The Truth About Straight White Men In Power
“Those animated kitchen trash bags don’t even want us in the room,” is what I was thinking, watching Graham and Hatch and their smug-suited peers apologize to KKKavanaugh for having to endure the public recounting of one (1!) of his worst deeds.
And by us, I mean anyone who is a woman, queer, trans, Christian-but-not-Calvinist-enough, immigrant, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, feminist, employee and not employer, Latinx, black, any shade of skin really, that isn’t lily-white-man-and-money-worshipping-shill. Anyone who isn’t them, in the grown-man-perpetually-adolescent Boys Club, they who serve the Right gods of white, might, and MEN.
They’re mad there’s a Kamala and a Feinstein sitting in the same seats that they sit on. That there are journalists in that very room who won’t make them sound (in all their prejudicial glory) very, well, likable. They’re mad that public discourse has changed. This isn’t the 80s when Reagan could say ‘welfare queen’ and not get called a racist and John Hughes could make date rape a hilarious plot point in his movies. This is thirty (30!) years later and they are willing to die on the hill of but-I’m-not-a-bad-person-even-though-I-am-racist/sexist/homophobic-in-everything-I-say-and-do. Because at the core of all this, is a desire to be Respected and Trusted and Admired for being a very Powerful White Man who has made a career of hurting nearly everyone else in policy and deed.
You can hear it in the frustration and anger of their sneering. To the Right, the real travesty of the present is having to live with the consequences of their choices. When the help stays in the kitchen, you don’t have to hear her complain about how you treat her. When the servants live on the other side of town, you don’t have to see how your exploitation of them keeps them impoverished. And when the woman you assaulted or raped is too afraid of your social standing to come forward, you don’t have to hear how you hurt her.
The great lie of the Right is that they care (at all) about morality or good behavior. The truth is, they care only about their own comfort, and they care so much about that comfort that they are willing to build entire bureaucracies of government, so-called justice, and morality to convince the rest of us that we deserve to be powerless, exploited, and judged, and that we should thank them for the privilege of their rule.
No more. The curtain has been pulled away and the rot has been exposed. The help has left the kitchen. The raped are speaking. And it turns out these Right Men have no power that can’t be taken. The Kavanaughs and Grahams and Hatchs of this world made the mistake of believing the power they stole was as good as earned respect, and they have never looked more the fool. May they be humiliated at last.
Laura Jean Moore is a writer and artist who hopes her future is as checkered as her past.