Outrage

Disclaimer: This was hard for me to write. It may be hard to read. Please take care of you if you choose to read on. If something squeezes your heart too tight, listen to that, take a break and come back later. These words will not leave. 

The Vanity Fair article featuring has me all hot under the collar today. “I am so mad, I could spit,” I choke out like Grammie Marg used to say. As I read steam rolls out of my ears, sweat beads on my forehead and my insides shake.

It’s time we had a set too.

Unless you have been in a coma for the last twenty years – you know the details. He had power. He used it. He used her – like a trash compactor. Then he threw her out like trash. She has had to spend the last twenty years picking his garbage off of her.

He carried on, a little ruffled, but life was largely intact. He muddied the waters. He obfuscated the narrative. She got two front row seats one in the trash heap and one under the bloody bus. She got to rotate those prime seats for twenty years.

I read about the etiology of her demonization. How did it begin? With his classic, emphatic, and over quoted denial, “I did not have a sexual relationship with that woman…”  They lauded. She agonized.

Well lookie here… we have amnesia. He is a LIAR. A damn good liar. Twenty years later… when asked why he sexually abused this young intern he said: ” Because he could.” 

Because he could?

“As it so often does, power throws a protective cape around the shoulders of the man, and he dictates the spin by denigrating the less powerful woman.” – Monica Lewinsky

Power can be a deceptive and diabolical dragon.

Power gave him a cape.

Power gave her a shroud.

Damn.

Just damn.

For fifteen years he enjoyed life without much public query of his conduct. Meanwhile, she is still in therapy asking and answering tormented questions.

If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn’t want to answer.” – Monica Lewinsky 

She apologized. Why? I suppose she felt she ought. Sexual abuse is the one offense that leaves the victim with more shame than the offender. Case in point. She doesn’t even merit an apology in his eyes. Why? Who the hell knows. His wife doesn’t think his conduct was an abuse of power and he did it “because he could.”

My stomach is as clenched as my fingers would be if I wasn’t trying to type.

I am outraged for her.

I am outraged for me.

I am outraged for you.

I wrote about Power the other day. I wrote about those who got it and those who don’t. I wrote about who gets thrown under the bus and who gets a free ticket to ride on the top deck. I wrote it because I am SICK and TIRED of watching “victims be called vixens.” Right up to my “chinny, chin, chin.”

I wrote “I Wonder…” today in my outrage. It doesn’t feel like enough. I wrote it anyway.

Outrage usually comes with violent action. I feel my flailing weak word arms are limply flinging at a cannibalistic giant. Meanwhile hot tears of outrage stream down my sunken cheeks. No, it surely is not enough. But word arms is all I’ve got to flail today.

I’m tired now, most of my outrage spent. No more need to spit. Good thing – cause I can’t spit too far anyhow. Margaret Atwood said, “A word, after a word, after a word is power.” It bloody well better be.

Why does it trigger such outrage? Two reasons. First, I have a pulse. Second, it hits close to home. Why did I write this about someone else’s story and not about my own?

Because I damn well can.