A Conversation (Out Loud) About Raising Feminist Boys

 

Recently, I was asked by Dr. Jennifer Todd to do an interview for her Women Transcend! podcast series; which takes a look at issues facing women and girls worldwide.  

She reached out to me after reading my HuffPo post, Raising My Boys To Resist The Patriarchy. As much as I feared being interviewed, and listening to my own voice (yikes!) I couldn’t refuse. Because feminism.

In the interview we discuss the Women’s March on Washington, raising boys who are aware of the patriarchal society we live in, and the obstacles faced by women because of it.

If you are interested in listening, you can find it here: Patriarchy,Parenting And Boys.

I fully realize our discussion is a small piece of a much larger landscape that includes women of color and the LBGTQ community. She wanted a mother’s perspective* on raising boys in a patriarchy and my take on why I think it’s important to raise boys with a feminist viewpoint. 

*I absolutely do not profess to be an expert on feminism (or anything else for that matter), but I am happy to be included in the conversation…and learn as I go…always 🙂

Dr. Todd’s site is empowering and highlights obstacles women face globally–and how Women Transcend!

 

To Our Students After The Confirmation Of Betsy DeVos: We’ve Got This

 

Dear Public School Students,

You may have heard from your parents, or the news, or friends at school, that things are a bit tense right now in the land of grown-ups.

Let’s just say priorities have definitely “shifted” in the last few weeks; even more so in the last few days. Our country has a new direction. And now it seems, education has a new direction. At the moment, some matters are up in the air: like what we’ll actually be teaching you next year, and whether or not we will have enough funding for pencils and paper, or if we’ll be swapping out our science books for scripture.

This is all very disconcerting to the adults around you; including your teachers. We are worried about a system that leaves some of you behind, excludes others, and devalues us—and our chosen profession. But the good news is, you don’t need to worry One. Tiny. Bit.

We’ve got this.

We’ll be watching carefully as our policymakers navigate the road ahead. We’ll keep an eye on them and advocate for your best interests at every turn: calling, writing, protesting. But while we are doing that, we will also keep an eye on you.

All of you.

Whether you are our future doctors, artists, writers, innovators, cure-finders, civil rights advocates, lawyers, judges, politicians, innovators, philosophers, Peace Corps volunteers, scientists, park rangers, or teachers.

Whether you come to us with bellies full of home-cooked meals, or hungry and in need of “emergency snacks” we keep in our desks just for you.

Whether you get yourself dressed and walk to school alone, ride a bus with friends, or arrive from the backseats of warm cars full of goodbye kisses.

Whether you walk through our doors ready and rested after a good night’s sleep, or distracted and tired with a head full of worry.

We will be there to greet you.

Whether you raise your hand confidently and live out loud, or quietly listen and choose your words carefully.

Whether you wear shiny new shoes or worn-down sneakers that allow the puddles to dampen your socks. (Which we will lovingly hang on our heaters to dry while you read, write, build, research, and grow a year older right under our noses.)

Whether you wear barrettes that need to be re-clasped, shoes that need tying, or lunch containers that need opening. We are at the ready.

We see you.

Whether you have unique learning styles, or thrive best when we allow you to stand at a tall table, or sit in a quiet spot, or when we place a reassuring hand on your shoulder.

Whether you are a girl who will grow up to love a boy, or a girl, or both, or neither.

Or a boy who is being raised by a mom and dad, or two dads, or moms, or aunties, or grandparents, or any mix of these.

Whether your God can be found at a church, or a temple, or a mosque, or just the quiet moments in your day…or nowhere at all.

This community is for you; our doors are open.

We will continue to do what we have always done.

We will continue to greet you each day with kindness and respect.

We will continue to meet you at your level and celebrate your successes.

We will continue to challenge you to grow and achieve your personal best.

We will continue to fill our library shelves with meaningful books that reflect you in them.

We will continue to notice when you are reading the last few pages of a book, and discretely slide the next “just right story” onto the corner of your desk as we pass by you during quiet reading.

We will continue to come together daily and build our classroom on pillars of acceptance, encouragement, friendship, and fairness toward each other.

We will continue to provide a consistent and safe space; where you can be yourselves, share your ideas, and discover your strengths.

Whether you are brown, black, white, beige, or any other beautifully diverse color that makes our classroom unique, wonderful, and representative of the world we live in; we will remain steadfast in our goal to make learning meaningful for each of you—our students.

