Let us begin with full disclosure: I do not like this current president. Every time the man tweets I feel like I’m in a monster movie. I have lost sleep because of him, I’ve lost friends because of him, and some days I think I just might lose my mind because of him. He is either ignorant, mentally unwell or a colossal, selfish jerk (or all three) and someone like that simply should not be sitting in the Oval Office. That people willfully chose to vote for him to “shake things up” without any concern for the world at large alternatively confounds me, angers me and breaks my heart.
I also have major issues with most of his surrogates, including Kellyanne Conway – who has shown she will do just about anything to defend the craziness of Trumplandia – and Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Why, I wonder, would intelligent, educated women work for this ninny?
That said, I have a very strong belief that women should support each other because the patriarchy sure as heck isn’t going to give us a break. So, when the female owner of the Red Hen Restaurant in Virginia denied service to another female simply because she doesn’t like that female’s choice of work, we are taking a step back to middle school, not forward toward the empowerment.
I’m a journalist, so I tend to have a knee-jerk aversion to PR flacks like Sanders. However, I did that job for a brief period myself and during those seven months, my assignment was to make my employer look good even when I disagreed with what he was doing or how he was spinning particular events. Eventually, I couldn’t do it anymore and quit.
I could make that choice because I had another job was in the wings, and I am ever so grateful I did. We don’t know if Sanders has any other option. Maybe she does, but like lots of high-powered women (and men), she likes her current job. Isn’t that what the Sisterhood fought so mightily for – that women get to chose their life path instead of having one foisted upon them?
Or is Sisterly support only for women who chose the paths we approve or or do jobs we appreciate? I would never want any woman to aspire to being a stripper or a hooker, but here we have women’s groups decrying limitations on “sex work” and if a woman calls BS on that, she’ll pretty much lose her feminist-cred card. We’ve apparently decided a woman has a right to strip for the sole pleasure of a man, while also deciding that it is not okay for a woman to work for a man we don’t like.
In other words, just like in middle school, the Sisterhood is deciding to pick on girls who don’t act the way the Sisterhood has decided is best. We tear them apart (her hair, her clothes, her weight, her smarts), not seeming to care that we might just be breaking another human. Yet if that woman were to turn on us, decrying our choices in life, we’d say she was retrograde, un-feminist, ignorant, ill-informed or worse.
Here are the facts: Unless you are a personal friend of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you don’t know anything about her except these two things:
- She works for someone many of us view as dangerous on the world stage, and,
- She’s a woman in a role that is usually held by men.
That latter point should call for rejoicing because one of us has made it pretty darn close to the top. That doesn’t happen that often, does it?
So, for the sake of all women’s potential progress, the Sisterhood needs to pull in their cat claws and play nice with women who are breaking down glass ceilings, even if we don’t like what they do in their job. You don’t like Sanders? Get her boss out of office, don’t deny her service at your restaurant or begrudge her her success. Get off your butts and out from behind your Twitter app and Facebook feed and online petitions and knock on doors and register voters and use your grown-up words and your inside voice to get Trump and his cronies out the door. Work as hard to get Trump out of D. C. as Sarah does to keep him there.
I think, like all powerful women, she’d actually welcome the challenge.