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The “Oh, Shit!” Moment

Oh, Shit!

Oh, Shit!

As a woman, I have been told various things by various factions in the feminist movement. One claims that gender is a social construction. This faction, in my opinion, falls into the category of denying reality. In fiercely and falsely asserting that women and men are the same, we open ourselves up to what I call the “Oh, Shit!” moment.

The “Oh, Shit!” moment is that pause before a woman realizes she is outnumbered by men who can do her physical or professional harm, and that there’s no way to fight them on equal ground. It’s that feeling when the cortisol rushes to your brain, your heart takes an express train to the bottom of your stomach, and the “fight or flight” instinct takes over. And what can you do at that point? You must flee, or be overwhelmed. And you understand that the myth of female/male equality has been nothing but a well-intentioned lie.

Let me share my own “Oh, Shit!” moment with you. When I was 17, I worked at Wendy’s in the summer to make some extra money. I had done the same the year before, and had enjoyed it. A lot of kids my age were working with me, and I like the service aspect of the work. (One woman told me, when I took her order at the drive-thru window, that mine was the first friendly voice she had heard all day.) However, this year, things were different.

This year, Wendy’s had decided to participate in an “Inside Out” program. This meant that convicts who were eligible for working outside the prison were invited to work at Wendy’s, to make their transition back to civilian life a little easier. It might have been a good idea for them, but for me, it was a nightmare.


As soon as they arrived, the male convicts started hitting on me. And not just with words, but physically. One man could not keep his hands off my ass. (Yes, he was at least twice my age.) I complained repeatedly to him, and he eventually stopped touching me, but would still whisper sweet nothings in my ear, like “I’m thinking of you in my bunk.”

There was only one woman on my shift, and she was a convict as well. Let’s just say the concept of sisterhood eluded her. She took over the register one day, and promptly stole hundreds of dollars from it. Of course, I was working during that time, so who was accused of theft and searched? Me, while she looked on smugly. Was she in jail for theft? Why, yes. What did that have to do with anything?

The atmosphere got to be too much, so I sat down with a long heart-to-heart with my supervisor. He said I should just put up with it, then licked my face and asked me on a date.

I realized that these men all thought I was fair game because of my gender, and that “Oh, Shit!”, there was nothing I could do to make the situation better. The misogyny of that workplace was a wall that could not be broken down by any other method except superior force, which I did not possess. I needed the money, and no other places were hiring, but I quit anyway.

In my “Oh, Shit!” moment, I chose flight, because women are NOT equal to men. We do not have the physical power, or the strength in numbers, to resist the actions of men who want to take advantage of us, personally or professionally.

This year, Hillary Clinton experienced her own “Oh, Shit!” moment. As she mounted her historic quest for the White House, she saw woman after woman deserting her. Elected female Democrats were silent as a group (with some notable exceptions, such as the lovely and much-missed Stephanie Tubbs-Jones) as the media (corporate and fauxgressive), the DNC and Barack Obama systematically tore her apart. Some famous feminists came out in support of Hillary, but soon experienced their own “Oh, Shit!” moments as they realized that other famous feminists had joined ObamaNation. And we female Democrats experienced our “Oh, Shit!” moments as all the places we thought were friendly to our viewpoints banned us, deleted us, and heaped us with mountains of abuse for daring to support the first viable female Presidential candidate ever.

American women failed Hillary, and yes, I count myself among that group. We did not band together as a team and say, “You are on notice – do not fuck with our sister.” Perhaps we believed the myth that a woman doesn’t need other women to advance in a society that is still, for the most part, inimical to that advancement. But my sistren and supportive brethren (whom I thank and love), I do not point this out in order to blame us, but rather to show that we must learn from Hillary’s experience. The ONLY WAY to prevent it from recurring is to realize that only in vast numbers are we strong enough to resist the ingrained hatred and fear of women that are endemic in our society as a whole.

We must elect more women. If we disagree with a woman who is running for office, we must be sure to temper our disagreement with a certain amount of solidarity, so that she knows that attacks on her gender will not be tolerated. Republican female elected officials did this quite effectively with Sarah Palin, and so did Hillary, in her congratulatory statement on Governor Palin’s being selected as McCain’s Vice Presidential nominee.

“We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin’s historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain. While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.”

Compare this statement with the first one released by Barack Obama, which was quickly amended after Hillary showed them how it was supposed to be done.

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” said Obama spox Bill Burton. “Gov. Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil, and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”

Yes, that’s the person who is supposed to respect and advance women more than John McCain, who, you know, actually chose to advance a woman for Vice President.

No more. No more “Oh, Shit!” moments for this woman. From now on, I pledge the following:

  • to speak out against political sexism, no matter where it originates or whom it targets;
  • to vote for every woman that I possibly can; and
  • to help as many women as possible in their professional lives.

To the women and like-minded men who have been doing this all along, I salute you and send you my undying appreciation and respect.

As for me, better late than never.

Cross-posted at Partizane

186 Responses

  1. […] Cross-posted at Partizane and The Confluence […]

  2. You have only had one “Oh shit” moment?

  3. Madamab….well done.

  4. Thanks, Upstate!

    TheRealKim – How long did you want this post to be?


  5. The fact that McCain chose a woman maybe the one and only reason I would feel less guilty voting for him if I absolutely have to. And your experience is something most women here can openly relate to as well.

    The same applies when you find yourself before a judge. Speaking for myself, my two timing husband was praised by the judge because he made every effort to clean up his credit card debts before he joined the “snow bunny” in Vermont. The fact that this was not true, and the fact that he was also anxious to leave 4 kids in the bargain, earned him unearned praise. And to add insult to injury, the judge kept referring to me as Mrs. Cook. Whoever she was.

  6. You are fortunate your oh shit moment was not one of ” I hope the one with the knife doesnt slit my throat after they are finished raping me .. and being grateful to be alive afterward” yeah .. oh shit … been there done that ….and LIVED ……
    and living well IS the BEST revenge ( and living to fight another day ) .. and living well includes telling your tale and calling out sexism when you see it …
    NOW can go fuck themselves …. and so can every other women who helps heap the abuse
    You are not late … we did everything we could , especially YOU are directly reponsible for helping to take down the perpetrators of this election travesty and .. so NO beating up on yourself for what you “didnt do” allowed
    GREAT POST !!!

  7. great piece madamab, btw, where was that wendy’s, and why did your parents let you work there??? sound awful. sadly, gay people have their own “oh shit” moments too..

  8. This is great. You reminded me of what my best friend told me about her first job as a waitress in the late 70’s. She was taken into a back room by three males and told that (an act I won’t name) was to be part of her interview. She was blonde, petite and 17 at the time.

    She didn’t go through with it — and told the men she would tell her father. These were the actions of baby second wavers coming up 70’s.

    I, as a brunette, never went through a thing like this on the job, ever. When she told me this? Shock and revulsion.

    I had my bout with a professor in college.

    This election has been galvanizing for the second wave feminists…

    By the way, Violet over at Reclusive Leftist has good news for us on Palin — she believes in contraception! Yay! — I just read her latest and they are great. Dem women can teach Repub women?
    Until we find common ground. My sense is that this will be via Second Wave feminists.

    Umm, hmm.
    great piece!

  9. Maybe Mrs. Cook was the judges ex-wife and was projecting?

  10. I work in IT. Life among geeks is one long oh-shit moment in which experience is measured in penis years.

    I think I have been living with this instinctive understanding of the oh-shit reality but never would have articulated it so well. Thank you for doing so.

  11. Upstate: Or maybe I am not really divorced????

  12. I enjoyed the article at the onion. Thanks.

  13. Back to the couch and my blanket.

  14. Pat, I am not all that smart….mind clarifying your last comment?

  15. swanspirit – Oh my GOD. I am so glad you survived and thrived despite your “Oh Shit!” moment! {{{hugs}}}

    Gary – my parents didn’t have much sympathy for my troubles at that point. They were rather self-centered and going through a tough time. (It was in Maryland.)

    I totally feel allied with the gay community, myself, and though I haven’t experienced that type of “Oh, Shit!” moment, I have no doubt you could all fill many libraries with your experiences.

  16. Upstate: If he called me by the wrong name……….

  17. Understood, thanks….are you taking good care? Please do and recoup soon.

  18. Thank you madamab HUGS BACK
    .. me too LOL but i have lived and not just survived … .. And as grateful as I am .. I still cant help think …What was there to prove??

  19. Beautiful. Perfect. You don’t always realize in the moment what you’re doing right and wrong. We did object to the sexism in the media, but the media didn’t care. but maybe you’re right – maybe we do need to vote for Palin just to make the point.

    This is my big Oh Shit moment.

