As we close the week this Friday, I want to address a news story that resonated particularly deeply with me. I usually stay away from the news, providing moments of cheer or beauty from my home and life, and allowing readers a respite from the difficulties presented each day. My husband is the “news guy” and provides calm and hope to readers as he addresses the daily onslaught of news that can distress and destabilize the equilibrium of our lives. He calls it “a reflection of today’s news through the lens of hope.” I, and many of his readers, are grateful everyday for the work that he does.
However, today I am making an exception, and turning my thoughts to the week’s news because I felt this so deeply, and I wanted to share it with some like minded friends.
E. Jean Carrol’s act of bravery this week, made me weep. My husband lauded her willingness to engage in the trial process and testitfy. He suggested that “All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to E. Jean Carroll for her determination and persistence.” I agree.
But there is so much more to say.
After Trump’s liability verdict, most news outlets focused on the verdict, and the monetary damages that were awarded. For me, this wasn’t the headline.
E. Jean Carrol was the headline. A woman, like me. An older woman. A woman of a certain age, still engaging in the world, daring to be visible, and demanding that she be heard. Let me explain.
As I have become an “older woman,” There are times when I feel invisible. Sometimes it feels like people ignore what you can do, or what you say, just because you’re older, retired from your profession, or have lost the youthful glow of your early years. Worse, there are times when mocking older women is a sport for men, both young and old. Trump’s town hall was a devastating example of this.
E. Jean Carrol knew this, and yet despite it all, she refused to be silent. She stood up and held Trump accountable, even though she was well aware of how vicious and cruel he would be.
She is 79 years old. And she made me proud to be a woman of a certain age. A woman who refused to be invisible. A woman with life experience enough to know her worth. To fight for her dignity. And ours. To be an example to other survivors of sexual assault that speaking up, being heard, and being believed is possible. Though not without cost.
For me, this news story is not about the money, or the politics.
It’s about this extraordinary woman, who fought for the truth because it was the right thing to do, despite the price that she would pay.
Thank you, E. Jean Carrol. Others may applaud you because you are a hero of democracy, or a hero for sexual assault survivors ( all true ) – but for “women of a certain age” – you are our personal hero. We will carry your strength with us. And be seen.