Did anyone else watch the State of the Union Address? It was like watching a prime-time cartoon special, wasn't it? If I didn't know any better, I would have been convinced I was watching another brilliantly written SNL sketch about how we, as a Country, failed one another. As I watched Trump, the personification of a pig, deliver a speech, which I can only imagine the world's best writer had prepared for him, I couldn't help but have a craving for bacon. Maybe it was sausage? Maybe it was a seared pork chop? You see where I'm going with this?
We can all agree that Trump is a pig, correct? His ideals, priorities, hypocrisy, behavior and mannerisms all scream "I'm an insecure man and I don't want you to know that so I'm going to talk very loudly and move my hands around in hopes to distract you from my ignorance and bigotry." And, yes, I do think he would scream that as a run-on sentence. As the speech came to a close, I couldn't help but be reminded of a novel I read in high school.
George Orwell's Animal Farm is considered a classic. It's also extremely relevant to today's social, political, and economic climate. If you haven't read it yet you should stop here, because I'm about to ruin the entire book for you. Call me Cliff, and consider these my notes.
The book opens with animals on a farm being neglected by their human owners. The food rations are decreasing, and the animals are starved. Two pigs (it's all tying together now, so bear with me), Snowball and Napoleon, bring the animals of the farm together to revolt against their human oppressors. The humans are conquered and the movement is an overall success. However, one of our pigs becomes hungry with power. Napoleon reviews his masterful work and discovers brute force and intimidation lead the animals to victory. It isn't long before his opposition, Snowball, requests that the animals live in peace with one another. Needless to say, Napoleon isn't a fan, and begins his reign as a pig who is only out to benefit other pigs. He calls upon a snitch to gather intel, he hoards food only for those of his species that support his platform, and his tyrannical manner astounds and frightens his community.
This sounds hauntingly familiar, doesn't it? We are governed by a pig who surrounds himself with other little pigs to benefit those like him who support him; those mean, dirty, rich, power hungry pigs that thrive on intimidating their opposition. I believe their puffed out chests stem from fear. They are afraid of what they don't understand, and what are mean and rich and male pigs afraid of? The femme fatale.
This fear drives these pigs to deny rights and liberties to people unlike them. What's more astounding, is that a man who identifies as a completely different gender believes he knows what is best for a gender he has never realized.
Before I went to college, I also thought I knew what was best for a woman. I thought they required the needs as a man, and that I had the authority to tell them how to live and how to take care of themselves. I found myself thrusting my unauthorized knowledge onto my sister. So, first, my dear sister from the same mister, I apologize. I should never tell you how to live your life, especially if I have no idea how to live one as a woman. I know this was a reason for many arguments and possible resentment toward me. It was never my goal to control you, but it was my ignorance that thought I could. Unfortunately, I found the younger version of myself in Trump when he bragged about his control over women. That was terrifying. Seeing any part of myself, past or present, in a man truly vile disgusts me to my core. I have lived that part of my life. I have had the idea that I could tell a woman that I know what's best for her, when I clearly do not, and will never understand.
When I went to college, I made it a priority to understand to the best of my ability. I wanted to educate myself and to unlearn what my po-dunk Texas town had taught me. I wanted to pop my conservative bubble, and discover what I could do to become a better ally for women. Since then, my relationship with my sister has bettered with each passing day. She has become one of my best friends, because I may not always know how or why she is feeling the way she is feeling, but I can use my empathy and my voice to fight for her. I can be proactive and stand with her in fighting the inevitable legislation that will be implemented against her.
I started my fight for my sister, but I will continue it for every single woman affected and those that will be affect by the Trump administration. No pig has the right to demand things from those he knows nothing about, so he may feel comfortable and safe. I stand with women and for women. And, to my sister, thank you for loving and educating me more than you could ever know. Hey, sis, this one's for you.