    One Sunday morning, when I was 27, I pulled on a leotard (no bra) and a pair of sweat pants to hit a local deli for a cup of coffee. Across the street was a magazine stand I walked by every time I left the house. This time, there were groups of men standing up front reading men’s magazines. One of them started harassing me a bit. I had on running shoes and was in public – I wasn’t concerned. Just then, a car driving the down the street, slowed down, and a couple young guys hung out the window yelling things at me. I reached the corner, and as I began crossing the second street, an older gentleman walked up to me, and with a french accent, asked if I would go to lunch with him. I turned him down, and ran in the deli for my cofffee. I emerge a few minutes later with my coffee in hand and he appears at my side. Now the French accent is gone, and he simply begs me to go to lunch with him and he’ll by me whatever clothes I want. I trot away and as I hit the magazine stand again, the guy who harassed me the first time, is now joined by some buddies, all of them simulating sex.

    All of that in under 7 minutes. I’m pretty physically fearless, but my god, was that a wake up moment. My boyfriend was a body builder and as we talked about it, he said, “do you want to see how easy it is for men to assault women”. Sure, said the fearless me. Without a second’s pause, he grabbed me, flipped me upside down, and stopped a quarter inch from slamming my head into the concrete. That took about three seconds.

    To be aware is to be angry.

  20. ugsome –

    I work in IT. Life among geeks is one long oh-shit moment in which experience is measured in penis years.

    OMG! Ain’t that the truth! ESPECIALLY if you happen to be attractive. For some reason, that seems to make everything worse. They just want to pat you on your head and make way for the REAL experts!

  21. Well said (as usual) except for the part of you being one “who let it happen” to Hillary — the fact that the msm totally ignored those of us who were protesting doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’m voting for the woman — the hell with her views — that is short term thinking — a Palin VP win will ensure that no other viable female candidate for President will have to go through what Hillary did — that helps me in the long run.

  22. madamb,
    Another great post.

    When I lived in my country of birth EVERY single job interview I went to I was asked : “You have a young child .How are you going to manage a job and family?”

    My husband was NEVER asked this question any where he interviewed.

    I had my other “oh shit” moments in engineering school when my male class mates and even some teachers wanted to know why I was doing some unfortunate male out of his rightful spot in class because – you know – as a woman I could NEVER have a career.
    That was almost 20 years ago but the sting remains….

  23. I read this while returning to RD for some sanity. I have just perused the blogs of those who have glefully hacked into Sarah Palin’s email account and posted all of her personal information on the web: her contacts information with emails, some of her emails, family photos, and her daughters cell phone number and voice mail.

    Is this legal?

    The bloggers comments make me cringe and want to vomit- that this rabble could be successful in electing their candidate to office. Never have I read such vileness. This mysoginist sadists which include women (or girls) are more full of hate than anyone I’ve seen.

    And these preach peace and generosity. They are the typical teenage rebels (even if some are 30) looking to stick it to the man. I did not read a single logical comment on any of these blogs.

    In whatever they were able to read, they found not one dishonorable item.

    Asdie from the fact that Hillary needs to toe the party line to ensure the ability to run in 2012, I’m beginning to wonder if she has not been threatened or is afraid of these types of actions.

    Palin will need a very thick hide, and a large contingent of Secret Service. From what I saw, and the threats I read about, I would hold her most likely to have to worry about being protected.

    Never in a millions years would I have thought it could be so bad – the hatred against women. Over 50% of our population is the largest minority in this nation, equals 50% of the labor force, and are taxpayers. We waited for the vote for 50 years after men of all colors had it secured. Should we not be represented by more than 17% of women in the government?

    Should not one of the executive branch be a woman?

    It’s so bad that at my firm the older men are voting for Obama just because Palin is a woman.

    For the first time after reading this (and I know this happened to Michael Steele but it wasn’t his email – someone posted his social security number) I cried and wondered what kind of world I have put my daughter into.

  24. I totally agree with you. It is time we stand up for ourselves and other women. Always. What the hell have we been waiting for? permission? I was thinking this morning about everything that we learned throughout this whole election season. The biggest lesson is we are the ones we have been waiting for. We just didn’t know it. The Dems, NOW, the “progressives”, etc. don’t give a crap. We’re just a group that serves a purpose. I was listening to NPR this morning while driving to work and did this piece on the coffee shop in Seattle that has young women dressed in bikinis and other sexy get up to serve the coffee. Business is booming for the company. The company was started by a guy who used to own a casino. In the interview he said that these was so good for these young girls. They make money which they spend on the economy and he gets to put food on the table for his family. What a stand up guy. They also interviewed one of the young women that went on about how this wasn’t sexist – it all in good “fun”. And if someone doesn’t like it they just shouldn’t come to the coffee shop. I was just amazed. We really haven’t come that far. I also thought about some many of my progressive brothers who absolutely believe their partners should work – makes should a better lifestyle for them. But, kick like hell about a woman moving into real power. I didn’t plan on writing this much but your post is so on target. We’re all sitting here sayin Oh s—! So you are absolutely right. We have stand up and say once and for all enough.

  25. looking –

    I read this while returning to RD for some sanity. I have just perused the blogs of those who have glefully hacked into Sarah Palin’s email account and posted all of her personal information on the web: her contacts information with emails, some of her emails, family photos, and her daughters cell phone number and voice mail.

    Is this legal?

    Who did this? This has GOT to be illegal.

  26. Runa,

    That happens here too. Except it’s less direct: for example: “Oh you have children? well we could minimize travel for you..” And I didn’t get the job because I had children.

    I also dealt with harrassment from co-workers and bosses until I turned 50 and weighed 250 lbs. Then it became just about my ability, but my pay was and is still than the men.

  27. Linda – I had something in my post originally about who came up with the idea that dressing scantily is somehow empowering for women.

    I figured it had to be a bunch of frat boys at a marketing firm.

  28. I have been sitting here racking my brain and I cannot recall any major “oh shit” moments. Of course, being exposed to a father that used your mother as a punching bag, generally makes you rather hyper vigilant.

  29. Great piece, madamab. And frankly, though that sort of misogyny exists across the board in our society, I have something to say.

    I have a secret. I have long secretly pondered this secret, and turned it over in my soul trying alternately to ignore it or to make sense of it. It has been a thorn, an almost guilty thought that has occurred to me repeatedly, and that I as a Liberal woman have pushed away and buried, because it did not jibe with my worldview.

    That secret, that thought, is simply this:

    In my personal life experience, liberal men have been much worse sexists and misogynists, always. I grew up in a Red State with some real blue-collar bubbas, and yeah, there were some sexists. But the uber-liberal male elitists in my life have, as a group, ALWAYS radiated more scorn, more condescension, and more very sexually weird animosity toward women than any construction worker or GOP-loving Rotary club bastard than I have ever known.

    The misogyny of the Left has not really been a new discovery for me this year. I knew it. I knew it deep down. What HAS been a discovery for me is the depth of my own lifelong refusal to face and attempt to avoid that simple fact. I didn’t want to look at it, because these are supposed to be my people. But the truth is, if I look at my life experiences honestly, I have mostly run into garden-variety, almost innocent or culturally ignorant sexism from my right-leaning neighbors and coworkers. The lion’s share of the sheer twisted and ugly woman-hate I have see in my own life has been from liberal men, almost without exception.

  30. Excellent Madamab, just excellent!

  31. WMCB I have always thought the same thing!! If you have ever seen the SNL skit with rachel dratch and will ferrell where they are “lovahs”, I always thought that was the prime example.. they talk about their “lovahs” walks, and he’s all caring and understanding, and then at the end he goes off on her….if you haven’t seen it you probably don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. anyway, I have always thought the lefty hippy types were the worst misogynists. that said, many right wing guys are just as sexist…they’re just more overt.

  32. madamab

    “Gawker’ and wikileaks. I read about it on another blog and googled “Palin, private email hacked” and got Huffpo, Wired’s blog, and one of the wiki’s. It’s just unbelievable and wrong.

    Wikileaks are trying to tie this account, because it has emails with DPS in the title, which these idiots believe is an acronym for the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety and may be related to “troopergate” to “troopergate”.

    With all the truly sisnister baggage Obama has, I’m beginning to think that the Obama strategy is to keep going after Palin, put her on the constant defensive, and deflect from themselves. Which seems to be working as the polls are down.

  33. madamb- I agree totally. In fact, one of the things that made me most angry in this election cycle is the ’emily’s list’ traitors. After they accepted the financial and logistical support of American women (and open minded men), they did not ‘pay forward’. Was it really so vitally important to them to trash Hillary? I will never give any more money to Emily’s list.

  34. I think they are freaked out by their own insecurity with their masculinity so they take it out on the women in their lives.

  35. WMCB – That is an excellent point. I hadn’t experienced it in my own life until the “liberal” blogs I had loved suddenly turned into 24-hour misogyny machines.

