In the movie 300, King Leonidas leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian “god-King” Xerxes and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. One of my favorite scenes is when the Persian messenger comes to give King Leonidas a message and right before kicking that messenger into a concrete hole, he glances back at his wife for confirmation prior to doing something that they both know will lead them into war. Because Spartan women were valued, equal and respected in their society, the messenger understands “the glance.” As King Leonidas was kicking dude into the hole, he yelled: “THIS IS SPARTA!” This was the first battlecry of a war with a mighty empire. Well, Mitch McConnell may have just given women a Sparta worthy battlecry when he attempted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Mitchy decided he wanted to shush Senator Warren as she attempted to read Coretta Scott King’s letter condemning Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing for Attorney General. He succeeded with a Senate vote and defended his actions with the following:
She was warned,” he said. “She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Thanks Mitchy! You see, although we deal with continuous attempts to silence and dismiss us, women are a very strategic group and when you push us too far, we will Sun Tzu your ass. I know..I know.. you want us to be silent, pliant, sweet little things- we often play your game and bide our time. Oh, we’re working individually and in smaller groups to improve the lives of girls/women around the world, but we know when we need to get the army together. And when we come for you, remember this..
It’s the stuff we don’t say that you need/ed to be worried about.
It’s the times you pushed us and we didn’t push back that you need/ed to be worried about.
It’s the times we didn’t clap back that you need/ed to be worried about.
It’s the disrespect that wasn’t addresed that you need/ed to be worried about.
It’s the subtle, sexual innuendos made and we refrained from slapping the ish out of you that you need/ed to be worried about.
So while we played with the #nastywoman hashtag, that is not Sparta worthy. That plays into your narrative too well and doesn’t truly represent (for me) the totality of our “gladiatorness.” It doesn’t give me enough substance or conviction to carry me through the battlefield. However, the silencing of Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to a many of us.
Come to think of it, that dismissal just might have us brandish our swords, glance at our fellow female gladiators and kick a few asses into that concrete hole…