A few days ago I heard a young woman on NPR say something I never thought I would hear in mainstream media. It was about Hillary, her likeability and the Democratic nomination and I quote:
"I think she ultimately is the smartest person in the room but what was holding me back was a sort of a latent misogyny within myself..."
Eeeerrch. I nearly drove off the road.
I had been sitting with the idea of writing an article about this, but I was unsure. I imagined most people would respond with an immediate rejection of the idea-- that we are fully a product of our culture and don't know when we are not thinking for ourselves.
We have been immersed, educated, manipulated, socialized, trained and fully acculturated into believing many things about ourselves and others. This means that many of our ideas, are not ours. They originate from outside of us, which including racism and sexism. These beliefs come from the church, school, family, community, friends, work and/or from the media. This conditioning is so complete, deep and unconscious that we really believe that what we think is ours...and what is worse, we make important decisions based what we think.
I have found a different option. One that I know can reconnect us to what is closer to our truth...and it is pretty simple. Maybe we could just inquire inside ourselves to see what is true? Seriously, ask ourselves... "now why do I think that?"
This young woman, Tori Knobloch, did and it completely changed her position.
"I had what I can only describe as an ick factor with Hillary Clinton ...I looked at her and did not like her. As I thought more and more about that...I could not place why I did not like her. I disagreed with some of her past policies some of the things she says I don't agree with...but I think she ultimately is the smartest person in the room but what was holding me back was sort of a latent misogyny with in myself. That she had to be likeable or she had to be cool...
Simply by existing in our society we internalize a lot of sexist media. If you look at any mainstream picture that is at the top of any Hillary article she has crazy eyes, they call her shrill. They talk about what she is wearing, what her hair is like as often as they are talking about the issues, and I was responding to that. She might have that crazy look in her eyes but I think that is a photo editing issue."
I am not suggesting who you should vote for, but I am suggesting that you vote meaning...not the ideas you got from outside, but from what is true from the inside.
It is not easy. These things are hard to differentiate. The mind goes on spouting out beliefs and we get emotionally attached to them and really reactive sometimes, but it is doable. So why not try? Can you just ask yourself the question "why do I think that?" And then sit in silence to see what you might feel. You might be surprised. You might find a response that is more true to your nature, true to your heart.
I do have a hint though...that if you are having a STRONG negative reaction to Hillary...it just might be your sexist conditioning something that you have not acknowledged or accepted inside yourself. And what is not acknowledged on the inside comes out through our unconscious behaviors outside.
This article is really about a choice we will make with regard to the direction of our country, but I want to say that no politician holds my hope for the future. It is this young woman and her friends who know how to ask this question inside and then listen. They hold my hope.
Here is the full NPR story: http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/whats-stake-massachusetts-voters/