    I believe the right is more inclined to us vs. them thinking, and thus identifies people as “either with us or against us.” Sarah Palin is one of them, thus it doesn’t matter what race or gender she is. After all, they are all supposed to be up in arms about anyone who could remotely be Muslim, but they elected an Indian governor of Louisiana with no problem.

    Liberal men seem to be less able to deal with a strong woman, for some reason.

  36. I’m old enough to remember when Ms magazine first appeared. There was an article that described the “oh shit” moment, but they called a “click.”

    Click. Click. Click. Oh, shit.

  37. madamab,

    That article about O. and moveon.org is just surreal! How can anyone know if O. deletes mail anyway? Just thinking about the article here….

  38. Back in the 60’s the oh, sh*t was called a “click”, and it was usually about double standards, not sexual harassment. Either the sexual predators are becoming more brazen or people are now more willing to talk about them openly.

    That Onion thing is hilarious–I just went to my email and counted 9 messages from BO or his surrogates in the last 14 days.

  39. no, no sayitsntso…the onion is a parody/commedy site….

  40. looking – I cannot believe these people. Will they be looking through her underwear drawer now?!

  41. Just saw some CNN report on Mc/P and how they are “stretching the truth”….

    The reporter was doing so from Alaska…heh…like that really lends legitimacy to the “investigative report” or something….

    The MSM does not seem to like P…you think?

  42. Upstate,
    Whew! Thanks! I’m not losing it afterall.

    Now, I can enjoy it; however, it’s probably closer to the truth than we think!

  43. The mask has been ripped off the “progressive” brand. I agree with you WMCB about the “secret”. That liberal men are really sexist. I know I participated in the delusion. I guess I wanted to belong and believed in the ideals so much I chose to ignore it. Seems really silly now. What was to be gained by this? Community? There is no community if you aren’t really viewed as an equal member.

    GOD! I’m happy I found you all!

  44. Gender is a social construction. I think you’re confusing gender with sex. Sex has to do with your biological organs and physiology. Gender is all the stuff you’re taught to be in order to be a proper “woman” or “man.”

    For example, women generally speaking have higher voices than men.

    The range of your voice and how that plays out among males and females has to do with sex.

    Women, however, are likelier to favor the higher part of their biological range, and men are likelier to favor the lower part of their biological range, in order to appear more feminine or masculine respectively. That has to do with gender.

  45. sayitisntso – The Onion is so good that it seems real, even though it’s not.


  46. This was a very good post and I’m sorry that you had this experience.

    I for one am at a crossroads. I hear and read about a few women, like women here, who recognize the misogyny committed by other women and condemn it. But you see, there are too many D women who don’t seem to share our concerns regarding their actions. When you have NOW and other women organizations endorsing Obama I have to think that D party is a lost cause. Nothing will right this ship. The divide is too great. As long as the D party is going to allow it’s women to make comments like “Palin is a bucket of fluff” unchallenged, I think we are wasting our time.

  47. There’s a good reality check at noquarterusa from a professor of politics.

    He says the McC/P campaign is nowhere NEAR the stretching truth/dirty tricks that quite a few past campaigns have promoted.

    Read it, you’ll feel better.

  48. ubuntucat – I’m not confused, I just disagree with your premise.

    I guess theoretically I could be called a “she-man” instead of a “wo-man,” but I would still have biological characteristics that the opposite sex would never have.

    I think we ignore the biological realities of our genders at our peril.

  49. Israel may be about to elect a female:

    “CNNJERUSALEM (CNN) — Television exit polls Wednesday showed Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with a commanding lead in her party’s primary to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. “

  50. Re: hacking into Pain’s email

    Appalling. The two worst things about Barky are:

    1. Barky himself, and
    2. Barky’s followers.

    I’ve said this before, and here it is again: Barky is a POS for stirring up this cesspool. He is dangerous.

  51. Re: The Onion

    The Onion Movie is absolutely freaking hilarious.

  52. swanspirit, I’m glad you survived, but I am so sorry for the horror you experienced.

    madamab, great post. Very thought provoking. I have several personal memories of “Oh Shit” moments and I remember the overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness with each one. The same feelings I have experienced throughout the Democratic primary. Thank your for reminding us that we can’t just let our “Oh Shit” moments stand as the status quo, that we must use them as catalysts for action.

    Of course I will make it a point to support women whenever I can, but does that include Nancy Pelosi? 🙂

  53. nijma, I guess I’m also old enough to have a little (or a lot of) brain cell apoptosis

  54. NH – I do think the Party is not dead, just wounded. I am not a Republican and never could be. I don’t agree with anything they stand for.

    Maybe after four years of McCain/Palin, I will change my mind!


  55. Beautiful post Madamab,

    one for the books. I couldn’t agree more.

    Has anyone noticed that the ONLY people who have paid with their JOBS for making inappropriate or even just TRUE statements this season have been the WOMEN?

    Geralding Ferraro
    Samantha Power
    Melissa McKewan
    Amanda Marcotte
    Randi Rhoades

    Not so for
    Mike Barnicle
    Jesse Jackson Jr
    Chris Matthews
    Tucker Carlson
    Rep. Cohen
    Joe Biden (hell he got PROMOTED!)
    and the list goes on and on

  56. Go Tzipi, go! (of course I have no idea what her positions are)…am I shallow or shallow?

  57. I said before that I don’t really know if I have had any “oh shit” moments, but I do know that because I have been so vigilant, I have been called a bitch more times than I care to imagine, so does that qualify?

  58. WMCB, it’s a sad truth. I’ve always associated with artsy lefty types. (I’m a graphic artist and a singer.) And my husband and I were just discussing the left’s sexism problem the other day. I’ve encountered it my entire life. It’s almost as if they cling to their stereotypes because the stereotypes are what make them so different and “special.” And yet they don’t realize that they ARE the stereotype.

  59. I don’t know if this took or not but this is a bit of news that deserves its own post!

    Pretty amazing for a Dem leader/fundraiser this late in the game to do this!


  60. janicen – There will always be exceptions to any rule! Pelosi is too much of a woman-hating female to be supported!

  61. actually, ubu, strictly speaking gender is a grammatical term having no relation to either biological sex or socio-cultural differences between men and women. The second definition has been promoted heavily by many feminist theorist, but in actual usage is interchangeble with sex. It is quite common to see either on application forms, for example.

  62. murphy – great point!

    It’s always the woman’s fault…

  63. murphy, I had noticed that. And it’s interesting that Samantha Power got canned but the guy (can’t recall his name) who slipped up with the FISA comment didn’t.

  64. TheRealKim – If men are calling you a bitch, you’re probably doing something right.


    Txpolitico – From your link:

    Rothschild said she has not discussed her support for McCain with Clinton.

    “I’m sure she is not pleased with what I’m doing today,” she said. “But you know what? I have to do what I believe in.”

  65. Wonderful post, just wonderful. And WMCB, I completely and totally agree about the blue state males. With many exceptions, of course, but yeah…

    Just a few days ago I was told on another board that I could not call myself a feminist if I supported a woman who did not support women’s rights. I replied that, to me, a feminist supports equal opportunities for all women, not just the ones who agree with her. I was told that was nonsense.

    Silly me.

  66. Carol – more accurately, Israel may be about to elect ANOTHER female.

  67. Not really madamab. When I was training for my former job working with victims of domestic violence, I decided I might need a little therapy myself, after seeing my dad hurt my mom. I was told that tere were two categories for women who have been victims of violence or witness to it. One is the perpetual victim, she thinks she deserves it and usually choses abusers. The other is the type that is very vigilant and rarely ever lets anyone get close enough to hurt them. I am the latter and I still have real relationship issues.

  68. I watched Lady de Rotheschild on Fox talking about her endorsement of McCain Palin today. She is obviously well educated, lovely, and bright. She was very adamant that she supported MP because of the economic crisis and government reforms so desperately needed in this economic crisis and her belief that Obama will not confront the people who are responsible. That he has no track record in achieving reform. It was very powerful.

    Gallup today has Obama pulling ahead for the first time since the Republican convention. Yuck.

  69. Thanks for the post. I plan to boycott Wendy’s.

  70. sayitisntso–LOL 🙂 me too!!! down with the Frosty!!!

  71. I am so sorry you had to go through that a such a young age. My daughters had to go through something similar but without the touching. I put an end to it QUICK! Needless to say, the man that spoke to my children in that fashion was spitting teeth after it was all said and done. ( I know violence is not supposed to be used in any instance…But I am protective of my girls and I will not allow any man to speak to them without respect and dignity.)

    As a man, I alwys told my girls that they did not need a man to make their way in this world. Yes, it is wonderful when you find that man you wish to spend your life with, ( Some of my sisters out here don’t even need that ) but you never need him to validate who you are as a woman!

