Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Anger of Women

Women are angry over the Kavanaugh hearings.

We’re a generally ticked-off group, for well-documented reasons, but nobody can live with anger as their dominant emotion.  We dissipate a lot of energy in trying to stay alive, to maintain love affairs, to work at something that doesn’t sap the spirit, to get educated, to stay healthy – and beyond all this, we are the family caregivers, responsible for the small children and the older people.

It’s amazing that, periodically, we still have enough energy to come together and agitate for our rights.  But it’s happened before, and it’s happening now.  The “Me too” movement is still going strong, because it’s composed of years of buried shame, fermented into anger.  And the Kavanaugh hearings are like the putrid miasma of all our experiences, all the times we’ve blamed ourselves instead of hunting down our attackers.

Most of us have absolutely no doubt he did it, because his tone and words echo every man who glories in his impenetrable male privilege.  Women know the type.  His moods shift like quicksilver, he’s manipulative, and he’s the victim whenever he doesn’t get exactly what he wants.  

A lot of women have been triggered by these hearings, remembering experiences we’ve bundled away in the darkest closets of our memories.  Is it time to look at these memories, to ask ourselves why we didn’t call the police, or even tell our families?  Why were we so paralyzed? How do women learn so young that we have such meager rights, even over our own bodies?

In October, Venus is in Scorpio, the sign that most strongly connects to buried trauma, and to everything tucked away in the caverns of our psyche.  And as the month begins, Venus is already slowing down to go retrograde.  It will spend October going over old ground, excavating graves, mourning what is dead, looking for signs of life, finding forgotten truths and abandoned emotions. 

I’ve been predicting that Kavanaugh would be confirmed because Pluto is trining his Jupiter, and to me that looks like an influential new position.  Of course, he’s already influential, against his will, as a springboard for a cultural shift.  Venus retrograde looks like it might delay things, and that’s already happened.  But will it be enough to keep him off?  I doubt it.

But there’s one thing we know, even if Kavanaugh manages to plant his beer-loving butt on the Supreme Court.  The people may seem easily distracted, but we all have a long memory.  When something isn’t fair – like that stolen Supreme Court seat – we remember. 

And we women remember every time a man has harassed us, chased us, threatened us, or humiliated us.  Most women can count dozens of occasions like this.  We’ve learned to ignore, to laugh it off, to swallow our discomfort, to weigh the consequences of reporting these crimes.  Maybe we won’t be doing as much of that, now that we’ve all seen this ugliness in broad daylight. 

It will take a huge social transformation.  After all, why did Thelma and Louise go over that cliff?  It’s because Louise knew she wouldn’t get a fair trial, after she shot the man who was trying to rape Thelma.  So it’s not just that men have to stop assaulting women, it’s that there has to be justice for any woman who responds with equal force.  If there isn’t justice, then there’s just some form of self-sacrifice, and most of us have generally figured that the safest course is silence.   

Whenever women surge forward, there’s fierce pushback.  Mercury and the sun begin the month in Libra, the sign of balance and justice, so questions of right and wrong are in the forefront.  Many good people want to do right.  But this month both Mercury and the sun square Pluto, the planet that rules Scorpio.  And so there’s tension between the outward tidiness of law and order and the raw emotion of the deep psyche.  On one side, there’s what we know, believe, and subscribe to.  On the other side, there’s what we would rather deny, avoid or forget. 

But with every woman who speaks out, what is forgotten lives again.  We women have spent our lives alienated from our bodies, our anger, our agency.  This is a month for reclaiming all of that.  Our power lives deep within us, and, at this moment in history, it’s driving the forces of change.