The backdrop of this past week has been the Supreme Court nomination process for Brett Kavanaugh. Right now, as I am certain he is being confirmed, I am in my favorite coffee shop seeking haven and distance from the unraveling of the America I once knew and was proud of.

There has been a deluge of support for Dr. Christine Blasey- Ford because of her experience and her courage to take on the patriarchy in its highest form. Millions of women stand beside her having had similar experiences and only speaking out now for the first time. It’s a time to unite in painful solidarity. It is a time to create community in the sharing of visceral, unbelievable but TRUE stories. It is a time for the barriers, which normally separate women, to dissolve into the form of a soft, comforting childhood blanket of pacification. It is also a terrifying time to be a woman because no one actually cares. “Don’t look away from me” is yelled at the patriarchy and their response is to hide in men’s bathrooms or , from the safety of a podium in front of a tv crew telling us to “grow up.”

Ever since Trump got elected I have had a theory that he and his rich white, male constituents are acutely aware and fearful that if they were average middle America, middle income guys hanging out at the local bar, they would not be able to attract any woman there. Instead of being able to understand that in terms of chemistry or female lack of attraction to average male mediocrity, they are unable to walk away from the night ok with being turned down…to get up tomorrow and just try again. Instead, if they can’t attract us or get us to accept a drink from them, they are going to force us into their bedrooms by slowly chiseling away at any rights we have which allow us to choose personal freedom present state.

I am on several online dating sites. Each site has different lengths and options for profiles. Some only allow a quick paragraph and some have unlimited space and questions to answer so someone can make a thorough choice. Despite the length, every one of mine mentions I am a liberal feminist looking for a man with similar beliefs. A couple profiles allow me the space to go a little deeper by getting into my expectations for the kind of equal partnership I desire, including sexual experience and their need to understand that pleasing me is important to the dynamic and growth of our relationship and will provide them with dividends as well. I see nothing wrong with expressing who I am and who I want. I am 44 years old and have gone decades without settling into an unhealthy relationship which many women mold into a traditional marriage acquired with ultimatums which unearth the insecurities and laziness of some men. They cave in because they figure it’s easier than getting back out there and starting over.

Ever since Dr. Blasey-Ford spoke and the tv has panned to women everywhere begging to be seen and heard, I have received multiple online messages from men giving me feedback on my profiles on how “a little humility would be endearing” to a guy messaging me simply to tell me he appreciated my interest in him (all I did was look at his profile and then cancel out of it because I wasn’t interested) and that he voted for Trump and would again.

I asked the “humility” guy to explain what he meant. I was confused because I couldn’t tell if it was an insult or compliment. While confident about what I bring to the dating table, I am a humble person in general. He explained that I thought too highly of myself and thought myself important, that I should be on psychiatric medication….the taunt of a teenage boy. Wow! I told him if I were a man, no one would think anything wrong with my profile and being explicit about my needs. I am important and allowed to treat myself that way.

I am on psychiatric medication and proud of it because it keeps me alive and functioning with an aggressive, full time job where I excel as well as a life abundant with curiosity and adventure. I then told him he really shouldn’t make fun of people using mental illness because so many people have it and that kind of stigma is what keeps many of them from seeking help. Managing mental illness is no different than having to manage something like diabetes or cholesterol and should not be picked on. In fact, he is likely surrounded by people suffering from mental illness and doesn’t know it. His final response was “smell the glove,” a reference to a highly offensive album cover from Spinal Tap which began with a naked woman performing a blow job on a man. They rejected that cover so the next one was a woman chained at the neck while a man waved a leather glove in her face. Basically, an insult premeditated to offend and put this “important” woman in her place.

Granted, I could have ignored these guys but was pretty disgusted with men and felt like eviscerating them in response to this whole Kavanaugh debacle. The government patriarchy might have been winning but I can still let guys know I will never willingly have sex with them which is a deep enough insecurity among white men that Trump got elected in the first place. I told the Trump voter that I wished him luck dating as I didn’t know any women who would date a Trump voter….a little too much of a whiff of misogyny which would overpower the cologne and aftershave. He also told me I should be on psychiatric medication for being a “moonbat” liberal. I gave him the same advice about how we shouldn’t make of people for mental illness and that men have higher suicide rates than women as they hide their illnesses more and don’t get as much help. He called me a bitch. Romantic.