    Because of this and my beautiful wife’s guiding hand, My girls are STRONG, Independent women! They NEVER put up with the bull poop that a man dishes out. I know that the deck is stacked against them in our society but I know that they will never allow anyone to see them as a sex object nor as inferior to them. I am proud of them!

    And…..I am proud of you sister! I know you do not need this man to validate your stance, but I am proud just the same.

    I have read your work for some time now and I follow your blog religiously.
    in me you will always have an ally if you ever need me.

    Keep up the GREAT work sister!

  72. JulieS – No one has the right to tell you what you can call yourself. Gawd, am I starting to realize what the rightwing means by liberal fascism?????!!!!

    TheRealKim – I am so sorry for what your mom went through, and you as a witness to that horrible abuse.


  73. Maybe the Hillster canceled because she heard a rumor from the Obots that Sarah was going to be wearing a pantsuit.

  74. Thank you for that lovely comment, RedDragon62! It is so beautiful when men join us in the fight for gender equality!

  75. Thanks madama, and thank god for my grandparents who got me out of there so I didn’t have to see much of it. Mom got out and she is more withdrawn from relationships than I am and she gets called a bitch a lot as well. She now considers herself a feminist and I am really proud of her.

  76. Janglels:

    “Oh no she isn’t wearing the same pantsuit as me.”

  77. I so wish more women were like Rothschild and yet, in truth, more women are like Pelosi and McCaskill. I am forever impacted by what I see as the treacherous women on the left. Women on the right may be the same: like the old lady who asked McCain ‘How do we beat the bitch” (I hope that women is ashamed of herself).

    Even Hillary turning down that appearance at the UN rally against Iran. Her refusal to attend made the event partisan. This would have been a way for her to have shown was a statesman she strives to be. There didn’t have to be any real interaction between them. Just a show of support for the underlying issues.

    Anyway, I will not be supporting an downticket Dems, female or otherwise, if they can’t act as mature adults. This country is in trouble and we don’t have time for stupid mysogynist partisan crap. I have never been ashamed of my sex before, but in this election I am disgusted and embarrased. No wonder men treat us like shit.

  78. god, reading this post and all the entries makes me rage and cry and laugh (at everyone’s good, sometimes black humor) all at the same time.

    Why did I not feel like I could tell my boyfriend no in high school? Well, because clearly there was something wrong with me that I wasn’t feeling what I should, and so I went along, hoping I’d start feeling better about it. Of course, I didn’t.

    When my manager (at a restaurant) reached over, buttoned my shirt’s top button and said, “We sell food, not flesh”, why didn’t I protest, hit him, or walk out? Instead, I blushed, and my pulse raced, and again, felt there must be something wrong with me.

    When I get shouted at on the street, what can I do, except ignore it, or run.

    When I’m on the train traveling across country and some drunken a*hole comes on to me and won’t leave, (“Some guys might think you’re a b**ch, but I don’t”, which really meant, I think you’re a b**ch, but I still want to f**k you.) I can’t even walk away to my seat, because I don’t want to show him where I’m sitting.

    When I enter an elevator with two men who’ve been staring at me as I walk up the street, why do I override my instinct that I should not get into a situation with them where I can’t get away?

    My parents have always been part of that liberal left-wing intelligentsia. And they totally failed to tell me that my body was my own, tohelp me develop the self-love and awareness and image that would have helped me at least respond with more than frozen immobility when those “oh shit” moments occurred.

    I have a large chest, and that seems to mean that I have no brain, no morals, and a wish to let men do whatever they want to me.

    I worked at a large tech company, and getting men to talk to my face and not my chest took altogether too much energy. I quit and went back to music.

    Sorry for the long comment. Thanks for the community. This has been a terrible time, but at least some of us are coming together.

    I am also expecting my first child, and perhaps more emotional in my response to what I read….

  79. cellocat: You aren’t alone, there are many women out there who can relate to you. We are here for you if you need us.

  80. NH: One thing I learned as a counselor, people only treat you the way you allow them. Stand up, fight back and it will stop.

  81. cellocat –

    I have a large chest, and that seems to mean that I have no brain, no morals, and a wish to let men do whatever they want to me.

    Oh, honey, I feel your pain! Let’s just say I had a lot of similar experiences…

  82. You make me want to cry cellocat.

  83. Gary @ 4:39 and madamab @ 4:41

    it’s not that I haven’t encountered sexism on the right – but of course I have! But there has seemed to be a difference in the two.

    It is very difficult to describe the difference in what I’ve seen from both sides, but let me attempt it. Please understand that I am speaking in broad generalities here, of my own experience.

    Most of the sexism I’ve faced on the right has been of what I call the “culturally stubborn knee-jerk” type. It’s sort of out front – the guffaw and smirk and head-patting, that a girl was getting all beyond herself. Then I would just do whatever it was they were snickering at, and do it WELL. Then I would stand up. Hard. And challenge them. And you know what? They almost always back down. They almost always give a wry grin and accept the fact that I kicked their ass, and sort of seem to enjoy it, to view it with a degree of honest respect. They didn’t change their neanderthal world-view. They still would persist in mouthing their same old sexist pablum.

    But they seemed to mentally and psychologically remove me in their heads from the category marked “girl”, and put me in a separate one called “ASS-kicker to be RESPECTED.” They would give me that much, and more importantly, they did not seem to resent having done so. Once I’d proved myself, they were cool with it in the real world, as if they’d been bested in a honest fight.

    In contrast, the sexism I’ve experienced from liberal men has been entirely different in tone and feel. They didn’t mouth neanderthal ideas at me about women’s psyches being more or less suited for this or that. They just RESISTED. They tore down. They insinuated. If I used the methods I used with my conservative sexists, i.e. doing a damn good job and challenging them – guess what? They hated it. They became worse. They got very weird with the sexual subcurrents. In short, they got VICIOUS if I beat them at their game, not more respectful. The more I proved myself, the nastier they got. The reaction was a polar opposite to the reaction I got from conservative men. They would stand around expounding on a more just society, but RADIATE RESENTMENT at every turn if I actually expected any of that justice. They were all for women’s rights….just not ME. Or Susan. Or Jane.

    That has been the difference in my experience with conservative vs liberal men. The former kind of sneer at the whole “women’s rights” thing in general, and would not vote for a damn thing to help women. But they embraced the reality of equality with much fewer problems when it came to me as a individual woman in their real lives.

    The liberal men were all on the side of “yay the awsome wimminz” politically, so long as it did not in any way mean that THEY had to treat this individual woman as an equal in their real lives.

    Just my own experience – take it FWIW.

  84. The event itself is more important than Hillary’s participation. It was not about her so it makes no difference one way or another whether she’s there.

  85. Terrific Post madamaB! My own “oh shit” moments are too numerous to mention. But they were there.

    I’ve been mulling this whole Feminist thing over lately because I don’t like the whole attitude that “only” liberal women can be feminists. I know several moderate liberal women who are pro-life Catholics and yet in every other aspect of feminism they and I are in 100% agreement.

    I’ve learned a lot this election cycle and most of what I’ve learned I don’t much like. I do know that now that I consider myself a moderate, liberal Independent I feel a freedom to make my own choices that I never felt as a Democrat for all those years. We must all do what we must do.

    I will vote McCain/Palin and what would have been just a holding my nose protest vote will be a vote proudly cast for a woman. A decent American woman with kids and a family and a life to live. She doesn’t represent many of the things that I have always thought important. Now I’m beginning to believe that getting more women into positions of power is the most important issue for me.

    I quite honestly don’t know what Obama thinks important other than Obama. And since he has lied repeatedly, FISA, Public Finance to name just two, why in the hell would I believe anything he says anyway.

    NØbama NØway

  86. I was raised in a home where women were treated with respect and dignity. Not only was I raised to respect them for WHo they were but for what they were. In my culture…Apache…The woman is the head of the home. I realize many of us do not treat the women in our society as equals.

    .Can you imagine a world where a woman’s view point and the respect for who she is and not for what she has between her legs, was given the weight of a mans?

    There would be no war….Health care….etc. I truly believe in my heart that a woman would be better running this country. My saying to my male friends is always this….

    ” Who runs your home? Who makes the decisions about what to et and when you can and can not go out? Who puts the band aids on? Who nurses you when you are sick? Who cooks the meals? Who sticks to the budget? Who REALLY runs the home?”

    Of course they do not like what I have to say…They won’t talk smack to me to my face…6’1 240 lbs..hehehe but They end up agreeing with me when they are honest to themselves!

    I have no problem telling everyone that ask’ that my wife runs the home…I just inhabit it! LOL

  87. cellocat,

    I know what you mean. After representing a high profile client for many years, one of the in-house attorneys for that entity took me aside and let me know that she overheard the “boys” (all Directors and above) discussing me. She said while they respected my skills as their attorney, they thought it was a bonus that I had a great “rack” and was a pleasure to look at during our conferences. These types of fools really try to diminish women in the work place. I continued to represent this entity (the money was too good to pass up) and 8 years later, those “boys” are no longer there. Am glad to say that most of them were replaced by women. So there is some hope.

