I Am Going to Die Angry

Many years ago, after a lover had treated me badly, I had a dream where I was angry at him for messing with some papers that I had in a tray on my desk. I woke myself up saying out loud what I was saying in the dream: “I’m so angry! I’m so angry at him!” When you say out loud, with your actual vocal cords, what you’re saying in the dream, you know that your unconscious is working VERY hard to send you an important message. And mine was. I’d been telling myself and everyone else that I was OK, that I was over it, that I was mature enough to handle all of it. And that may have all been true. But what was also true was that I was really angry over how badly he’d treated me — and I had every right to be. And even if I only ever admitted it to myself, I needed to understand and remember just how righteously angry I was. And I was.

All of which is a long wind-up to something I’ve said many times, which is that I am going to die angry over what happened to Hillary Clinton. And I mean it. I hope my next-to-last words are to tell my family that I love them and am proud of them. And I hope that my last words are to commend my spirit to the Great Mystery.* But there’s a very good chance that my last words are going to be, “I’m so angry!” And, I’ll be OK with that.

Because what happened to Hillary happens to all of us, every day, only just writ a little bit less large. We get judged far more harshly and treated far more unfairly than men. See here for the actual research and data.

The entire But Her Emails nonsense was based on the notion that a careless, devious, untrustworthy woman had mishandled classified information. And if she’d done that, how on Earth could we ever trust her to be President? In the end, of course, Hillary did no such thing. People are surprised to learn it, but there were NO classified documents on her server. And her server was never hacked. (And it was legal, at that time, for her to use her own server.) True, the Russians hacked the RNC server (and kept that info for kompromat) and the DNC server (and released that info with such tidbits as risotto recipes) to make it seem like Hillary had been hacked. But Hillary’s server was never hacked. Sadly, the truth, as is too often the case for women accused (“She’s a Witch!”), didn’t matter. The lie and the implication, repeated over and over, was enough. Because we’re all predisposed to believe that women are untrustworthy and incompetent. All of us. Even other women. Unconscious sexism is a thing.

And mere days before the election, James Comey (who will never, ever, need to kick his own ass if I’m in the bar) released some emails from Clinton’s aide’s husband (right, a man, another one who thought sending dick pictures was a good move) and that played into the whole But Her Emails bullshit. A few days later, when Comey admitted that there was no there, there, it was too late. The damage was done. And the result was Donald Trump.

Now, of course, we know that Donald Trump not only mishandled classified information (we knew that while he was in the White House, and we knew that so did Daughter-Wife, and Kushner, and most of his aides), but also refused to return the documents when asked, lied and said they’d all been returned, and then made up stupid stories that change regularly about whether the documents were planted, whether he’d declassified them “with his mind,” whether he’d shared them with the revolving circus of spies and bad actors who file through his tacky Mos Eisley cantina of a resort, etc. And, it turns out, Joe Biden had classified documents at his home. And, it turns out, Mike Pence had classified documents at his home. (It’s important to note that Biden and Pence helped with the searches and turned the documents over ASAP, which makes their cases quite different from Tump’s. It’s also likely that our system of deciding which documents get classified** and how such documents are handled, especially in this digital era, is due for an overhaul. I’m sure Congresswoman Greene will get right on that.) So we can now see that the woman got accused of, and crucified for, doing something that men do regularly — and she never even did it. And no one is surprised.

And this week we learned that the guy in the NY FBI office in charge of counterterrorism, the guy who was likely feeding Giuliani info on Clinton, the guy who likely leaked, just before the election, to the NYT that there was no Trump-Russia collusion (narrator: yes, there was), the guy who likely sent Comey the dick pictures from Clinton’s aide’s husband — that guy — has been arrested basically for colluding with the Russians for rubles. Quelle fucking suprise. Every woman I know knew this was going on, even if we didn’t know that guy’s name.

Just today I had an exchange with a guy I respect a lot on Twitter. He focuses on Virginia politics and after Congresswoman Spanberger left a Congressional caucus called the Blue Dogs, because she preferred a new name for the group, he tweeted that, gee, that was so like her to vote with the Blue Dogs for years and then leave them when her anticipated run for governor would he helped by a new name. And, you know, Spanberger is occasionally to my right, although I think she’s the best we’re likely to get from her district, especially after redistricting. But what she did is what male politicians do all the time — take a stance that will help them in the next election — except they’d get called “savvy, strategic, pragmatic.” “Congressman X is not afraid to boldly re-create his image to address changing circumstances.” But when a woman does it, we’re somehow supposed to view it as sneaky, dishonest, underhanded. “That’s so like her.” When I called him on it, he pretended to think I was defending the Blue Dog caucus. Speaking of dishonest and disingenuous.

We’re still treating women unfairly. That sexism, even if unconscious, still has real-world results. And I’m still incandescently angry. And I’m going to die that way.

* Oscar Wilde is supposed to have turned to the wallpaper, said, “One of us has got to go,” and quietly slipped away. Heloise is supposed to have breathed her last while cracking open the crucifix, to which she’d prayed every day, to reveal the hidden feather that Abelard had given to her as a token of their love. Dorothy Parker wrote “Excuse My Dust.” I’ll never match those.

**Think about it from the perspective of the person who’s going to get in trouble if it turns out the document should have been classified and wasn’t. It’s always in their interest to go ahead and classify it. “If you think I’m wrong, YOU go to the trouble of trying to get it declassified and YOU deal with the fallout if it turns out that the information gets misused.” I used to have colleagues who’d say, “Well, let’s call agency Staff and ask them if, in these circumstances, our client has to file that petition.” And I’d always say, “Well, we can do that. And it gets us off the hook with the client. But we need to be prepared for the fact that the answer is ALWAYS ‘yes.’ Because if I were agency Staff and you asked me that question, I would always say, ‘Yes.’ If I’m wrong, well, someone filed a petition they didn’t need to. No skin off my teeth. But if I’m wrong, and they don’t file, and later on the agency says, ‘This person should have filed,’ and the person says, ‘Well Staff told me not to,’ then I’m in hot water, even though the agency had a fun policy that Staff’s advice wasn’t controlling. So I understand the motivations, but we do apparently classify way too much stuff.


Picture found here.

3 responses to “I Am Going to Die Angry

  1. 🦋
    I wish you peace.

  2. Hillary Clinton is the most exonerated human being in American history, perhaps in recorded history but, clearly, even being exonerated every time isn’t good enough for the great American free-press who were freed to lie about Democratic politicians by the Sullivan Decision, 1960, Nixon lost, 1964 Sullivan v. NYT 1968, Nixon won.

  3. You are so fucking brilliant. No surprise.

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