The patriarchy is experiencing some necessary and overdue structural stress.
That’s what I keep telling myself right now as we stare down the inevitable Kavanaugh nomination like a nightmare version of a John Hughes movie starring fragile, angry, endangered dinosaur-men.
It may look as though all is lost. I get it. Another rapist is probably going to be appointed for life to one of the highest and most influential positions in our nation after displaying countless reasons why he is a terrible choice. Even aside from the allegations, his tantrums do not demonstrate the the kind of temperament one would hope to see in a supreme court justice, as Senator Hirono drew out during the hearing.
But also? I think Kavanaugh and all the other warbling, sputtering, ancient white men with their emotional disregulation and loud, partisan conspiracy-theorizing are actually heralding the death knell of the patriarchy. They showed us, didn’t they, who they really are and what they value. And none of us can unsee it. Even if they weren’t embarrassed (and they should have been), they’ve peeled off the bandage to reveal the festering ass-boil beneath.
It may take a while for the whole thing to collapse, true, but this fissure in the foundation is very visible now and it grows with every tantrum in Washington. It will hopefully send billions of little baby fissures that will take root in all the systems that support the patriarchy. Don’t worry: The whole thing is rotten and beset. Maybe it won’t happen in my lifetime, but it’s going to happen.
These old dinosaurs are looking at their own extinction and they are terrified. Even if right now they have the power to put another rapist in the supreme court, it’s just the last rattles and chokes of a dying thing. For the rest of us, it should be exhilarating.
Dying things can be reappropriated. Dying things feed creatures. Dead trees become nurse logs. Dead things birth new ecosystems, new life. I guess the question is what we plan to grow in their place.