  88. hello cello! Sadly, you’re in good company. I hear ya, sister.

    madamb – when people were telling me I couldn’t call myself a feminist for supporting Sarah Palin’s candidacy while completely disagreeing with her views, I got a glimpse of what it was like for some of my AA friends who were called “race traitors” because they supported Hillary over Obama.

    So I wandered over to that same board just to see what was being said, and just when I thought nothing I read there could shock me anymore, they’ve hit an all-time low. Seems some rabid Obots are upset that Sarah Palin’s private emails were leaked. But wait for it… they’re upset that it will make people more sympathetic to her!!!! Not upset that some random group hacked into her emails and released them, NO! They are upset that people will be more sympathetic to her. Just… no words.

  89. has anyone heard from fuzzybear lately?

  90. Thanks to everyone for their wonderful thoughts today. Keep the faith…must take off now.

    {{{The Confluence Peeps}}}

  91. And by the way….

    It is a man that needs a woman to VALIDATE who he is! Look around your everyday life…All we here is how men NEED women to pump up THEIR egos!

    This coming from a man…LOL

  92. sorry..I meant ” Hear” not here. My bad!

  93. This isn’t workplace related, but it is on topic to a degree:

    In the wake of the Los Angeles Metrolink disaster, a spokesperson who made public the relationship between the engineer who didn’t stop for the red light and two others who confessed to text messaging him slightly prior to the crash, was pressured into resigning for telling the truth.

    I just completely a lengthy email to my governor and to the rail company defending her courage in being the kind of transparent and honest official we need in the private sector and in government.

    It was the best I could do for the victims of the disaster and for her.

    I think we have to stop supporting the popular belief that relative values imply that there’s really nothing we can do about problems. It’s a small thing to give support to someone with so much responsibility, especially when it’s so obviously deserved.

    I’m not naiive enough, however, not to believe that other situations may be less clear, but I feel compelled to keep thinking that what I value and what I speak up about will, eventually, change things.

    I hope you aren’t working at Wendy’s any more and that somebody else besides you ineffective supervisor will know about it soon.

  94. Not to be negative about women options for solidarity or anything, but gay men still have male privilege, and lesbian women bash/tear down other lesbian women, just like lots of nonlesbian women. Women are at the bottom of every gradation of gender hierarchies, and the ‘oh, shit’ moments just keep on rolling by.

    If there is a trick to dealing with it, it is to hang onto the realization that women are entitled to be self-dependent, and try to work from there. But of course the options are severely constrained at each stage of life.

    But sisterhood is powerful, and we need more of it now!!

  95. fuzzy went with his mother to her high school reunion. He said he would be gone for about 2 weeks.

    I miss him and his prayers for all of us and this country.

  96. The most recent of my oh shit! moments:

    I had been working for an architecture firm for 3 years as an administrative assistant. One of the older architects and I were talking and he said to me, “It’s too bad you didn’t go to college. You are such a smart girl.”

    I was just floored. He assumed because I was an admin I only had a high school diploma. I loved the look on his face when I told him, “I DID go to college. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Video production.” He mumbled some half-assed reason about my working as an admin. . .

    Another principal at the firm was showing someone around the office and called me and my co-worker “the Typists”. How nice.

    I left that firm at the end of February because I was tired of being valued right up there with the office furniture.

  97. I think I never was deluded that women were ever equal (growing up with two larger, older brothers made that an impossible delusion, much as I love them), but the entirety of my graduate physics experience was one long oh-shit moment. I have never forgotten nor will I ever forgive that. To this day, physicists are the only hard scientists that I actively despise. I can’t handle them, and I don’t want to. Biologists are nice, mathematicians are great because they’re under no illusions that they AREN’T geeks, chemists are strange but okay. Computer scientists are passable.

    But I cannot under any circumstances even tolerate being in a physics lab without my fight-or-flight triggering, nor do I EVER want to engage with them in any social interaction.

    That experience, what I went through in graduate school, is a HUGE part of my lifelong decision to keep my interactions with men (sorry guy readers, but this is what happens when you go through this shit, okay?) at a cordial arm’s distance. I got kicked in the stomach repeatedly way too often. Under no circumstances do I feel that anyone, male or female, has the right to expect or demand that I put myself at that personal, professional, or emotional risk again. Ever.

    They bent over BACKWARDS to teach me that lesson at every possible opportunity, and I learned it. Period. Pity me. Make noises about how What A Shame it is that I Can’t Let Go. I don’t care. My life, my space, and my mind and thoughts are MINE, and I still haven’t gotten over how much sweeter the air is without their mess infiltrating it, even during my off hours. With my lack of interest in having kids and my negligible related interests, I find zero downside to my decision. I wish other women could make it, but I know that they can’t. I know that there are biological reasons why I am able to make this decision, and other women are literally not able to do so.

    I think that the REAL oh-shit moment is the second one, the one that comes after the first oh-shit moment — the one described in this post, when a woman realizes viscerally that she really is trapped on a planet filled with larger, more physically powerful and violent creatures many of whom hate her on sight. (I’m not qualifying that statement; if you “aren’t like that,” then reast comfortable in the knowledge that oyu aren’t and dont’ ask me to kiss your ass over it.)

    The second oh-shit moment is when she realizes that, despite this, she still doesn’t want to raise too much of a ruckus over it because her biology demands that she WANT one of them in her life anyhow. That moment is the one that my own somewhat unique neurology has exempted me from having — and for that, I am forever grateful.

  98. garychapelhill, on September 17th, 2008 at 5:02 pm Said:

    actually, ubu, strictly speaking gender is a grammatical term having no relation to either biological sex or socio-cultural differences between men and women. The second definition has been promoted heavily by many feminist theorist, but in actual usage is interchangeble with sex. It is quite common to see either on application forms, for example.
    Interesting point..What term should be used to describe the variations in human sexual behavior that are biologically/socially driven. Male, female, gay, straight and all of the other variations. Male/female-heterosexual is the vast majority (or we wouldn’t be here) but there are dozens (hundreds) of other possibilities.

  99. Over the years I have worked for various companies including a newspaper and railroads.
    I have had several ” oh Shit” moments.
    Some of the nonsense has gotten better but not a lot.
    Part of the problem today is that the younger girls seem to think that being insulted is ok.
    Excuses are made for bad behavior.
    It is like they really do not seem to think they deserve respect and the males think the same thing.
    Maybe I am old fashioned but I want respect and demand respect.
    Some companies have changed their policies to make harassment a firing offense but do not really enforce the policy.
    I agree the so called liberals have to be made accountable for their bad behavior.
    This is the year it stops.
    No more excuses
    No more acceptance.
    If the faux new democratic is destroyed that is a good thing.



  100. Regency, on September 17th, 2008 at 5:28 pm Said:

    The event itself is more important than Hillary’s participation. It was not about her so it makes no difference one way or another whether she’s there.


    You said it better than I could have.

  101. One claims that gender is a social construction. This faction, in my opinion, falls into the category of denying reality. In fiercely and falsely asserting that women and men are the same, we open ourselves up to what I call the “Oh, Shit!” moment.
    Anyone who has ever worked in a busy emergency room, know that that meme is a bunch of crap. For all of the women and children who are beaten and killed by men, then reverse is so small so as to be a shock when it occurs.

  102. SOD — I’m so sorry for your (and your daughter’s) loss — he sounded like a great young man.

  103. it’s NOT the pigmentation that I’m opposed to…it’s the pig mentality.

  104. Downticket and Regency, are you two intentionally missing my point?

    Lets have no one show up to the event, because the event itself is more important than any of the participants and so no one need attend.

  105. Sayitisntso @ 5:35pm
    The spokesman for metrolink made a statement before the investigation is completed.
    The accident is still under investigation by the ntsb .
    Believe me people at metrolink are upset and saddened by this accident and will everything in their power to see that it doesn’t happen again.



  106. God, this is a litany of horrors.Once upon a time, I got in the middle of one of those grab-ass situations. I told the man involved that the young lady obviously didn’t like his hands on her; His response does not speak well for my gender. A few days after that the “Big Boss” gave me the worse job in the organization– I fully expected to be fired. A few days after that the young lady busted the offending man in the head with an empty tomato crate. That’s when the man’s wife got involved and let’s just say it got ugly.

    Ladies, I abhor this incredible sexist piggism. Please do stick together and stick it to the animals who inflict themselves on you. They are worthy of no consideration for what they do to you, they will do to children, and any other group which doesn’t have the strength to oppose them. They begin as sexual bullies; they end as mass murderers.

