In 1993, when I came back from Africa, I went to the Mission Mall to get a haircut. I was early, so I headed to the ladies room to tinkle. In the stall, I discovered I was stuck on an island: no toilet paper. The dearth of toilet paper struck me as particularly funny, considering Africans referred to it as the American’s prayer flag.
But as I continue to notice the signs I have become alarmed to discover the United States devolving into a third world country.
Most frightening, as I was searching around the web last night, I looked up in time to see Elizabeth Warren being shut down and shut up by Mitch McConnell (and the other henchmen of the so-called President of these United States) as she tried to read Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter in response to Jeff Sessions.
I was struck, again, by the parallels between this America and the Africa I’d loved and left in the early nineties. At that time, African women did not frequent bars, as patrons or as waiters. They didn’t routinely work outside the home except as domestics. There was only one other female University professor at the two branches of the National University of Rwanda. If they were married, women couldn’t open and use a bank account unless given permission by their husbands. Birth control pills were not available, nor were abortions, and, of course, if you could believe it, rape didn’t exist!
I should not be surprised that men are still trying to render us silent. After all, we elected a man who brags about “grabbing [women] by the pussy.” And so, I would like to say to men who try to silence women: if you are ever able to grow a pair of balls, I will happily grab them for you and squeeze…hard.