While the world around us shifts and sways with uncertainty, our role in your day is unchanged. Our devotion to each of you is constant.

You may sense the unrest in the air. You may overhear bits and pieces of adult conversations. You might start to worry, but don’t. We are on the front lines fighting the good fight; so you don’t have to.

We’ve got this.

Your job is to be a kid. Your job is to show up each day, open to possibilities.

There will be plenty of time for you to worry about grown-up stuff later. In fact, the way things are going, you will need every bit of strength and focus in reserves when you inherit the world we are leaving to you.

For now, you are our students, and you are young. Your heads should be filled with playdates, basketball games, art classes, Girl Scout cookies, science projects, baseball card collections, and dreams of all the What Will Bes that await you.

Tomorrow is business as usual; we will persist. There are books we have yet to read, theories we have yet to test, and stories we have yet to write.

In the morning, eat some breakfast, double tie your shoelaces (so we don’t have to tie them again until at least recess), put on your backpack…and don’t forget your library books.

Tonight, please try to go to bed on time. You will need your energy. You don’t realize it yet, but you have an enormous job to do. Your job is to keep learning. You are the future, and that means everything to us.

See you in the morning.

Your Public School Teachers

 

This post was featured on The Huffington Post

Raising My Boys To Resist The Patriarchy

 

 

Strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

I am a strong woman. I was raised by a strong woman, and I would most definitely raise a strong woman. But I am not raising a woman. I am raising two men, and right now they are boys.

The world is ready to shape and influence them into the kind of men they will one day be. The patriarchy is waiting, and I’m doing my best to raise them to help tear it down.

When I met their dad, he had just come to San Francisco from a small town and a pretty conservative family. I was smack dab in the middle of a psychology degree, taking women’s studies and sexual diversity courses.

By our third date, we had discussed white privilege, male privilege, LGBTQ rights, and affirmative action—all of which were pretty progressive topics for him. But he was open-minded enough to listen and intrigued enough with me to keep the discussion going. (Or it was all the Ani DiFranco I played in my car with the Girls Kick Ass sticker on the bumper, seeping into his psyche.)

Either way, our worldviews aligned, and almost 20 years later here we are; raising two boys.

After two decades of marinating in conversations about the state of equality and progress, that same young man from a small town, who had not discussed race relations or feminism before we met, used his frequent flier miles to put me on a plane to D.C. to march for equal rights and civil liberties.

That same man who had never dated a feminist before me, sent me an email while I was away saying how much he appreciates me and my role in our family; and in his words, “I am amazing.”

That same man, who had not discussed wage inequality or male privilege before we met, took time off of work to be home with our boys — without batting an eye. He did not need instructions or pre-prepared meals, because he is a parent, not a babysitter. He is my partner, and he wanted me to march for our shared values; which are so much bigger than both of us.

That is us, chipping away at the patriarchy.

The Women’s March was sparked from widespread concern for misogyny running rampant in the Oval Office, but it quickly grew into a movement that spanned the gamut from civil liberties to climate change. A dominant focus of the march remained reproductive rights and the fight against our bodies being objectified, violated, or federally regulated.

I marched for all of those things, passionately. I soaked up the energy from the army of pink Pussyhats, and read the signs declaring:

Women’s Rights Are Equal Rights

Feminism is the Radical Notion That Women Are People

My Body, My Choice, My Country, My Voice

It was impossible not to feel a deep connection to all things female.

But it wasn’t just the x chromosomes coursing through my DNA that kept me marching onward. The two future-men and the one all-grown-up-one holding down the fort in the corner of the world we are building together fueled me forward. I was inspired by the awesome power of women, and our unifying desire for equality; but I also thought of my boys.

I’ve never felt a void by not having a daughter. I do, however, feel the enormous responsibility entrusted in me by my fellow women to raise boys who will resist the patriarchy. Now, more than ever, we need boys who will be the kind of men to fight against injustice, even when their privilege insulates them.

I’m raising my boys to grow up to be better men than the senators and politicians who so publicly reduced the women who marched to angry, tattooed, freeloaders, and short-order cooks.

I’m raising my boys to grow into the kind of men who shut down “locker room talk” instead of laughing along in complicity.

I’m raising my boys to know that women are their doctors, teachers, mothers, friends, politicians, policy makers, leaders; their equals.

I’m raising my boys to understand that our country is already strong because of its diversity and opportunity for all; not in spite of it.

I’m raising my boys with an awareness of privilege and an understanding that just because it is not a problem for you, does not mean it isn’t a problem.

