I was so tense yesterday that I was unable to see into the future. Not in a psychic way (which would be really cool but also not), but in the way that we do all the time where we imagine what things will be like if this happens or that does. The future was like this dark spot in my vision because I couldn’t imagine what might happen to my country if things turned out the way I feared was all too possible, and I couldn’t quite dare to hope that everything would be ok.
But I did hope, because that was all I could do, and as day faded into evening I settled into a sort of faith that our president would carry the day. I felt almost cocky at times, but then I’d remember Toby Ziegler’s timeless warnings against tempting fate, and I’d take a deep breath and grit my teeth some more. At no time did I imagine what life would be like on the other side of the divide. The future was still a dark spot on the horizon.
When the final results broke, I didn’t dare to believe at first, and I went off verifying it everywhere I could as tears sprang up in my eyes. When the last domino fell, I collapsed into a heap of sobs, traumatized, my relief expressing itself in tears and snot all over my boyfriend’s shirt. And when the sobs subsided, the sighs took over. I must have sighed a hundred times as I let myself relax for the first time maybe all year.
That was way too close, people. In an alternate universe, Alternate Rosie woke up to President Romney this morning, and some poor Weimaraner found out he was getting strapped to the roof of a limousine for a trip to the White House. In that universe, Alternate Rosie is writing a blog post about how to combat the upcoming troop-surge in the War on Women. In this one, we showed Mourdock and Akin and Ryan and Romney the door, and with any luck we’ll see a return to some semblance of sanity among the GOP. In this universe, we won the most important election of my lifetime. And the relief I feel today is only exceeded by my optimism for the future.
We’ve still got plenty to do in this universe before people like me can stop ranting on the Internet about gender equality and rape culture and the patriarchy. But in this universe, the President of the US is a feminist. I pity Alternate Rosie, but I’m glad it’s her and not me.
Back to work.
It’s not bad enough that I wake up nearly every day to some white, male member of the GOP making idiotic statements about rape, apparently, because now I have to watch as all my outraged friends react the way I did when I saw the Daily Currant story being shared all over social media today:
Yesterday, when Mourdock made his now-infamous claim that God wants women to give birth to their rapists’ children, I had the feeling Erin Gloria Ryan described in her Jezebel article Rape Fatigue and You: When There’s Just No Anger Left. This article appeared in August, and these assholes still haven’t let up in their assault on logic, reason, and our psyches. As soon as one of them gets slapped down, another one pops up–its like Whack-a-Mole, except not nearly as much fun because this shit they’re spewing isn’t just stupid, ignorant, and wrong–it’s also hurtful. It attempts to minimize rape, the experience of surviving rape, and most certainly the psychological damage that results from rape and the ensuing shitshow that comes with reporting the crime and pressing charges. And when this shit is coming at you day after day, you begin to wonder if it will ever end. You start to count the days in between like days since the last on-the-job injury. In fact, this exists:
Today, however, instead of some GOP asshole getting my blood-pressure up by saying something so ridiculous it ought to be a joke except it’s not funny, The Daily Currant (*the self-described “Global Satirical Newspaper of Record”) ran a story that is so close to the true state of things as to be completely useless as satire. I’ve long felt that the Currant plays their satire too straight; the reason the Onion works is because it’s over-the-top and almost always funny. And I suspect that unlike the Onion, which strives to entertain, TDC enjoys seeing their stories taken as truth and spread all over the Internet. I know they’re digging the traffic spikes. But in a climate like this one, where women and women’s issues are under attack, any attempt to satirize these attacks–especially where rape is involved–had damned well better be a) fucking hilarious, or b) ridiculous enough that no one is going to take it seriously. Sure, lots of people “got it” right off–they were familiar with the publication or thought the claim strained the bounds of believability. But for many it just didn’t seem that far-fetched–because frankly, it’s not, when you compare it to some of the claims actually made by GOP politicians recently.