    Exterminate them.

  107. So ladies what are we going to do to stop obama, his poll numbers are going back up, and i have a feeling if he get back on top, he may stay that way.

  108. Uh that’s not my avatar– I don’t have one. I have no clue where it came from. But I kinda like it. Does the Confluence have an Automatic Personality Detector Avatar Generator?

  109. As bad as all the Oh Shit moments are, maybe we shouldn’t think of them as Oh shit moments, but as life changing events.

    How many of us after having these moments said, Oh hell no! I have been thinking about my statement that I couldn’t remember any moments, but maybe that is because I didn’t hold on to them but rather said it won’t happen again. That is what we are doing now. We are saying NO, this won’t happen again.

    Puma is not a few bitterenders, we have been on every major news station and if women are credited with BO’s loss, we wwill have changed the course of history and they will pay attention to us from now on. So, if it took an oh shit moment to get us here, by God I am proud of being here.

  110. Just reported that the reason BO is condescendingly saying we “don’t need no commission” as to why the financial institutions are failing is because BO and Dodd are at the top of the list as Beneficiaries of their Donations.

    The man is dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


    By the way, I read the documents from Berg. If there is not a problem, why has Obama not produced the documents requested and been done with it?

  111. NH: I don’t see a need for that sort of rudeness.

    I’m simply saying there’s no need for her to be there if her presence is only going to change it from a protest to a media circus. They want Clinton/Palin and that’s exactly what they were going to get. It would have overshadowed the significance of the protest.

  112. churl – look at mine. It tells the complete story!

    Punishment, Retribution and Reform 2008

  113. NH – If Sarah Palin wants she can attend but Hillary doesn’t have too. If she does the focus of the rally will be on Hillary and Sarah Palin and not on Iran.

  114. Dowticket: You said it way better than me.

  115. Carol, he has to answer, he has thirty days to answer or request an extension of time. If he doesn’t answer, he is in default. I am sure they have served discovery on him with the Complaint.

  116. I can’t stand Pelosi, but since I’m not voting for her, it’s irrelevent to me.

    I do think that she is included int he 30% though, she has to be. Because getting to that 30% means that, when we hit that mark, women will no longer have to be like that to get elected.

    That’s all that matters. Like I said, when you play chess, you touch and move any piece that will get you to a win. You don’t just keep moving the knights because you like horsies.

  117. I say we all, democrats and republicans and independents get together and hold rallys outside the studios of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN etc. I was looking at newspapers in the UK today and you wouldn’t believe the horrible things they say about Gov. Palin and Senator McCain. I have no respect for the UK anymore, they lost the right to critize anyone when the allowed Shira Law and the Muslims to take over.

  118. I guess I’m in the minority but I believe all people, regardless of gender or cultural background or sexual preference, are more alike than not. I’m 5′ 3-1/2″ and, as my doctor says, a hundred and nothing pounds but I could put a world of hurt on another living being… if I wanted to. I just don’t want to. And, honestly, I believe most people are the same.

    My “oh shit” moments don’t refute the idea of equality. (And I’ve had my share of “oh shit” moments starting with being molested at age 11.) They just show that the world is a dangerous place. For me the idea of equality simply means that everyone matters. Everyone counts. Everyone has intrinsic value. And IMO that can’t be taken away from anyone no matter how hard the bullyboys try.

  119. We have a male friend, master’s degree, worked with NASA, who told me that women were trying to take over the world and there was going to be a civil war over it.

    Okay, lock and load.

  120. Please join

    John McCain & Sarah Palin

    for a Straight Talk Town Hall Meeting!

    Wednesday, Sept. 17th

    Doors Open at 4:30 pm

    ***We regret to inform you that due to size limitations, we will not be accepting any additional RSVPs to the September 17th Straight Talk Town Hall Meeting with John McCain and Sarah Palin.
    Tickets will be required for admission and will only be provided to those that have already reserved their tickets online.
    Thank you for your interest and please watch for upcoming events in your area.***

    ***UPDATED: This event is full. Tickets are no longer available. The event will be available to view online. To view the event online, 7 pm est please click here. http://www.johnmccain.com/mccaintv/live.htm

  121. Jmac, on September 17th, 2008 at 6:11 pm Said:

    “We have a male friend, master’s degree, worked with NASA, who told me that women were trying to take over the world and there was going to be a civil war over it.

    Okay, lock and load.”

    😆 Tears to my eyes!

  122. McCain is now 2 points ahead in Colorado. Woo is me!

  123. Always risky to generalize, but some of us who are veterans of the ‘free love’ generation cynically began to think that men essentially supported only two rights for women: abortion and contraception, because it helped service those liberal men.

  124. And Sarah knows exactly how to “lock and load”!

  125. This Biden thing about the credit card industry is making me sick! I think we need to go back to Usery Laws and Banks need to stop with the exhorbanant fees on Return Checks.

    And I work in Finance.

  126. parentofed, I have often said that if there were mandatory DNA testing for every pregnancy, and a resultant automatic garnishing of wages for child support the moment the father was identified (no lengthy going to court, etc), then we could enshrine the right to terminate as the highest law in the land, NEVER to be touched ever again.

  127. I have those moments all the time.

  128. Here’s the CNN blurb about the Palin email hack.

    My oh-shit moments. As a double-minority working in a male-dominated field, I get second-guessed all the time. I try my best to hang tough, and when the moment comes (I’ve had many of these) when it becomes apparent that I was right and they were wrong—well, those are priceless.

    I’m sorry to hear all of your stories about being recipients of sexism, hate, and discrimination. We women need to kick ass.

  129. That and if ground-up aborted fetuses were shown to be more potent than Viagra. Not only would abortion be legal, but every woman would be REQUIRED to have at least five.

  130. As others have noted, civil rights legislation got passed, the Vietnam War and the draft ended, but the ERA never passed.

  131. Here is a link to a balanced (and fairly accurate IMO) commentary on the state of the race.


    The analysis of the state of the race is in the second half of the article.

  132. We need more young people like that.

  133. McCain/Palin townhall in MI streaming live on CNN

  134. I emailed this post to my daughter.

  135. WOW — reading through these stories really brings up a lot of emotion – especially anger.

    Every time guys do this — it’s their way of trying to flex their penis. Look, at me – Obama is just like this – constantly trying to flex his penis when he’s on stage. Matthew’s & Olberman – same thing – there difference is – those 2 are trying to flex their penis for Obama.

  136. I think it is pretty amazing that McCain is managing to make this a tight race. I know that if the Hillster were at the top of our ticket Dems would be 15 to 20% ahead in the polls. McCain has the Bush albatross weighing on him by a ton. Amazing that he is only tracking 2% down today. I think he his hitting some better economic notes yesterday and today so maybe his #s will look better by this week end.

  137. ((((((((((((((((((((((swaspirit))))))))))))))))))) I have no words


    Hugs from one Warrior women to you !!

  138. Haven’t read all the comments yet but just wanted to tell madamab that her words ROCK! You are such a fantastic contribution to the Confluence.


  139. Regency and Downticket, the publicity garnered by a joint appearence of Clinton and Palin would have served the purpose of the event well. Yes, it would have focused a lot of press on them, but that would have been ok. The sponsors could have made us of that fact.

    I was not rude in my post, but your responses were very rude.

  140. I just saw over the Net that someone has hacked into Sarah Palin’s email and posted it on the Net! This is really dirty politics. This is Big Brother–1984. But mostly, this is just wrong. I hope this backfires and Obama is screwed!!!!!

    I am sooooo angry.

  141. Lock and load, Sarah!

    (I love that phrase – think Hillary should pick it up,)

  142. Hacked into her e-mail. Well, apparently the left (including a lot of the fauxminists) think that the Kathy Sierra treatment is just fine for a woman as long as they don’t like her …

    What a bunch of repulsive hypocrites.

  143. Hello my magnificent sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits!

    My hugs to you, those that have shared your “Oh shit!” moments. And my hugs to you, those that have read and empathized. How about we take this one step further?

    Would you share some of your “Oh yeah!” moments? An “Oh Yeah!” moment is when you realize that you have stood up for yourself, done something totally sensible, kicked ass, made yourself proud in a pressure situation. It is a moment when you have seen another woman do something like this very naturally and taken that as a lesson. I bet there are many, m-a-n-y of those moments which you probably don’t even register.

    One of my “Oh yeah” moments was when I watched Hillary sweetly turn her back on people howling for her to get out of the race and continue. In the face of numerous parodies, vicious attacks and constant speculation, she had a blast campaigning in Puerto Rico. She taught me not to be afraid that I will look bad going after my desires tenaciously. It is perfectly ok to look “bad”. Oh yeah!