I’m raising my boys to use their male privilege to speak up for what is right, instead of what is easy; so that one day, when they are welcomed into the patriarchy, they can chip away at it from the inside.

I saw my oldest son’s principal the other day and she said he told her he was proud of me for marching. That night when I tucked him in, he told me I was brave.

While our children will witness misogyny, racism, and inequity as they grow up, they are also watching us resist. They watched millions of us around the world march for women’s rights and equal opportunities for all. They see the mayors of sanctuary cities, state governors, world leaders, journalists, federal judges, and even National Park Rangers have the moral courage to speak out against unjustness.

The future is watching, and what we do matters.

I truly hope that in 2020 my ballot has a woman on it, but my heart aches with doubt. My country chose a man of severely questionable temperament, character, ideals, and experience over a woman who was arguably much more qualified to serve as our president.

Sadly, I’m not convinced that our country is ready to end the patriarchy just yet. Until we are, I will carry my own sign every day while I raise these boys of mine:

Strong Women, may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise men strong enough to march alongside them and fight the patriarchy with us.

This post was featured on The Hufington Post 

More Than A Snowflake

 

I am one of millions of American citizens unwilling to normalize the behavior of our President-elect and accept the views of his cabinet nominees as my new normal; at least not quietly.

According to his supporters, there is a word for people like me; snowflake.

The term has taken on many versions of the same meaning and traveled a circuitous route before finally landing among today’s political buzzwords. “Snowflake” is a pejorative for an entitled person. (Usually a liberal who takes issue with the actions, ideals, or tweets! of our President-elect.)

In November, when millions of voters were deeply disturbed that a man who ran a campaign on hostility, nationalism, xenophobia and misogyny was actually elected president, Kellyanne Conway used “snowflake” to describe Millennials who were upset about the election results.

“We are just treating these adolescents and Millennials like precious snowflakes.”

She also flippantly posed a question.

“What do these people actually fear?…What is the worst thing that happens, that Donald Trump will make good on his promise to create 25 million new jobs, unleash energy investment, get rid of Obamacare?”

This might be a leap, but a person with the luxury of casually posing such a patronizing ‘worst-case-scenario’ is an extremely entitled one. So, in an ironic twist, that must make Ms. Conway a precious snowflake too.

If she actually presented this hypothetical to any person of color, Muslim, member of the LGBTQ community, or woman, the answer would be a resounding, “NO!” Because obviously, that is not the worst thing that could happen.

The unprecedented public outcry, planned marches, and calls to action are because of real fear. Our fear has everything to do with this particular man, his policies, and his appointments. (Yep, sorry, that includes you, Ms. Conway.)

I’m not a Millennial, but I was a broken, emotional mess after the election. It’s been two months. If this were a self-indulgent tantrum, I’d be over it and out having brunch or getting my nails done by now. You know, like the precious snowflake I am.

Instead, I’m calling representatives, following calls to action, and hoping against hope that your worst case scenario is THE worst case scenario.

So Ms. Conway, since you asked…from one entitled snowflake to another; here is what I actually fear and who I actually am underneath that soft, snowflake exterior.

I am a mother concerned about the world we’ll leave to our children, and their children’s children. I hope my great, great, grandkids can play outdoors without a hazmat suit; and see polar bears in locations other than the extinct species list.

Our President-elect plans to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement and repeal the Clean Power Plan – eradicating years of progress to cut greenhouse emissions. He, along with his pick for secretary of energy, deny climate change.

Our new secretary of state runs one of the largest oil companies in the free world, with deep ties to Russia. There is already talk of opening up government-owned national parks, wildlife refuges, and tribal territories, for drilling and mining. 

It is not looking good for the environment.

I am a mother, raising two young boys, who fears for the safety of our country. It concerns me when our President-elect haphazardly tweets about needing to ‘greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capability’; or when I see violent, racist acts committed in city parks, school hallways, and neighborhoods – in his name.

I am an educator wondering how science, history, and current events can be taught in a time when our highest leader regularly bends the truth and dismisses scientific facts when they are inconvenient to his message.

Our new secretary of education is a billionaire who has never attended or worked in public education. She supports anti-gay practices like ‘conversion therapy’ and would like to see religious schooling receive public funding. Our secretary of education should represent the interests of every student in public education; she does not.

I am a woman deeply concerned about the message our President-elect sends to men everywhere, including the two I am raising, about objectifying and disrespecting women.

