In January, I spent an evening with 11 female attorneys in Sonya Fischer's Lake Oswego law office, with Sonya leading the discussion and controlling what could be said. This "round table discussion" was about the election, and I attended wanting to dialogue with professional women about political issues.
We were all asked to introduce ourselves and explain our feelings about the election. Each lady talked about her agony and hopelessness since the election. Indeed, Sonya Fischer talked about visiting a therapist because the election and inauguration made her physically ill. I, too, had been nervous about the election, but had become more comfortable as each cabinet appointee was named, especially Jeff Sessions for AG. The election was 2 1/2 months old at that point. That is plenty of time to get over the disappointment of one's candidate losing.
All attendees were emotional. There was less anger expressed than disbelief, frustration, fear, hatred, pain and distain for Trump voters. I watched in amazement. One 40-something woman was bawling because her immigrant parents voted for Trump. When asked if she had talked to her parents about this, she answered: NO, she didn't want to understand such evil. Later she said that trying to understand Trump voters was like trying to understand segregationists during the '60s. The one who asked that question was later accused, by Sonya, of "attacking" the crying woman.
When HRC's concession speech was shown, these women acted like groupies at a rock concert. One lady said: "If Hillary, with all her experience, can't win, no woman will ever be president." I carefully suggested it was her baggage — not her experience — that voters didn't like. That idea was immediately shut down.
What has happened to us? Reasoning and common sense have taken a backseat to selfishness and distain for people holding their own (different) ideas. Each election race has one winner, several losers. Some voters are happy and some are not. That is part of living in America, under the U.S. Constitution. Demanding that you always get your way OR ELSE, suggests arrested development.
The ladies in this discussion group acted like women have made no progress since the '60s, as though women are still disadvantaged under the law, still mistreated in the workplace, still denied access to professional schools, still treated like second-class citizens ... I felt like I was caught in a time warp and transported back to 1969. During the last 50 years attitudes of both men and women have changed SO much, yet these ladies didn't seem to notice. Sad.
A generation ago feminists like myself fought SO hard to give women more control, more choices over their own lives, and we accomplished SO much! Yet, these ladies would deny half of Trump's voters (women) the right to make their own decisions? American women MUST only vote for Hillary Clinton!
I left both disappointed and dumbfounded. Since I audio-recorded the event I know that I wasn't imagining this bizarre evening. But I learned that, if I smear Maalox on my face, my skin would be protected from tear gas when participating in riots. So useful.
Diane L. Gruber is a longtime West Linn resident and has practiced law for 31 years. Currently, she is semi-retired and enjoys traveling.