Fear, lies & fragile egos

In a first for The Leither magazine Sally Fraser reports from her bath where, rather unfortunately for her, Trump rears his ugly head

The world is waiting and I am in the bath trying to Not Look At The News for a Bit. At least I have my new cat for a distraction. The poor little thing has just been brutally robbed of his manhood. Or Cathood I suppose, and I feel terrible. I keep thinking things like, ‘gosh this is even worse than the priesthood’.

Anyway the cat doesn’t seem to be missing his testicles too much and is blissfully unaware that he has lost them at a time of history in the making.

Who is going to be the next president? Is it an old white man or another old white man, a sociopath or someone who seems okay to me? Then again, I’m no expert and hey, who among us has any standards anymore… In the four years since I wrote about actually crying because Trump had won the election a whole lot has changed. I was shocked then. Shocked at just how much we hate women, shocked at just how much injustice could prevail.

But I realise, deep in thought and bathtub, that I have lost a belief in justice over the last four years. I have had it pummelled out of me, by bullyboys on the world stage but also those closer to home. Bad things happen and no one comes to the rescue, life is monumentally bloody unfair. Maybe that’s what growing up is, one’s inner Disney soundtrack gets replaced with Dick Gaughan tunes.

And I do feel, at least over these last few years, I have learnt one thing that I can really say is true. Well actually I have learnt two things, and one of them is that it was very true when Oscar Wilde said that: “Everything in the world is about sex. Except for sex. Sex is about power.” But I am not going to go into that too much because, well, either your already know it and have found out the hard way like I did, or you are going to have to mull it over a bit. Let it percolate for a wee while and then all of a sudden you will be out walking in the mud or whatever and you will say, gosh, she’s right, that Sally Fraser. And he’s so right too, that Oscar Wilde. But if you aren’t there yet I can’t rush you.

I am going to tell you about My Other Thing I Have Learnt, and brace yourself – this is a game-changer.

Here goes: Bullshit patriarchal institutions produce, at best, people who will keep quiet while someone else’s head is being flushed down the loo. That’s it, that’s how it works. The bullies always win one way or another in certain kinds of structures because, well, they are just allowed to.

Because if the whole rotten house of cards is held up with fear and lies and fragile egos then no-one can step out of the system, not so much for fear of the whole thing toppling but because, if you aren’t part of it, who the hell are you?

I don’t say these things to be negative, really I don’t. I say them so that we might be free from our disappointments, even compassionate for people who really can’t do any better. If we can see these frightened, sad little boys for what they are.

Then, from that place of compassion and forgiveness, rather than from anger and frustration, commit to doing things differently, to being creative, to building new structures which don’t need power and abuse of power to prop them up.

Because I really do believe that when no one comes to rescue us, there is one man who steps into that clearing, and as the arms are raised to throw the stones at us he leans down and writes in the sand… One man who signals a different way – another world beyond sex and power and head flushing, another world into service and love and feet washing – and is always going to be derided and picked on for doing so.

A king born in a stable to show that anything is possible, that things can be different, that there is always hope and new life if we are prepared to look for it outside of the structures and systems we restrict our visions and possibilities to. In places we didn’t expect.

A voice that speaks of peace and limitless forgiveness, that says, we can do new things, and we can do hard things, and we can do them together.

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"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”

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Bullshit patriarchal institutions produce people who keep quiet while someone else’s head is being flushed down the loo. That’s it, that’s how it works

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