It didn’t take me long to catch on, but by then I felt the same way I do when I see one of these stories and it’s true. As a friend of mine said, “It’s too close to home.” And every single time someone shares this story, expressing outrage over yet another bullshit statement by an ignorant Republican, I get angry and overwhelmed and depressed all over again.
So, Fuck You, Daily Currant, for making my day–a day when white male GOP assholes were apparently not planning to make any hurtful comments about rape–feel just like any other day.
Look, I wasn’t going to say anything, but he brought it up. It’s not that I’m not proud of the fact, it’s just that I don’t like to boast and honestly, the guy’s got enough problems. He’s hated universally by smart people and loved only by those ignorant and/or lazy enough to eat the shit he’s spooning out. He railed against drug addicts then had to admit he was one. And now he’s publicly stated that his penis is 10% smaller than it used to be all because of evil FEMINAZIS. Well, what Rush didn’t tell you is that it wasn’t just any feminazi shrunk his member—it was me.
You see, I have this part-time gig as a Fairy Godmother. I’m like the substitute FG when your FG is sick or has to go to the dentist. Well, one day I get this call and I’m like, “No. Fucking. Way.” That’s right, my client was none other than Rush. Fairy Godmothers, as you know, show up when you have a problem you can’t solve on your own and only if you have equity on account with the FGG (Fairy Godmothers Guild). I have no idea what Rush did to earn that equity–I can only imagine he vampired that shit out of a little girl or boy who crossed his path one unlucky day. I was all set to call my supervisor and straighten everything out, when I saw Rush’s problem. He had Mitt Romney’s head wedged firmly in his anus. I fully admit I cackled.
“It’s not funny,” Rush said, and I bit down on a chortle. I had my professional responsibilities to think of after all.
“What seems to be the problem, young man?” I asked, and Rush sneered.
“Are you gonna help, or not?” Sweat beaded on Rush’s bright red face—he was clearly in some discomfort.
“Is it the size of his head that pains you, or the hairspray? I imagine it’s a bit…poky,” I mused as I walked around them, examining the problem from all sides. Romney crouched on the floor of Rush’s posh restroom next to the toilet, and Rush sat upon his shoulders. “How did this happen?” I had begun to form a theory, but wanted to hear it from the man himself.
“I can’t go anywhere without this guy’s nose up my butt-crack,” Rush moaned. “This time I got caught with my pants down.”
I nodded—sagely, I’m sure. I clicked my tongue. I sucked air through my teeth and made skeptical noises.
“What?” Rush looked alarmed.
“I just don’t know…” I said.
“Don’t know what? You’ve got to help me! That’s what you do, right?” He was getting whiny now. Desperate.
“Look, Rush,” I said. “I’m not sure why I’m here. You’re not the sort of guy who normally gets help from the FGG–you know what I mean? You’re…well, not to put too fine a point on it, Rush…you’re an asshole.”
Rush sighed and nodded, and I could see the irony wasn’t lost on him. “What’s your point?”
“You sucked a freebie out of some little kid or lovesick prince. You crowned yourself king of the GOP—you did everything but send this guy an engraved INVITATION to your anus. Why should I help you?”
Rush smiled. “Because you can’t leave a job undone,” he said. “I read the fine print.”
“So did I, Rush,” I told him, sighing in a way that I hoped conveyed that this was going to hurt him way more than it was going to hurt me. “And you’re right. But I have certain…discretionary powers. Also, I can see the future, and one day you’re going to blame feminists for shrinking your penis on your radio show. You don’t want to lie to America, do you? I’m here to make sure you don’t.”
Rush’s face turned angry and beet red and spittle flew from his lips as he gibbered unintelligible rage. Finally, he managed. “You…can’t…”
“I can, Rush. So, do you want my help or not?” He didn’t say anything, but just then I think Mitt sneezed or something because he lunged and Rush’s eyes bulged out and he screamed “GET IT OUT GET IT OUT I DON’T CARE GET IT OUT!”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
*Or “shrank” it—whichever you prefer.