So the other day I woke up to the news that HRC had clinched the democratic nomination and, while I don't follow politics all that closely and think all of Washington needs a good overhall (or at least a thorough disinfecting), I did feel a little rush of excitement that took me back to age 19 when the Clinton's took the White House for the first time and everything seemed all hope and possibility. I was under the impression that the world was changeable for the good then. That things were becoming kinder, more progressive, that ass backwardness were this thing way in the past and the world would only get better. And also, there, a first Lady who was involved in a real way in policy making and governance.
The lot of the 90's were that way, that we had emerged from the dark ages of the eighties and Reagan and things would only get better. But then Bush happened, and I got older, and wiser, and less positive about the general level of intelligence of my fellow human. The generatiion that was emerging under me seemed even more conservative sometimes than the one above me. The internet, while overall a good thing, seemed to allow the pockets of hate and bigotry and grossness to fester and spread, to become part of the culture in a way they never had been before (the media throughout my lifetime having been sort of left-leaning and progressive in and of itself, at least as much as 80's America would allow it to be. )
HATE became this tangible, palpable thing, that only burned more with every story on the news, even as politically things got better with Obama years. So even so, Wednesday morning, after Hillary clinched it, I still got this rush that made the 19 year old in me happy. That here was a strong, female candidate, and that we were closer than ever to having a woman in the White House. That it was possible to have this thing happen in my lifetime.
Of course, a few seconds later, I scrolled down on FB to read the Victim's letter in the Stanford rape case and felt the wind knocked out of my sails. There is this weird disconnect when I think about about feminism and living a world where in one minute we are celebrating the possibility of a woman achieveing the highest ranking position in the US, while at the same time a rapist is not only getting off scott free, but the victim suffers sometimes worse after the assault than during it. That rape culture is so fucking ingrained in our attitudes that this sort of thing can happen and happens all the time. I can't help but think as soon as we think we win one, we lose so many more.