  144. new post up

  145. A PUMA just asked a question at the McCainPalin townhall meeting. Watch right now.

  146. You know, I haven’t had any. Sorry. This just isn’t the sort of thing where you can pretend that “shrugging off” someone who tried to rape you, break into your apartment, sabotage your career, or otherwise erode your life is some sort of booyah moment. It fucking sucks that I and other women have to do this. I’m not pretending otherwise.

  147. Thank you Madamab – I’m sure there isn’t a woman on this blog who has not had an oh, shit moment.
    And…it’s time it stops. We need to stand strong for Sarah as we tried to for Hill – we need to stand strong for our sisters, whether they are Repubs or Dems – it’s time it stops.

    It’s time that we start stop feeling fear, when we go to certain parts of the city or shopping in certain stores – we need to look out for each other – whether we agree with our politics religion or not.

    I was listening to the “news” this afternoon and they were inteviewing pollsters – who talked about knowing that if a woman goes to church every week she is probably Repub and if she doesn’t she’s probably a Dem – I’m an independent and go to church – what the heck does that mean????
    Protect your sisters – black or white, red or yellow, young or old. A woman is a woman no matter what color or age or religion or party.

  148. The McCain campaign must be reading this thread. Or maybe it was the donation I sent the night of the roll call sham in Denver. Anyway, I just got a call inviting me to participate in a McCain/Palin conference call on women’s issues in politics tomorrow. Carly F. is supposed to be a part of the panel. I said heck yes. I’ll report back tomorrow if I learn anything interesting.

  149. It is perfectly ok to look “bad”. Oh yeah!


    Can that be on a t-shirt

  150. Great posts.

    The NOW endorsement really ticked me off, one in a very long string of political things that ticked me off this year.

    My area of MD/DC will absolutely go for Obama. Anyone know of anything I can do in VA to help? I believe it has some chance of rejecting big O and getting a woman in the White House.

    I have been waiting since Ferraro… its been a while.

  151. Janis! I’m so glad you brought up Kathy Sierra, someone totally not political yet the target of the same raging misogyny as Clinton and now Palin. During the campaign I was connecting her situation with Clinton’s and thinking that all the crap from liberal men and women about ‘a woman but not that woman’ was masking a very dark, deep vein of misogyny running through the culture.

    Just by running, Clinton couldn’t help but trigger it, but by encouraging the rage of the entitled potentially denied (Kossacks, Chris Matthews, etc. and all their lesser minions), Obama, Dean, Pelosi, and Obama’s horrid enablers poured gasoline on it, struck a match, then stepped back and shrugged, saying ‘Who me? I don’t even get cable.’ Smirk.

    I think Obama’s race was the excuse left-side men used to relieve them from having to vote for a ‘bitch’. I don’t mean the bots and KA drinkers, but a large number of the every day Democratic men. No need to prove their liberal cred by voting for her, they could keep their cred and still vote for a penis. Ugh.

    For a lot of people, just being a Democrat is automatic salvation from being racist, sexist, or bigoted. They don’t understand what any of it means, but they don’t want to be thought of as those bad things, so they choose the easy label and then they never have to make any effort to actually do anything about them. It’s the Church of Obama selling indulgences to the well-off, just as medieval Popes did. Ugh.

    They. Must. Lose.

  152. oh gosh, I’m in moderation again, could someone get me out?

    Is it because I said ‘P_N_S’?

  153. Perhaps there needs to be a “Feminists for Palin” movement?

    I may not agree with all of her positions but I support Sarah Palin. And I like the way she leaves room open for differences of opinion. I respect that. A lot.

  154. Thanks, Madamab! Wonderful post!

    As a woman who worked very hard for women’s rights in the 70’s, I have been so very discouraged by what has been revealed this past year. It’s as if NObama opened up the gates of hell and the misogynists, abusers, and sociopaths were given a free ticket out.

    I have tears for everyone’s experiences and great pride in how strong each and everyone of us is!

  155. Valhalla, on September 17th, 2008 at 7:57 pm Said:
    (respectfully snipped) I think Obama’s race was the excuse left-side men used to relieve them from having to vote for a ‘bitch’. I don’t mean the bots and KA drinkers, but a large number of the every day Democratic men. No need to prove their liberal cred by voting for her, they could keep their cred and still vote for a penis. Ugh.

    Great point! I’ve noticed the same thing.

  156. ginainkc, that’s so exciting. Can’t wait to hear how it goes tomorrow.

  157. Janis wrote, “she really is trapped on a planet filled with larger, more physically powerful and violent creatures many of whom hate her on sight. ”

    The words I use are “I live in a world that would kill me as soon as look at me.”

  158. ugsome, on September 17th, 2008 at 8:33 pm Said:
    Janis wrote, “she really is trapped on a planet filled with larger, more physically powerful and violent creatures many of whom hate her on sight. ”
    The words I use are “I live in a world that would kill me as soon as look at me.”

    Reminds me of the James Tiptree, Jr. story “The Women Men Don’t See.” My husband bought me a book of “his” short stories once when I was sick. I remember reading them and thinking “he knows me.” I couldn’t believe there was a man who got it. Then I found out that Tiptree was the pseudonym for Alice Sheldon. Anyway, it’s a scifi classic and it speaks to the female experience and the disappearing of self that a patriarchal culture imposes on women.

  159. Thank you Madamab, I am sending this to my colleague who thinks misogyny is simply being impolite to women. And he has two young daughters!

    My personal “oh shit” moment:: at age 16 my best friend and I decide to break through barriers and join the (formerly all male) Police Explorers in Miami – a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.
    For a whole school year we attended meetings, training, ride alongs with police officers, and every Saturday, the actual police academy. There were 4 girls in the group, about 20 boys. Frankly we took a lot of verbal abuse, but generally we were all friendly together.

    At the end of the police academy training, they gave everybody the actual written test all Miami cops took.
    Traditionally, the person in the Explorers who scored the highest on the test was the one to lead the group in the next year.

    You guessed it: I scored the highest on the test. It caused quite a problem for the group and its adult leaders. It was decided that they would change the “tradition” that year, because, well, it would have been impossible to have a GIRL as the head of the squad.

    My friend and I quit – there was just no way to stay in the group and maintain our self-respect.

    I had a law school professor who lectured on women in law, and noted that “we never forget our first instance of exclusion.”

  160. “That and if ground-up aborted fetuses were shown to be more potent than Viagra. Not only would abortion be legal, but every woman would be REQUIRED to have at least five.”

    Janis, this comment is repulsive.

    And completely accurate.

  161. My first oh-shit moment was being hounded out of an electronics class in my freshman year at 13. “Hey girl! Hey girl! Hey girl with the comb!”

    If I’d stayed in I could’ve been as l33t as the very top men in the business.

  162. Wow, thank you. It brought back a lot of very unpleasant memories, but I’ll share “a sister” moment that resulted in an oh shit for my hubby. Almost 10 years ago, I had an accident that resulted in head trauma. I had two huge black eyes, more than half of my face was bruised and swollen, and the left half of my head was very swollen. My kids wanted McDonald’s and I wanted to go. It was a very slow walk inside and I stood in line with them and my husband, him assisting me the entire time. Well, our order comes and this tall, very buff, black woman sets down the tray, looks at me, then him and says are those your burgers? Yes, She started smashing them with her fists until they were pulverized. It took only a few seconds and we both looked at her completely shocked. She said “Want to do something about it? She may be tiny, but I can kick your ass out in that parking lot, so please, do something about it.” Then she wrote the name and phone number (she knew it by heart) of our local shelter on the receipt and told me I should call them. I do not remember much from that time period, for about 6 months actually, but I remember several complete strangers, women, giving me the name of the local battered women’s shelter.

    As for those bikinis, I don’t know, if the woman chooses to make her living that way, shouldn’t her choice be respected as well? I know an attorney (yes, very pretty) who started moonlighting as a cocktail waitress (skimpy outfit), in a very exclusive club, to help pay off her student loans. When our firm found out they told her she had to quit. Instead, she quit the firm. Turns out in the 15 hours she was working each week, she made double what she was earning. Still not working full time, she made triple her annual salary as an atty.

  163. Another oh-shit moment. Not so long ago, maybe ten years, well after I graduated with a computer science degree and entered the workforce making more money than he was earning when he left it, past 30 years old, married and divorced, he looked at me and said, “I’m so glad I have a pretty daughter. I don’t know what I’d do if I had an ugly daughter. ” I was stunned. I felt reduced to a meat sock.

    My brother at about the same time shut my dad out of his life. It was over a remark about music. Inexcusably rude and even threatening (“people who listen to ELP should be shot”) but about music.

    Guess who had to be big about it and forgive him? Guess who was holding Dad’s hand when he died, murmuring, I love you forever?


    They just don’t fucking know.

  164. “That Onion thing is hilarious–I just went to my email and counted 9 messages from BO or his surrogates in the last 14 days.”

