fight the patriarchy. love your body.
There are so many fronts in the fight against Trump and his rhetoric, his anti-values, his bullying.
A place we must wage love - right now - is in the way we think of, speak of, and care for our very own bodies.
Does that seem unrelated to the horrors of TrumpNation?
We live in a culture where bodies - women's bodies especially - are subject to ample negative commentary. Trump takes this tendency to the extreme, with a(n election-) winning formula: when someone challenges you, body-shame them.
You've heard of all these instances, I'm sure, but it's worth cataloguing a few:
Trump called Rosie O'Donnell "disgusting," a "slob" with a "fat, ugly face" after she spoke out against him.
Of his Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, he said, "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?"
(Of course he shamed "Little Marco" for his smaller stature, too. I guess Ted Cruz got off the hook because his body is similar enough to Trump's own).
Trump infamously mocked Serge Kovaleski's disabled body after the reporter wrote articles exploring his deceptive rhetoric.
Trump's go-to strategy for denying a sexual assault allegation is implying his accuser isn't attractive enough to warrant his unwanted advance. It's a variation of "Look at her. . . . I don't think so."
This isn't just rude behavior. It is an approach to human relationships that declares Your Body Is Fair Game. That insists You Can't Be Trusted, Won't Be Respected, Unless I Approve of Your Body.
And of course it has sociopolitical implications. It did when Trump disallowed people with black bodies to rent his apartments, and it does in his party platform today.
When Megyn Kelly relentlessly and fearlessly interrogated Trump, he shamed her for "bleeding out of her wherever." This is important: he didn't just criticize her assertiveness, he connected it to her hot mess of a uterus.
Kelly doesn't just need her mouth shut, Trump implied. Her whole body needs to be under control.
How did an abusive man with such contempt for our bodies become our President-elect? Well:
We do it, too.
Donald Trump may be the Fat-Shamer in Chief, but we do it, too.
And we can - we must - evolve this.
It starts in our own heads, in the way we relate to ourselves. We MUST recognize, friends, when we treat ourselves and others in a Trumpian fashion.
We must stop espousing self-hate: of our stomachs, our thighs, our faces, our skin, our hair, our arms and legs, our whole bodies.
We must stop talking to ourselves like Donald talked to Rosie.
We must stop associating fatness with unworthiness - of love, of respect, of trust - especially from our own selves.
(And yes, as Lindsey Averill writes, we must stop fat-shaming Trump, too. Stop making fun of his hair. Stop calling him orange. Audre Lorde will tell you: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.").
We must insist that all bodies are worthy of respect.
We must stop trying to control our bodies - our weight, our aging, our eating - and begin to love and care for them.
We must model this for our children and neighbors.
We must love bodies, so fiercely and completely, that we save ourselves.
All of us.