A few weeks (months? time is not my mistress) ago I read about the girl scout cookie boycott. I was more tempted than ever to buy Thin Mints in support of an organization that didn’t back down when asked to exclude a CHILD who identifies as transgender. Because, you know, not fitting gender norms is not enough exclusion. More recently, I’ve been following Ellen’s endorsement of J.C. Penny and their refusal to bow to pressure from “one million” moms. I say “one million” in quotes because I’ve yet to find evidence that they have met that significant requirement of democracy of finding support in great numbers. As far as I can tell, they are not supported by “one million” anything. My gut reaction to this was to consider clicking on JC Penny just to see what they had. You know, to support their cause. Likewise with the Planned Parenthood/ S G K mess. I feel obligated to avoid buying the pink items I love so dearly lest part of the profits go to support an organization that thinks it is ok to tell women that they must play physical host to an otherwise unsustainable life. The worst part is the claim that the removal of SGK funding from cancer screening services was not a “political” move.
Throughout all of this, I’ve been completely non-plussed (in both senses of the word) by the current election lead up. I don’t know how to engage with a country that seriously thinks it is a viable option to consider electing a woman who doesn’t think other women should work outside the home. I’m confused by a voting public that is motivated to say that the government should not require us to provide life sustaining medical care to everyone, yet thinks it is absolutely in the government’s remit to tell individual women that they must provide this care with their bodies. I’m dumbfounded by cries that our constitution is being stepped on because our nation is not a theocracy. I do not understand how the right to bear arms should trump the right to live free from fear, but I do understand that we need to talk about the conflict between those two. It shocks me that voters think a woman is unqualified to offer an endorsement of J.C. Penny, not because she primarily wears t-shirts and runs a chat show giving her no qualifications, but because she loves someone. I don’t understand why the name of an ice cream is of more political importance than our nation’s systematic failure to effectively re-distribute wealth.
In all of this, I feel like my buying power matters far, far more than my vote. My overwhelming urge is to follow the wise example of my grandmother when she has baked a tasty cake right before breakfast and says to me: “have at it.”