Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thoughts on Gaslighting and the Women's March

Just posting briefly to prove (mostly to myself) that this blog is still alive. Lately, I feel like my relationship with my blog is like that scene in Gone With the Wind, where Scarlett whips her horse until it collapses. The intellectual demands of my job seem to have taken up all the space in my brain that used to come up with things to write about.

Also, any remaining brain space has been taken over by panic/rage at Donald Trump and his team. HOW can anyone observe this man without realizing that he is deeply disturbed and not in any way able to carry out the duties of the president of the United States? During the campaign, even I thought that a lot of his bluster was just shtick and that if he were actually elected, he might be able to pull it together and behave more or less like a rational human.  But that has been proven not to be the case. Clearly.

And now it is the eve of the inauguration and nothing can save us. I am attending the Women’s March on Washington, along with Brigid and Grace. I know it is going to be a long, grueling, and uncomfortable day, but I am looking forward to it. One unexpected (to me) thing that came out of the election was the large-scale emotional abuse perpetrated by Donald Trump and his team (*cough* Kellyanne Conway *cough*).  They are manipulating the meaning of truth itself, so that we are perpetually confused and doubting. Their insistence of the rightness of Trump’s actions, in the face of facts that prove the nearly everything he says is a lie is a type of abuse known as gaslighting, which causes its victims to question their own perceptions and even their sanity. To me, attending the Women’s March is a way of combating this abuse. To say that those of us who find Trump’s actions abhorrent are real and that we won’t be gaslit. How will Trump explain away over 100,000 people marching in protest, with sister marches occurring all around the world?  I’m sure he and his people will find multiple demeaning ways to dismiss us, but being present in these marches is a weapon against his abuse.

Are you planning to attend the Women’s March on Washington, or a local march in your own area? If so, let me know in the comments. I wish us all a safe and affirming march.

A photo posted by Aileen Bartels (@aileenbartels) on


  1. I'm going and taking my girl. We're riding on buses my friend Gail of Caromont Farm chartered. Another friend made hats for everyone on the bus. I'm in charge of delivering them, but mine has already been 'borrowed' by my husband, who wore it to work yesterday. He looks better in it than I do to be honest.

    As for the gaslighting, I've said for months now, Trump has the same flavor of crazy as my mother. I grew up with this kind of stuff and it's driving me nuts to see it on a larger scale. Not nuts, but it's maddening. And frightening. I know all too well firsthand how damaging this shit can be. Thankfully, there are more of us that know reality than I had growing up, so I have some hope.

    As for your blog, you have been posting way more than I have been, so your creative brain energy has not been completely zapped. And your yarn bombing is awesome. If I weren't trying to frantically knit requested birthday gifts for my people, I'd join you. But, deadlines. After all, if I'm going to blow off my husband's birthday to take our daughter to the march in DC, the least I can do is leave a pair of hand knit socks for him to wear. They'll go nicely with his pink pussy hat.

  2. Maybe you will see my brother and his two daughters at the Women's March in DC. I am so glad you are able to go to that event! I plan to attend a local Women's March in my town.

    I hear you about the difficulty of being creative in thought and in writing. That's exactly how I feel. And my emotions alternate .... but alternate is the wrong word, implying there are only two emotions. My emotions are all over the map.

    I've been trying to spend some of my creativity in composing scripts to say to my senators (one Democrat, one Republican) and congressman (a cowardly tea-party gerrymandered Republican). And then I call their offices and say my script to a lowly staffer or an answering machine. I think it does do some good, to me personally, and for the country. But it only does good for the country if thousands of other people also call, write, e-mail.

    Showing up at the march is an awesome thing to do.

  3. Please don't stop blogging! Even an occasional post is ok, just don't stop. And please, please give an account of the march in DC. I wish I could go.

  4. My thanks to you and your daughters for attending the March. I will be there in spirit. I also thank you for your blog. I have enjoyed reading it for so many years.

  5. Yours is one of only a few blogs I still read and I always appreciate your insights and commentary.

    I am so unhappy that the inauguration is upon us. The next four years are going to suck.

  6. There will be manifestation in Stockholm tomorrom, I will try to make it. Back straight, eyes front! Good luck, I will be thinking about you when I waych the news reports tonight our time.

  7. We are marching in Philadelphia tomorrow! My 4 year-old is excited to carry a sign, although we can't get him to practice any chants except "dump the trump!" He's stuck on that one.

  8. I'll be joining the sister march in Charlottesville, wishing I could be in DC but grateful to be with others here. I'll be thinking of you and your daughters tomorrow.