Please excuse the long post but something happened last week that I can't stop thinking about. One day, I'll find an appropriate outlet for these long-winded musings but until then...
I was in Hollywood, heading to a friend's wrap party for her first feature. I park about a block away, and as I'm walking toward the lights of the bar in the distance, I'm thinking about Wonder Woman. I had seen the film the night before and it's been replaying in my mind ever since. That first act. Those images. We've never seen anything like them. An island of fearless warrior women-- strong, self sufficient and brave-- taking care of one another and fighting for all that's good. And Patty Jenkins behind the camera, creating a new super-hero vision for women everywhere. How would I be different had I seen this movie as a little girl? How does the existence of these images shape our world?
I'm lost in thought and barely notice the homeless man mumbling to himself as he approaches. It's not until after he passes-- until his last mumbled word rings in my ears-- that I realize he's talking to me. I piece together what he's just said.
"You walk like the world respects you. Faggot."
Empowering thoughts of Wonder Woman evaporate, replaced instantly by the image of Trump. His travel ban, his gutted healthcare plan, his bromance with the Russians, his denial of climate change, the hate perpetuated by his endless twitter feed-- it all fades away in this moment. What does HE mean? What does it mean to live in a world where the bully wins? Where a homophobic, mysogynistic, Islamaphobic, transphobic, racist, classist, narcissistic, money-mongering criminal excuse for a human is elected as our leader. And how does that fact impact this hateful man in my path right now? How does it empower him? What actions can he justify today that he couldn't six months ago?
I think of the endless string of hate crimes across the country. Of the lesbian beaten to a pulp on the Q train a few weeks ago. And then I think about Wonder Woman. Was I walking taller when we crossed paths because of her? Did he hurl that homophobic slur at me because of Trump? How are we each affected by our surrounding world in this moment? How do we make sense of that world amidst all the hate and anger?
Wonder Woman probably would've beaten the shit out of that dude. Or at the very least, she would have said something in defense of love. But I didn't. Trump is our president and I kept walking. I didn't even look back.
Instead, I arrive at the bar and toast my friend for wrapping on her first feature. Because a working female director in this industry is a Wonder Woman too. And I think to myself that despite the chaos of these terrifying times, we still have choices. We get to choose how we react to hate. We get to choose how we carry ourselves in this crazy world.
So I walked away, but I walked away proudly. Thanks for the compliment dude. Yes, I do walk like the world respects me and I always will. That's the Wonder Woman in me.