I’m sad today. Indescribably sad. Yesterday, we promised our 8 years old daughter we’d take her to finally see Wonder Woman. We’ve been debating whether or not she is too young for some of the war imagery, but my husband kept pushing and saying she’s totally ready and “don’t you want her to watch Wonder Woman? I mean, it’s Wonder Woman.” So we finally made a date. Then, around 11:00pm, she ran into our room; she got sick in her bed. Threw up everywhere. Everywhere. So I’m bathing her while my husband strips the bed, and I lay her down in our bed with a bucket. She gets sick 3 more times and after my husband and I finish cleaning the bedroom, and after I disinfect the bathroom while he throws in the laundry, and as soon as we are about to lie down, our son wakes up and we do all of it all over again. I create a big slumber party on the bathroom floor. With buckets and water on each side. I lie next to them, husband on the other side. And while the three of them fall asleep, I start occupying myself with social media (because I have to stay awake, bucket in hand). And it comes at me. Tweet by tweet. The events in Charlottesville. Tweet after tweet, slow and debilitating. I’m exhausted and outraged.
I make a huge mug of coffee in the morning, and while trying to recover from the night, I see the news has caught up. The news of Nazis rallying, fighting some delusional oppression, in broad daylight, without hoods, just showing their bigoted, disgusting, arrogant faces to all of us like a big “fuck you, this is our country,” was everywhere.
But we made a promise to our daughter, and we had a long night, and we needed this. So we went to see Wonder Woman. And for two hours and 21 minutes, we were gone. The opening scene of Wonder Woman, where the Amazonian women are training for inevitable battle, took hold of me and forced me into quiet tears, with hushed sobs and restricted breathing. I didn’t understand the feeling at first, just like I didn’t understand the similar feeling during the Woman’s March. To be completely honest, I’m still trying to grasp its effect. Nevertheless, I cried throughout the entire film. Its effect was unique; it shattered an entirely foreign wall of emotions. The film ravaged my heart and left me breathless and alert. Determined and ablazed. Maybe it was because I was exhausted, maybe because of the today’s news, maybe because I watched my daughter watch. Or maybe because somewhere on a much deeper level, I want to be that brave. Maybe I want to be that woman who saves the world, but I’m not brave enough. I don’t know how. Maybe because I never had strong female heroines (except for Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy and Shirley Manson from Garbage). Maybe because the little girl in me felt catharsis; she was finally given a character to love, who understands just how she feels, who gets her. Maybe because I just want to be her. Strong. Powerful. Unapologetic. Confident. So, we watch Wonder Woman and I cry. And on the way home my daughter asks why I cried in the beginning since “there wasn’t anything that was sad,” and I don’t really know how to respond, not in terms she would understand, because I don’t even fully understand. So, I tell her “watching strong, compelling women portrayed as the warriors they actually truly are (and women are warriors) made me feel so happy that it made me cry.” Another valid reason, I suppose.
When we come home, I see the President of my country, albeit a country that seems more and more foreign to me every day, said some words. Words that could be interpreted in any which way. Word that mean nothing and yet words that hold a mountain of meaning. And I scroll through the news, and I read some opinion pieces, and some independent reporting, and everyone is just trying to make sense of where we are at this moment in our history. And we knew this was coming, many of us knew it, but now that it’s here, we are somehow surprised. Not in the sense that this behavior is surprising, but in the sense that I think many of us really wished we’d be wrong about what we thought would happen. Because we know the worst case scenario, but who wants their worst case scenario to come to fruition. But it’s coming true and pretty much as soon as we thought. That’s why when people said “he can’t do that much damage in 4 years,” I vehemently disagreed. He can do irreparable damage. He already has.
Today was inexcusable, condemnable, reprehensible, volatile. Today was not to be forgotten.
I’m sad today. That’s the best I can do. I’m sad and upset and heartbroken. And I don’t know what to do about it. How do we make it better? I have no answers, many on Twitter do though. We can donate, we can speak up and out, we can protect one another. We can watch Wonder Woman. But all of that doesn’t seem like enough anymore, does it? Seems like we need to do more.