Yesterday, Jeff Sessions testified in front of the senate. I could spend this whole post on him, the lies he told, the concerning difficulty he has with his memory, and his visible discomfort on the stand. But the reality is, you can read all about that here, and here, and here, and preferably not here. Honestly, I don’t think that this is the real story. I don’t think that anything worth listening to is going to come from the mouths of anyone directly enmeshed with Trump and his administration. Given the frequency with which they directly lie, we should all be wary of trusting any damn thing they say.
So if the real story isn’t the continuous lie, then what is it? It’s this. Kamala Harris has been interrupted while speaking more than once, now, as she stands her ground during what have proven to be pretty tumultuous hearings. And frankly, that matters.
Kamala Harris is a woman with power. Kamala Harris is a woman of color with power. The fact that her voice has been publicly silenced by white men on two separate occasions is something worth noting. It is an example of a devastating trend. Women of color are ready and willing to go to bat for us, to ask the hard questions, to fight with consistency and yet, their male counterparts are regularly undermining them.
And while women of color endure this (and so much more) on a grander scale than any other group (which is why feminism is either intersectional or bullshit), ALL women have to contend with this sexist trend. Hillary Clinton endured it during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Elizabeth Warren endured it as she tried to read Coretta Scott King’s letter. And odds are, if you’re a woman, you’ve endured it too.
This matters because these women – Kamala, and Hillary, and Elizabeth, and Coretta – are all of us. I can’t tell you how many times (white) men (and women – which always stings a little more) have tried to silence me. I have received phone calls pleading with me to be less provocative. I have been sent text messages accusing me of looking for a “scapegoat” and admonishing my behavior as “unreasonable.” I have even been sent bible verses expressing all of the ways in which I am a bad Christian for my “wrathful” ways. All of these are attempts at silencing me. All of these are attempts at shaming me. And I know I am among great company, as all powerful women face negativity like this.
Women are leading this resistance. Women are at the head of the difficult and completely terrifying work that needs to be done to dismantle the system of white, patriarchal oppression that elevated Donald Trump. And so every time our voices are silenced, it is a devastating blow to our cause. Kamala Harris was interrupted by John McCain, who loves talking about how horrid this administration is, but allowed Sessions to talk in circles after cutting Ms. Harris off in her attempts to redirect him. Elizabeth Warren was interrupted by Mitch McConnell for trying to share the warning written by a powerful woman of color regarding our now Attorney General.
So, as in Mitch McConnell’s attempted-scolding-turned-slogan, we must persist. And we must support one another <3. Strong women empower one another and, given that we have to do most of the heavy lifting here, we can’t waste any time playing into the hands of the men who want to see the perpetuation of the status quo. So get with it ladies. Or get out of the way.