falling apart. And I always felt guilty for not having that, like I was missing some great spiritual key or attribute.

I realize now that joy is something to be pursued, cherished and held on to. And that we can find it in the midst of suffering, not because we feel like we have to, but as a way of caring for ourselves and surviving the suffering. It’s a defiance of the crap and the crappy people that surround us.

 

The political party and the church tradition I grew up in may be losing their everloving minds and I will be pissed and I will rant and cry and tweet and write about it, but I will also enjoy watching Christmas movies with my little boys snuggled on the couch.

There may be sexual predators raining from the skies, and it makes me remember and it makes me feel sick, but I will enjoy a really good novel with a really good cup of tea.

We may see misogyny everywhere and men who have perpetuated it for decades, but I will remember my husband and how he loves me well and respects me as his equal.

I’ll remember my dad and how he told me my entire life that I can do hard things. I’ll remember how he loves my mom and how my parents taught me to be a feminist by respecting each other as partners.

I’ll remember my mom and how many times she told me that cooking, sewing, and scrubbing baseboards were not synonyms for the word woman, solidifying my feminist beliefs even as a little girl.

 

We can feel the pain of all of these revelations and we can be angry and let that anger push us toward change. And then we can remember the good that is already there, not out of guilt or compulsion, but because it’s good for our souls and our souls could use some good right now.

 

Feel the pain and remember the good. I think that will get us through.

 

 

 

 

 

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