Scarlett had it right

Tomorrow is another day.

Yesterday, I mourned. As a woman. As the sister of a gay man who has had to remarry his husband of thirty years several times as the laws changed and changed again. As the aunt of a special needs nephew, and Puerto Rican nieces. As a mother of amazing children who will have to keep fighting for what’s right. As the mother of a child lost to the stigma, and the on-going lack of understanding about addiction. I mourned for all the Others who I can empathize with but never know what it is to be them.

Now it’s tomorrow. I will not mourn.

I fought and fought and fought for Chris, and ultimately lost in a way we can’t come back from. All my mourning belongs to him. I have fought my whole life to unravel what it means to be a woman in this man’s world, in a world that supposedly venerated the mother who stayed home to be a mother, and alternately found fault with her choice of “tradition.” I’ve fought to find my value, to embrace it and exude it and claim it when society wouldn’t give me my due. I believe I am a strong woman, a confident woman., and I am, in my world. But my world is small, and though my value within it is vast, it apparently doesn’t extend much beyond that sphere.

Yesterday, the country proved many things, and one of them is that there are too many people who believe that the only way to live their authentic lives is to make sure everyone else lives theirs by the same rules. This election wasn’t about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It was about the clash of ideals.

Conservatives see their world crumbling, their values being compromised, their pockets being picked. Liberals see that crumbling as expanding, those values being altered to encompass those who don’t fit the old molds, and sharing the wealth too long being hoarded. The extremes of both groups speak the loudest, and frighten all those in the middle. That is where the common ground lies. That is where we all, Conservative and Liberals, get to live our authentic selves.

We need a place that rejects misogyny, bigotry, and racism (MBR) without stamping out those mindsets we don’t agree with. There are comparatively few who would say, “I’m a racist/bigot/misogynist! What of it? It’s my right as an American.” But they exist, and they’re the ones wearing the face of Conservatism proudly, and across the globe. Most who are promoting MBR don’t believe they are. I’m treading on very shaky ground here, because I don’t understand how people who claim something like, “Muslims should be banned from coming into this country,” don’t see that it’s racist. I don’t understand how my brother’s marriage somehow invalidates theirs. And I certainly don’t understand how anyone who believes they have the right to dictate a woman’s reproductive health doesn’t see the misogyny. But these mindsets exist, and they feared all the change as somehow impacting them and their rights. They saw the last eight years as that change being forced down their throats. What Liberals saw as progress, something to be celebrated, they saw as horrifying, and threatening to the fabric of their existence.

Conservatives tend to look inwardly. Liberals tend to look outwardly. Self-preservation means something different to both sides. What won the election for Conservatives was fear. What lost it for the Liberals was apathy. What this whole country suffers from, on both sides, is ignorance.

This thing has been done. It will go horribly wrong for everyone if ignorance continues to prevail. It’s time to embrace the Other, whoever that is. If we always act in kindness, we can’t go wrong. If we always treat the Other as we would want for ourselves, our loved ones, everyone wins.

I will not be silent. I will not mourn. I will not give up the fight. We can get there, America. We will get there.

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17 Comments

Filed under Political

17 responses to “Scarlett had it right

  1. Elizabeth

    This is excellent. Especially the last three paragraphs. Amen and God Bless America.

    Like

  2. Powerfully written! The only point I take exception to is that your world is small. Terri you have a voice, and an audience that will be shared far beyond your world. Keep roaring! You’ve written a perfect piece! Sing it loudly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. America will get there because we have always been a nation of fighters.
    Thank God for our great democracy, because it lets us all play a role in that fight without fear of prosecution.

    Like

  4. Riley Britton

    I am deeply offended by this. I am a Christian and a conservative who voted for President Trump. I resent being called names for my choice. The left preaches tolerance, but only to those who think like they do. No one is dictating a women’s reproductive health. The left has hijacked that term to mean abortion. Why isn’t the left protecting unborn females? Why isn’t the left celebrating that fact that Kellyanne Conway is the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign? “Homophobe” and “racist” are two terms that have been frequently thrown about in reference to people who have different opinions from those on the left. Believe in the sanctity of traditional heterosexual marriage? The left calls you a homophobe. Don’t agree with President Obama’s crippling policies? The left accuses you of being a racist, and just plain unaccepting of America’s first African-American president.The Republican Party on the other hand does not wave its so-called tolerance in anyone’s face. On the contrary, we simply support the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution. We defend the first amendment that the Democratic Party squashes. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are vital lifelines to this country’s success and chances for continued prosperity. If you are a beneficiary of prosperity, we won’t discriminate against you either.

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    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Thank you for your comment, Riley, and I’m sorry you’re deeply offended by my words. I strove to keep the language from accusatory, and welcome an open dialog of all mindsets in a way that lets us all understand one another.

      I called no one names. If you claimed bigot or racist or misogynist as one I called you, that has everything to do with you and nothing whatsoever to do with my intent. There are many, many good Republicans, Christians, Conservatives–male and female–who I believe can find the common ground we can all exist on.

      I have, on several occasions, remarked on the tremendous accomplishment of Kellyanne Conway. She was a woman doing her job, a very good job, whether or not I agreed with her candidate’s platforms. Now, about that “homophobe” and “racist” you took offense to–you are not a homophobe because you believe in the sanctity of a traditional marriage. You are if you deny the right to people who don’t believe as you do. Your system of beliefs and ideals cannot dictate to others, any more than you want theirs dictated to you. If you don’t approve of gay marriage, don’t marry a member of your sex. If you disapprove of abortion, don’t have one.

      You say you support the Bill of Rights, but do you? For everyone? Or only those who think and feel as you do? If freedom of speech and religion are vital lifelines to this country’s success and prosperity, it can’t only pertain to people who think and believe as you do. If these things don’t apply to you, we have no issue here. None whatsoever. I embrace everyone’s right to believe and feel and think however they wish. It’s when that belief seeks to dictate to others what they believe, how they live their lives that creates the problem.

      I hope you reread my post with different eyes. I truly do. My whole point was that we need to find a way to see the Other perspective, whatever that may be, and find the common ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynne Reive

    Once again, you’ve been translating the current mayhem in my head. Thank you for putting my chaotic mind into your powerful written word. You speak for millions of women, Terri. Don’t ever stop.

    Like

  6. MaryAnn Forbes

    You are indeed a strong and courageous woman; a loving Wife & Mother, an excellent writer, a kind,funny & passionate woman, a survivor and a tireless advocate for social justice and for what is right! This coming from a woman who has never met you, yet have felt your presence in my life. We can’t ever give up the good fight. Kudos to you!

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      You made me tear up a bit, MaryAnn. Thank you so much for those beautiful words. You honor me. I have found such sisters I’ve never met! ❤️

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  7. I am speechless. Thank you for putting into words how many of us feel. Please continue to speak for the voiceless.

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  8. Thank you, Terri. This is so powerful. I especially appreciate your very well-reasoned response to Riley. I feel truly blessed to have friends like you in times like these. Hugs & love.

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Thanks, Karin. I kind of doubt Riley will ever see my response, but I hope so. And thanks for your kind words, for your love and for your hugs. December is going to be even more epic than we thought. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Riley Britton

    I did see your response and appreciate it. It didn’t change my mind, but at least you did not spew hate at me like many liberals do when people refuse to bend to their views.

    Liked by 1 person

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