The thing is other writers - both men and women - were writing about that specific incident in droves and writing about it much more succinctly than I ever could.
Then, before the flames burning in incensed women's bellies could be doused, the Catholic bishops and Republicans added significant fuel to the fire by insisting Obama's legislation mandating that contraceptive care for women employees was to be offered for free by health insurance companies - even if that health insurance was provided, in part, by a faith-based employer - was a slap in the face to the first amendment and religious freedom.
And, once again, I tried desperately to write what I was thinking and feeling but, once again, found a flood of others writing so well about it, I gave up because I couldn't make the words come out of my mouth in any kind of coherence.
Seeing the pictures of the panel of men - only men - testifying before congress on the issue had me pissed. Discovering that women were overtly banned from testifying on behalf of other women was nauseating. Hearing the talking heads say women should just put an aspirin between their knees as an effective mode of birth control had me in a rage.
Then, oh yes, there is more! MORE! The state of Virginia attempting to make vaginal ultrasounds mandatory for any woman seeking an abortion. Rick Santorum - that frothy mixture of lubricant and excrement - stating he cannot support women soldiers in combat because it compromises the mission.
And then, that Dickhead, Rush, had to chime in and call Sarah Fluke - a Georgetown University (a Catholic run university) law student - a slut and prostitute for daring to expect free access to contraceptives. How dare she?!
And still...now, more than ever, I'm at a loss for words to describe just how thoroughly disgusted and angry I am with the people - both men and women - who think it's still OK to make MY vagina a forum for religious and political debate.
But I still couldn't write about it. Even though...
A war on women has been openly declared by religious leaders (who would be better off ensuring their numbers weren't molesting innocent children rather than worrying about whether or not reasonable contraceptive care was available to women who consent to sexual contact), by political hopefuls and leaders, by women who'd been brainwashed by the idea of money in their coffers if they'd only comply with the will of men and the will of a gawd I do not subscribe to.
Still...I was wordless.
Thursday I attended an all-day conference for mid- to high-level non-profit executives. 160-ish attendees - 2/3 of them women. The conference started off well - the first presenter was a well-respected woman, intelligent, wonderful, funny and well known to me. I was enjoying myself.
The second presentation was given by two men from the investment industry talking about volatility in the stock market. As the first man got started, he put up a graphic depicting the highs and lows for each year of the market. The last 4 years, as we know, swung more wildly than ever before.
"Why do you think that might be?" he asked his audience. And then he went on to say, "Beginning 4 or 5 years ago, access to news is instantaneous. We react and the market reacts more rapidly now because, up until 2008, if you wanted information to spread you had to use the telegraph, the telephone, or the tell-a-woman."
He stuttered and nervously laughed as the energy in the room went cold.
What he said afterward, I cannot tell you. While his joke was relatively mild, after women had been enduring weeks of blatant sexism from several sources, it was in terrible terrible taste. His credibility, at that moment, was completely shot and nothing this man could say would carry any weight with me.
It was at that moment I decided that, no matter how lost for words I was, I would no longer be silent. I will no longer let gender-biased comments and jokes stand without confronting the speaker. I will no longer stand by and allow other people to fight for my rights as a human being.
The one weapon I have plenty of is my words and I will rise up and use them in defense of myself - to confront injustice and discrimination - no matter the form or the forum.
Thus, my evaluation of his presentation was scathing. The e-mail I wrote to the sponsor - the head of a large foundation...a woman who was in attendance - made my position very clear. Sexism will not be tolerated.
Now...where is my copy of The Vagina Monologues???