Since becoming involved in the movement for gun violence prevention, I’ve been called a liar, an ignorant young mother, a stupid bitch, and mostly, a cunt. I’m not really sure what the people who say these things are trying to accomplish. Maybe their mommy used to cry when their daddy called her a cunt, but I don’t. On the first day of eighth grade I walked into my metal shop class, one of only two girls who had opted for metal shop rather than sewing. I took a seat in the front row, and a kid named Mark came up behind me, called me a cunt and sat in the seat opposite me. That word hasn’t bothered me since. In fact, one of my best friends in high school had so little patience for girls who couldn’t tolerate that word that she used it every chance she had, sometimes three or four times in a sentence. This was not some tough urban school, either. My school was about as WASPy as they come. And my friend with the potty mouth was a social register Laura Ashley-wearing good girl, now raising two girls of her own. I’ve also been told that my kids should be taken away from me, and that I should kill myself. A girl in fifth grade told me that she would make me so miserable that I would want to kill myself, and let me tell you, she was relentless. This girl was a bully with manipulation skills that would be the envy of evil dictators the world over. I spent a solid four months under a constant barrage of name calling and humiliation. But I’m still here. If that little psychopath couldn’t make a dent, some yahoo I’ve never met leaving nasty comments on this blog, or on their blog, or writing letters to my hometown paper about me, won’t make a dent either.
Today’s generation of moms are perfectly suited to take on the massive challenge of overhauling our nation’s gun laws. It has to be moms. For one thing, we have always had to fight harder to get what we want, that’s genetically wired into women at this point. We recognize injustice when we see it, and are not too intimidated to fight against it – in fact for many of us it is a compulsion. We were raised by women who fought hard for equal rights, we were educated in colleges with Women’s Studies departments, we play football, kick box, kick ass and still make a killer cake for the bake sale. The men I have encountered who are opposed to progress of any kind are no different from men fifty years ago. Look at the way Ted Cruz tried to dismiss Diane Feinstein, with his smug assertion that she didn’t understand the Constitution. These are men who think nothing of verbally assaulting grieving mothers and traumatized emergency room workers. I’ve seen it happen. Again, Ted Cruz called the parents of Newtown “props” being used by the Obama administration. As if they can’t make up their own minds about whether the weapons used to destroy their children should be in the hands of civilians, or in their community.
It’s archaic. It’s simple-minded. It’s bullying. Moms today, because of the strong women who fought for us and who raised us, are not so easily intimidated. Name calling? We’re over it. Our children should be taken away to a place where they are at greater risk of a violent death? Get your head out of your ass. We’re not as stupid as they would like to believe. We do not ask politely for gun sense. We demand it. And we’re not going to stop until we get it. You know how girls are.