I fear the consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood; especially for those who face systemic barriers to receive healthcare, and rely on services they provide for life-saving preventative care, and birth control.

I am a citizen of a nation founded on immigrants who is deeply disturbed that some of the most highly regarded positions in our government will now be held by the founder of a news organization responsible for the alt-right movement — endorsed by the KKK and the Neo-Nazis; and a US senator denied a federal judgeship for being too racist.

My resistance is not about my candidate losing and me not getting my way. It is much bigger than that. I fear the loss of decades of progress made for people of color, the LBGTQ community, women, and the environment. I fear the giant leap into the past that we are all about to take.

Call me a Snowflake, but I’m one of millions in this country truly terrified by the power granted to a man who has called climate change a hoax, made light of sexual assault, mocked the disabled, casually threatened to shoot his opponent, and is grossly unqualified for the immense responsibility he is about to assume.

I’m one of millions who believe we are in real trouble Ms. Conway. That it’s not a time to be silent, ignore words, and “give the benefit of the doubt.” This is not a high school student council election. Words matter, actions matter.

I am one of millions who will not be silenced by name-calling and condescension. We will not succumb to attempts at gas-lighting us into thinking we are ‘babies’ for having legitimate and important fears about the future of our nation.

I am one of the deeply troubled Americans who will gather and march after the inauguration, not to celebrate, but to send a message that while a few snowflakes may seem delicate and insignificant; millions together create a storm.

Dear Trump Supporters, Let’s Talk. I’m Listening (Really)

 

I woke up this morning, way before I should have, and caught my breath in the dark; remembering what happened last night. I keep reading articles and posts on social media imploring us to move forward with support and kindness toward each other. I also see so much despair, disbelief, and sadness in my news feed. My social network is overflowing with similar feelings to mine, mirroring my emotions. But maybe that is the problem. Maybe that is what got us here, to this place we are today—A nation truly divided.

Beyond the confines of my social groups, my Facebook friends, my favorite news sites and reporters, there is profound joy, gratitude, and rejoicing at the very same news which shook me to my core. On election night, as the states on our country map kept turning red, it was a visual of how far apart my ideals and values are from the majority of my country. At least that is how it feels today.

I have read the pleas from several eloquent, seasoned reporters and news personalities, to continue the conversation so that we can heal our nation. As Dan Rather so eloquently put it:

The world is on edge. The country is deeply divided…Huge segments of the American public are in panic – going through the shock of grief. This is the world that is now Trump’s to contend with. Do we really know what we have wrought? This is a conversation that I need you to be a part of. Do not opt out. Your voice matters now more than ever.

It seems insurmountable to find a path forward right now, when I do not see myself reflected in the values and beliefs of my leader. But I have to try. For our kids, our women, our people of color, our LGBT community, and the America that I believe we are; I have to try.

My son is going to come downstairs this morning wondering about the outcome of last night’s election, he is going to look to me for assurance that we will all be OK. I don’t know how to put him at ease, when I need reassuring myself. Will we be ok?

Our new president has insulted countless groups of people based on color, gender, economic status, body type and disabilities. He has lied. He has name-called. He has threatened. He has said things about, and done things to women, that are unimaginable to me from the leader of our great nation.

But now it is all OK. He has permission. Everyone taking their cues from him about how to treat each other, has permission too. At least, that is how it feels to me today. But in an effort to be the change I wish to see in the world—and set an example for my kids. I am not going to make assumptions. I am going to ask for clarification. I want to have a productive, much-needed conversation. I want to share my feelings in hopes that you will share yours. I want to talk. I want to listen. I want to try to understand.

So here goes, absent of sarcasm, snark, or any tone of condescension.

This is how I feel today.

I am scared because it feels like your vote says it’s allowed to devalue women, reduce them to objects- to be judged and ranked. The shirts and slogans, Trump That Bitch, Hillary Sucks But Not Like Monica, Donald Trump, Finally Someone With Some Balls, and She’s a Cunt Vote For Trump, were not funny. They scared me. They were offensive, threatening, abusive and denigrating to women. Do you feel that way? Do you hate us? Do you think we are less?

I am worried because it feels like your vote says it’s ok to lash out and ridicule people’s physical features, body types, or anything that comes to mind, as a way to disagree with their point of view. Do you really feel this way? Should name calling and put downs be part of productive discourse? Do you condone it?