A third guy has been texting me off and on and I haven’t really felt a major connection to him. His casual approach to life isn’t appealing to me in these dangerous times when I am laser focused on my trauma, safety and future. I actually told him I needed a man break because I am not really in the mood for having to flirt, pander to ego and please a man. He told me he hopes I feel better soon. It’s not an illness.

My dating life mimics the Supreme Court nominee process and government patriarchy. These guys feel empowered to eviscerate women….something which hasn’t been socially acceptable in about 50 years. I blame Mary Tyler Moore. She was a catalyst which enraged the older men by showing a woman could get a job and rent her own apartment while wearing pants on occasion. The seeds of sexual fear were planted.

I can’t put all the weight on Mary Tyler Moore. Murphy Brown wasn’t helpful when she decided to be a single parent. That fictional tv character incited real life Dan Quayle who blamed her for the denigration of the American Family. Hence, an underground movement to commit to overturning Roe V. Wade someday. Interesting…..the mediocre white man who works at only half the “busyness” of a hustling career woman can hold a grudge better than a woman. 30 years later, Kavanaugh. These guys are afraid their jobs are leaving America or that they have to compete for work against women and people who aren’t white which isn’t fair because it means they would actually have to apply themselves more, can’t openly discriminate or “grab them by the pussy” in the workplace.

For years I have grappled with thinking I was at a disadvantage by being single. I can’t quit my job to chase my passions because I don’t have partner income we can shuffle around and “make work.” Many of my friends have been able to take risks because the husband can help, they can cut back for awhile but still survive. I also have moments at night when I have trouble sleeping and wish I could roll over and tap my husband on the shoulder for a quick chat or hug. My friends can do that. They will tell you it’s been years since it happened so I make a mental note….”if you ever get married, don’t let that stuff slip away because of routines and the familiarity which can dance with contempt.”

It wasn’t until I started traveling more that I realized I might actually be the one with advantage by being single. Sure, money is very tight and I often pray there might be change under the couch cushions in order to buy dog food, but I can go anywhere I want and pursue my travel schedule without compromise. I can eat microwave Lean Cuisine dinners without guilt that I didn’t provide a meal for someone else. I can put off doing my laundry as long as I want. I can leave the dishes in the sink until tomorrow after work because I just don’t care. I hate unloading the dryer and the dishwasher for some reason. So I wait days. Yes, you heard me right….days and it doesn’t bother me.

I have my own mortgage and financial independence. If my imaginary husband cheats on me, I don’t have to consider staying because I can’t afford to be without him. I am not putting up with affairs I pretend not to know about or suffering through eating disorders and overly intense gym workouts to keep my trophy body from deteriorating and risking a younger, fitter replacement. I go to the same workout but go home to my dog, have a beer and eat EL Fudge double stuffed cookies before bed. Yeah, I think the scales are actually tipped in my favor.

As Kavanaugh, a man now bent on liberal revenge, is confirmed I terrifyingly realize I am the enemy. I am a single woman, childless by choice who is financially beholden to no one and, with the exception of that one time I was raped when I was 20ish, can choose who I don’t want to have sex with or sit at a bar with. I am incendiary to the patriarchy. I am the woman they are aiming their legislation squarely at. All this time I thought I was doing a good thing by learning how to take care of myself. I have been rejecting the penises of incredibly insecure men who are lucky enough to have more money and power than me. They have been keeping score of how many times I turned my back on them.

I am reminded no matter how far I think I can go in life, my leash can be jerked back by rape because they always have that one power over me. Whether it’s in a dark alley, my bedroom, a bathroom stall or a parking lot it can also be done with legislation signed by men of the highest court or the desk of the Oval Office. I somewhat joke that I need to figure out the exact right time to leave the country before they start rounding up single women and putting us in interment camps. But it’s kind of not a joke. It’s true fear wrapped in humor like a palatable bacon wrapped scallop. I can get out of bed and leave the house for that. But eventually, every party ends and I may be forced to clean that house and give blow jobs to the owner who makes my skin crawl as many times as I have turned his type down since I started dating 30 years ago.

God bless America.