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It’s the little things… defenders of an unjust status quo never see coming.

According to legend, Goliath was felled by an otherwise unremarkable stone sent by a twenty-two year old a fraction his size.

George Floyd’s life counted as nothing to Officer Chauvin. Just another black man, in a line stretching back centuries, deprived of his life under color of law. He couldn’t have imagined his act would spark global demonstrations against police brutality calling for wholesale reform, and land him behind bars facing charges of second-degree murder, third degree murder, and manslaughter.

Representative Yoho couldn’t have imagined his offhand derogatory remark to reinforce a baseless ad hominem attack would be the spark that finally brought #metoo #timesup to the halls of Congress.

Viruses smaller than bacteria are invisible to the naked eye. Someone who delights in denying the findings of science with great regularity must have had difficulty recognizing their significance to his re-election chances (the rest being of little concern to him).

And Representative Yoho couldn’t have imagined his offhand derogatory remark to reinforce a baseless ad hominem attack would be the spark that finally brought #metoo #timesup to the halls of Congress. After all the slur “bitch” has been used by men to demean women, whenever they attempt to exert their power, for…

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In his non-apology Yoho mentioned he has a wife and daughters, as though their ability to tolerate his presence proved he was a good person. In her response Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had the temerity to point out no such guarantee exists. If women are the backbone of family, then misogyny, since it’s still alive and well in many quarters, must begin at home.

Our nation’s home resides in its three branches of government. Just as it is essential for the solidarity currently expressed across racial lines over the killing of George Floyd to continue for enough meaningful change to accrue that black lives really will matter the same, so too must men, those currently serving in Congress and elsewhere, discover the ability to stand with their female friends and colleagues, not just today but every day, into the future.

California’s, our nation’s and the world’s problems will not be resolved until women regain their power. While seventy nations have had a female chief executive, less than ten percent of UN member states currently do. While this Congress is more diverse than ever before, less than a quarter are women and we have yet to elect a female president (taking into account the failings of our electoral system). We lag far behind not just our high-income peer nations, but most lower-income nations around the world in terms of female representatives [according to PEW Research data]. In California the picture is only slightly better, with a third of the state’s federal legislators being women, and a little more than thirty percent in the state legislature.

At the same time, one out of six American women have been the victim of either attempted or completed rape, and a sexual assault occurs every 73 seconds, with ninety percent of the victims female [according to RAINN].

charles-fredricks

Women’s equality is not a feminist issue. It is an issue for the survival of the human species. It’s time we all acknowledge their power. This is not a request. Men, get on board.

Charles Fredricks