50 Thoughts: An Open Letter to Congress

Dear (Our Do-Nothing) Congress,

I’m just going to take a night out from my 50 Thoughts about life in general to direct a singular thought in your direction.

You are failing.

Yep, I’m a tree-hugging liberal Democrat that believes in a woman’s right to choose, equal access to the best public education has to offer, health care as a right and not a privilege and empathy as an integral part of how we craft legislation that supports Americans and the immigrants that come here looking for a better life.

And, I’m sure you could guess, this also includes treating women with respect and progression toward common sense gun legislation, too.

But on these last two points? You are not only failing. You inaction toward, or derision of, these two issues is an affront not just to our own civil liberties, but what should be considered laws of nature.

Let’s start with your treatment of women, shall we?

I’m all for the guiding principle that we are innocent until proven guilty. And everyone deserves the right to defend themselves against charges made against them. Even when it comes to allegations of sexual assault. I didn’t fall off a turnip truck. I am perfectly capable of understanding that women can be just as manipulative as men.

But at the same time, potential victims should have the ability to be hear in a non-judgmental forum without feeling as if they are being assaulted, again. Just as there is a presumption of innocence, there should be a presumption of truth-telling. That’s why there should be an impartial investigation, instead of personal attacks.

“Boys will be boys.”

“Everyone has done something like that.”

“She should have reported the assault when it happened.”

No, no and no.

I’m raising two young men, in addition to a teenaged daughter. If they thought at any time it was OK to pressure, let alone force, a woman to perform an intimate act, from a hug or a kiss to something much more involved, I will have failed as a parent. In no universe is that OK.

And in the age of #metoo, the outdated, uneducated notion that all women should and do report assaults in the minutes after they occur would be laughable if it wasn’t so fucking sad that some of you still cling to it.

And then there’s guns.

Let me tell you about my daughter. My beautiful, resilient, strong daughter. All of 17.

She came home from school and swim practice today, sat down on the couch next to me, and crumbled. She’s just spent the day moving from class to class with the threat of a school shooting hovering over the entire school. A threat, which while we all suspect at this point tonight has been resolved, that finally, after several years of lockdown practice and at least two lockdowns where she spent time locked in a pool equipment room and classroom, not really sure what was going to happen, got under her skin.

“How is anyone supposed to go back to school after something like that?” she said through tears.

I blame you. All of you. School shootings should have never happened. Ever. But they have. And they will. I was pretty much done with all of you after Sandy Hook. If nearly two dozen dead 6-year-olds isn’t enough to move you to pass legislation, nothing will. But this is the atmosphere you have all sowed. Where kids can’t sleep at night because they just don’t know for sure when their number is up.

I encouraged her to channel that fear into action, by writing a letter to her representatives. To spend this year researching positions and candidates so that in 2020 when she is old enough to vote, she can feel at least a little bit empowered.

And it’s my hope I can be right beside her in the booth, joining her and her friends to vote out anyone that has outed themselves as a misogynistic, NRA-loving, narcissist.

We are coming for you.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls

Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio

Day 37: Banned Books Week Book Recommendation: the Banned Books list

Today’s recommendation: I need something soothing after today’s raging. Neil Gaiman always delivers with The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I blather about books. If you’d like my reviews to hit your in-box, you can sign up here. I also promise a spam-free experience —too busy reading to write and email you every day (hahaha except for right now, but we’re getting closer to the end). I am also on Facebook, trolling for friends. Because we all need more friends. More, more, more.

Filed under: Mama Drama, mumbo jumbo

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