I was relieved, because I had not complained about this to him. I had learned over a period of many years in many jobs that complaining made me look bad. I had learned that when you walk around with a chip on your shoulder about how you are treated badly at work because you are a competent woman (and you won't play the game) you just do more damage to yourself rather than moving even an inch toward resolving the problem.
I was even more relieved to hear that my boss had never picked up even a hint of bitterness from me about it. If you are a woman, or part of any oppressed group, you most likely know what I mean. The world either punishes you or treats you like you are crazy when you complain, and when someone notices and reaches out, it is almost like you can breathe in again after having been under water for far too long.
The thing is though, he did nothing at all about it. I mean, besides congratulating me on not being driven insane by the treatment I was receiving, it was just kinda like, on to the next thing. The treatment still occurred. Nothing was done about it, though all the managers, (mostly women) including HR knew about it, and still, it was allowed to continue.
But this is not a new story. This is the story of every person who has been trampled on by a certain type of White Guy. Don't worry. This isn't going to be an angry rant. On the contrary. it is more of a celebration. I am not happy about what is happening on January 20th, but it is in a way, a coming clean. There can be no argument now. This is the country we live in. Hatred, oppression, and violence is allowed because they are rewarded, encouraged and supported at the highest levels. And the new dude in charge is that guy. He is that guy at work who is threatened by you because you don't play the game, you are competent, and you won't suck up to him, flirt with him, or agree with him just to get along. You will not behave as if he is better than you, because he is not, just as surely as you know that you are no better than anyone else.
You see, this is the beginning. This is the beginning of the end. And I am sorry it took such a blatant disregard for humanity, hate crimes, ugly rants against women, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, Mexicans, African Americans...and all others who are not power-hungry white males. It took this for those of us living in a world of our own delusioned making that we have to wake up and get to work. We have to turn this shit around, or it will bring all of us down.
The unfortunate and somewhat disgusting piece of this is that we have to teach power-hungry, white males awareness. We have to teach them empathy. We have to ask them basically, as my favorite guru once wiselly said, to un-learn what they have learned. That it actually is okay to show emotion, that they do not have to have big muscles, or fast cars or tons of trophy girl friends to be considered a real man. We have to teach them that violence and war are in fact, NOT glorious. We have to teach them that they are needed, just as they are, no matter who that happens to be.
Because it turns out that white males are not the group of humans who are immune to abuse, neglect, and all other forms of hate, they are the group that is unfortunately, still playing the game the rest of us have stopped playing. The powerful have now played such an obvious hand that millions of people across the globe are rising up in dissent. Millions of people across the globe are taking a stand.
Millions of people across the globe have had enough and tomorrow, and every day after, they will be doing all they can to obstruct, object, and rebel against the powerful in any way they can. What brings me comfort is that we will finally see that violence, hatred, and oppression will no longer be tolerated.
We will see the proof that love is the only way out. I know this because if love is not what we choose as a collective, if love is not what we dissolve hate, fear, and oppression with, we will surely fail. This world will turn to ash as will the people in it.
We will know, one way or another that love is the only thing that could have saved us.
I hope it is because we finally decide to choose it.
But either way, we will have proof.