    I thought BO was technologically superior? Does he not realize he can “unsubscribe.”

    Further, I think the whole thing is B.S. He’s trying to disassociate himself from the organization because they’re somewhat radical and he doesn’t want to project that type of image.

    Finally, how did I get an “image” attached to my name? 🙂

  165. The most recent Oh Shit moment: When I realized the race for the democratic nomination had been fixed–and I had to watch as a true Lady, a most gracious and knowledgeable woman, who gave us 35 years of public service was demeaned and ridiculed so Obama could get a few laughs.
    I truly despise Obama and all he stands for, he is a corrupt, liar, cheater, stealer and possible murderer.
    I honestly believe he threatened Hillary and her family in some way or she would not be putting herself out there after what he did to her.
    I wish him a lifetime of misery, beginning with a loss of epic proportions in November. I will not reward this cheater, he could get nowhere on his own so he has stolen everyone else’s accomplishments. He is a loser, a corrupt and frightening man. I want nothing to do with him.
    My vote this year for the first time in my life goes to a republican, and I am not alone. Do not waste your vote writing in Hillary, in most states it is a vote for Obama, or simply a protest vote. For each protest vote, we must get two to insure McCain wins, one to negate the protest vote and another to put McCain up one.
    If you truly want an Obama loss the only way to insure it is by voting republican. And while it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, my country deserves a better, wiser, moral man of character like John McCain, than the likes of Obama.

  166. RedDragon62, you give me hope. Your wife and girls are lucky.

  167. “As a man, I alwys told my girls that they did not need a man to make their way in this world. ”

    Wow RedDragon. Good for you.

  168. Parentofed: “some of us who are veterans of the ‘free love’ generation cynically began to think that men essentially supported only two rights for women: abortion and contraception, because it helped service those liberal men.”

    They say they support those things, but it’s just pandering. Our rights always have to take a backseat to something “more urgent.”

  169. I identify with so much that I’ve read here in this thread. I can’t begin to respond to all of it. That talking to the chest thing is really insulting. Even though I’m old and overweight now, it’s still happens sometimes. When I was younger I had my share of those moments. I’ve never felt really vulnerable, because I’m almost 6′ tall. I’ve never felt like a target. But that doesn’t prevent the sexual harassment.

    I also identify with Janis. I’ve been in two long-term relationships with men and I don’t really want another one. When my ex cheated on me and then left, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, even though I went through a lot of pain for awhile. And the very best part was having my own room and my own bed to myself. I never want to give that up again.

  170. I may have told this story before, but when I was a senior in high school, I really looked up to my English teacher. I loved to write and always got A’s on my essays. I know this teacher liked me and though I had talent for writing, but he would always say things in class like “female writers can never be as good as male writers.” To him women were doomed to be second rate. I can’t tell you how much his words hurt me.

  171. “cellocat: I worked at a large tech company, and getting men to talk to my face and not my chest took altogether too much energy. I quit and went back to music.”

    Many, many, years ago, I was wearing a low cut shirt, and I went into the office with our file clerk to explain something, and he didn’t hear a word I said and the file clerk said something to that effect. I was pissed and I responded as I circled my breasts: That’s because he’s too busy looking at my chest instead of my face. He was far more embarrassed by my remark then I was and years later, I’m still working for him, and he’s never done it since.

  172. Yes, don’t forget every woman who fights for the cause of equality and freedom for women everywhere has a brother who will fight along side her. Onward.

  173. Madamab—great post! Made me stop and analyze my history in terms of “Oh Shit Moments,” and, like you, define what makes my attitude and behavior different now. Thanks.

  174. I’ve come in late and haven’t read but 1/6th of the thread, but there is so mcuh to respond to I don’t know where to begin.

    Swanspirit, I burst into tears over you {{Hugs}} and the other stories here tonight.

    Madamab, you have hit on an essence of why so many of us are here and at home. Great post!

    One of my many moments came just last year when I was pinched on the ass, slapped on the ass, and subject to obscene gestures at my workplace. When I went to management (Female–my age: 46), she told me that I needed to carefully examine the way I interacted with people, and if I was getting those results I need to look at ways to change the results.

    I despise women-hating women like those cited below:

    To all of my sisters here that have been cornered: I love you all. We were cornered, we are watching others cornered now, and we are charged with stopping the cornering once and for all.

    Red Rover. Let’s lock arms again. We need to overpower the ones that put our future in peril.

    Yound women like these and their older counterparts.

    “This mysoginist sadists which include women (or girls) are more full of hate than anyone I’ve seen.’

  175. Good post. Thank you. I am devoted feminist meaing I support women, not a platform. Until there are many, many more women in power positions in government and business we will all have a hard time. Women in the world suffer more than men, in some places they barely have any rights are routinely beaten and even tortured for being witches of what ever their male enemies want to say. THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO ELEVATE HUMANS IS FOR A WOMAN TO BE ELECTED LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. Since our party is not going to do it this year, McCAin-Palin is a very good alternative. I hope Palin can keep it together in the harsh media climate she is in!

  176. I haven’t read all the thread, but I would like to share these opinions that I have garnered over the years.

    Men citing women as too emotional to lead a company, or country, obviously don’t consider anger/violence or lust emotions. I think those male dominant emotions cause more issues in leadership than righteous indignation and empathy from women. It is just that most men don’t understand empathy and/or sympathy and are suspicious of it.

    I grew up hearing that men were better drivers until I turned sixteen and found out my car insurance was significantly less than my brothers because the insurance companies consider women safer drivers. Go figure!

    I have no problem with restaurants who employ scantily clad young girls as long as they also hire scantily clad young men. Of course though, I prefer intelligent men so they should also be able to communicate well.

    I would love to watch “deal or no deal” if they just had some cute guys holding the suitcases too.

    My most booyeah moments belong to others, so they are vicarious. I remember Jamie Lee Curtis grabbing Jon Levitz”s crotch when he grabbed her boob on national television. I remember some woman on a TV show (ally mcBeal?) staring at a mans crotch when she talked to him because he always stared at her boobs.

    When I was working on my Engineering Physics degree the department chair welcomed me by stating that now the department could start having parties since there was a woman to organize them. I told him I he might want to reconsider that because not only did I make a terrible pot of coffee, but most people puked after eating any food I try to make. He never asked me to organize a party thank goodness.

  177. To misquote Jefferson, “I tremble for my gender when I reflect that God is just”–although I don’t think the biologically male creeps who pull stunts like that deserve to be called “men”.


    The Democrats proved themselves this year to harbor a stunning number of misogynists, while the Elephascists–OF ALL PEOPLE–nominated a strong, independent woman as their VP candidate. I don’t get this–there was no ion storm, the transporter worked normally, I don’t see any Earth-and-sword emblems on the walls… 😉

  178. I feel like I’m living in one of YCDTOTV’s “Opposite Sketches”. I don’t know what to expect next.

    *goes to wash off green slime* 🙂

  179. […] madamab over at The Confluence wrote a post on The “Oh Shit” Moment: […]

  180. I have a feeling that Palin had her own “Oh Shit” moment along the way. That would explain why she wears glasses and wears her hair the way she does. I think it’s her way of trying to get taken seriously. When she ran for mayor she wore contacts and had “poofy” hair, now she looks more like a librarian.

    I also have a feeling that the big secret of the McCain campaign is that Palin is not as stridently anti-abortion as the fundamentalists would like.

    Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.

    She may not be so dead set on taking away others rights to chose as many on the left believe.

  181. Wonderfully insightful!!!

  182. I had a sexual harassment incident as a 19 year old in fast food as well. One of the other “girls” I worked with blamed me for “letting” the guy put his hands on me. While I would never have blamed her if the same had happened to her and would never abandon a women who is experiencing harassment because of gender inequity, I will never support a woman or girl that thinks it is alright to “play nice” with the guys just to be popular or get what you want.

    I can’t support Palin largely because she is that “privileged” female that has never really had that “oh shit” moment AND had it affect her ability to feel true empathy for other women. Instead, her reaction to that moment is NOT flight, but to align herself with her abusers. Then she gets to dismiss that fear by pointing the aggression away from herself and onto to someone she perceives as weaker. Weaker targets who will not be able to redirect the violence back at her. It is classic “pecking order” behavior. I won’t participate in the Obama camp trying to push her to the bottom but I can’t vote for her because escalating the violence toward the weak is the MO of the GOP. It doesn’t matter that they chose to put a woman in a place of power. They have made it clear they only want women who are willing to play the “pecking” game.

    She chose to align herself with the bullies. I won’t reward her for that with my vote.

  183. I can’t support Palin largely because she is that “privileged” female that has never really had that “oh shit” moment AND had it affect her ability to feel true empathy for other women.


    How do you know that?
    Is that just your assumption because she is a Republican or do you know something the rest of us don’t?

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