I am ashamed because it feels like your vote says that people of color are less than, are all poverty stricken and uneducated, are terrorists and criminals. Do you agree with this? Is that really what your vote means?

I am frightened because It feels like your vote says it’s reasonable to threaten others with physical violence if they offer a differing viewpoint. Is this ok? Will threats and fear become prevalent in our political climate? In our society as a whole?

I am sad because it feels like your vote says that loving families made up of two same-sex partners do not qualify as a family; do not deserve to benefit from the basic rights that all married couples benefit from in important matters of medical emergencies, health care, and child guardianship. Will couples lose their same-sex marriage benefits and not be allowed to marry or have civil unions?

I am fearful because it feels like your vote means women will lose life-saving and preventative reproductive health care; resulting in substandard procedures, unnecessary suffering, and a loss of decision-making power over our reproductive rights—even in situations where the mother and baby’s lives are at risk. Will this happen?

I have so many more questions, but this feels like enough to start the conversation.

As I drove home this morning from dropping my kids off at school, I passed a neighbor’s house, a Trump supporter. He had a large sign on his lawn that said, Thank You America. I was crying in my car, with a head full of unknowns and worries. I wanted to pull over and knock on his door and ask if we could talk. But remembering his truck, a permanent fixture in front of his house for the last year, with signs like: Lock Her Up, Lies Lies Lies, and Hillary For Prison, I was not brave enough to stop.

But I want to be brave enough to start the conversation somehow. I don’t want to know how everything would have been worse if Hillary had been elected. I don’t want to talk about her emails or Benghazi. Believe it or not, I don’t want to talk about Donald Trump or any of the statements he’s made, or actions he’s taken, that make me so worried for the future. I don’t want to know why you didn’t vote for Hillary, I want to know why you voted for Trump? (With no sarcasm or insinuation, honestly.)

I want to talk about what happens now? What did your vote for Trump mean to you? Why do you feel he is the best leader for us? How do you see our nation coming together again and healing? Who do you see in your vision of our country? What does America look like to you when it is Great Again? Do we all have a place in it?

I am one of those Americans going through shock and grief. In grief it is hard to see beyond; to imagine the healing. I have more questions than I have answers and I feel helpless. In an effort to find a path forward, and to heal; we need to have the hard conversation. Let’s start talking, respectfully and openly. I am listening. I will not opt out, will you?

I’m With Her

Tuesday’s election carries so much weight; for my two boys, our country, and the future of our planet. When I read anything suggesting that Donald Trump is within reach of the presidency, I get mad. To me, a vote for Trump is like an erratic driver on the road; it could potentially have an imminent and catastrophic result on my life as I know it, and the lives of my kids, but I can’t do anything about it…except cast my vote and hope sanity prevails. And that is what is different about this election. We are in unprecedented (and in my opinion dangerous) territory if the best ‘woman’ doesn’t win. President Obama said it best— If you can’t be trusted with a twitter account, you can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes, or the enormous power of the presidency.

But I am not voting for Hillary because of how much I don’t want the other guy. I am voting for her because she is clearly the most qualified and worthy candidate for the job. I am with her because while arguably the most lowbrow, racist, sexist, narcissistic, and unqualified candidate for president our nation has ever seen has arrogantly interrupted, intimidated, threatened and insulted her; she has handled herself with grace and integrity—even smiling. And she did it for all of us. She went high instead of low, time and time again. She did it for the America she believes we are. I am with her to show her she was right; we are worthy of the s***show she has endured.

I am with her for the millions of young women and girls who deserve more than to be objectified and reduced to a number from 1-10. I am with her for the millions of young boys and men, including two of my own, who deserve more than a misogynist for a president. I am with her because I believe as a nation we are better than racist. Better than sexist. Better than hateful. Better than discriminatory. Better than a wall dividing us. I’m with her because she has never told me that a vote for her is a vote against someone else.

My vote for her is a vote for equality, for human rights, for women, for choice, for diversity, for our environment, and for preserving our place among a world of nations that is So. Much. Bigger. than just our country.

When we get into our cars, with our kids buckled into the back seat, and take the leap of faith that we are safe; we are counting on one another to keep our eyes on the road ahead. I am with her because we are stronger together; and I believe that the way forward is with love and trust in each other, not hate.

Safe driving, safe voting, and see you all on the other side of this madness!

7 Things Trump Wants Us To Know That Speak Volumes

dreamstime_s_15469990

I sat down to watch the debates hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, and wondering, What will Donald Trump do now? A mix of concerns swarm my mind when I picture a man like him running our country. 

