When I see the photo of a young woman, young enough to be my granddaughter, standing in a crowd and holding a handmade poster that says “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept,” I feel hope, and pride in our young people, and through them, in our country.
Sadly, it is not what I feel when I listen to the proceedings coming out of our United States Senate. It is my vision of that young woman, and my recollection of the millions of women with whom I marched in January, 2017, that keeps me from crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. And it is not just because I want to escape. It is because I feel unsafe, and vulnerable, feeling the pull to retrieve the primordial safety and comfort I knew in my bed as a child. It ought not be that way.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept”.
My Unitarian Universalist colleague Peggy Clark recently posted:
“To the hundreds of men on my friends list:
Be gentle with the women in your lives. You are likely not to understand how devastating this last week has been. Women are suffering a lot these days as they are reliving all the stories they never told…”
She is right. I am reliving all of the stories I never told, and all of the stories that have been told and entrusted to me, and possibly not to anyone else. It is a lot to relive. It ought not be that way.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
It is not that I don’t recognize the reasonable expectation that justice be allowed to take its course, withholding judgment until the facts are in. I do. I wish it would be offered as an option. Surely it is always possible that a free and fair investigation would exonerate Judge Kavanaugh, at least as possible as that it would find him guilty. But the cards are stacked against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the men in charge do not want to know.
We are not guiltless. These men are our elected representatives. We are not the Rip Van Winkles of the world who woke up one day and found the country in this state. It has been like this all along. And it has to change.
Yours in faith, sorrow, and hope,