How will he handle meetings with leaders of other nations? Will he allow other presidents, prime ministers and heads of state to feel heard and valued? Will he even listen?

What will happen when we have a wall keeping people out of our country? Or when people of certain religions are banned from travel?  How will already heightened racial tensions in our country ever be resolved?

What sort of judgement will he exercise in critical situations where a single decision could have catastrophic results? Will he think, consult others in his cabinet, consider all outcomes? Or lead with arrogance, act quickly, and use erratic judgement?

And what about women? How will we explain to young boys and girls that his way of thinking and dealing with women is. just. wrong? Sorry Ivanka, the jig is up.

Gripping my remote in one hand and a calming beverage of choice in the other I anxiously turned on the debate.

The candidates covered some predictable topics: budget, jobs, economy, international trade, tax reductions…the usual stuff. Not surprisingly it didn’t take long before Trump went off the rails and detoured just a little bit.

I think I’ll direct this next part to Donald.Yes? Is that OK? Donald. Good. I want you to be very happy. It’s very important to me. I want you to know that even though clearly important to you, some issues would not matter One. Tiny. Bit. if you were actually The President of the United States:

Whether or not anyone has called Sean Hannity. Presumably if you and Sean are so chummy, you would have his contact information and be able to clear all of this up with a quick call. (With all the other sound bites, clearing it up might be a stretch.) But IT DOESN’T MATTER what may or may not have been said over a decade ago, about a decision that already took place…if you are the one elected to handle what happens NOW.

Your club in Palm Beach. Congrats, you let people join your luxury golf club who weren’t white. I’m gonna guess they still paid the membership fee of 100k (give or take) so not altogether a civil-rights-worthy-act. No matter how much you pat yourself on the back or bask in the “great credit you’ve been given for it”,  you’ve got your work cut out for you. The answer to our country’s racial inequities and tensions cannot be found in a hotel or golf club that does what it’s supposed to do--abide by the equality act, which legally requires no one be excluded based on race. 

How much the Maybe-Not-Russian-hacker weighed who “hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s servers”. Seriously, They. Don’t. Exist. And if they did-their body type is irrelevant, and everyone realizes this-except you.

That you have property in Chicago. No offense Chicago; it’s just that in the grand scheme of things, owning property somewhere seems unlikely to impact the skyrocketing murder rate. But hey, reinstating a previously retired tactic deemed unconstitutional for racial profiling seems like a good start?!

How much money you say you are worth. Honestly, has a candidate’s worth ever been a factor in past elections? Does it make you more fit to lead? Less fit? What matters is how much you think it matters. It’s creepy. And if you are lying about it because of how much you think it matters…that’s just scary.

Rosie O’Donnell.  Just. No. No one is thinking about this during the first Presidential Debate of 2016!  Really. You are the only person in our country who would bring up Rosie O’Donnell. at. the. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE! But since you did, how can you assume that everyone agrees with you and no one feels sorry for her? Really? In this whole country, everyone agrees with you about Rosie O’Donnell? According to psychology, this is false consensus, and it is dangerous. Especially when used by someone in a position of power to influence millions of citizens–on topics more complex than a public feud with a comedian.

Your winning temperament. The leader of a nation should have a level-headed temperament, a fair temperament, a composed temperament. But “winning”? First of all, is that even a temperament? Second, is there a competition, reality TV show, or pageant are we entering? No. Then you just keep your winning temperament for the boardroom. I’ll take sane for the White House, please!

You know what DOES matter if you plan on calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home anytime soon:

You think federal tax evasion is smart. You might want to ask any retiree receiving social security or Medicare how smart they think you are. While you’re at it, ask a teacher or veteran.

You interrupted Secretary Clinton 51 times. Yes, Mr. Trump, you spoke out of turn 51 times. Next time, we are giving Mr. Holt a talking stick to pass back and forth so you have a concrete reminder of when it is actually your turn to talk.

Your take on climate change. How do you feel? Is it a Hoax or not? Do let us know when you sort this out. My future grandchildren eagerly await your decision.

That clearly you are lying about your tax returns. Why? No really, just. Why?

“You take advantage of laws because you are running a company.” What will you take advantage of when you are running a country?

The housing crash was just good business. Nine million people lost their jobs. Five million people lost their homes, and $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. Who cares, if there’s a buck to be made.

These things you said at the debate matter. In the words of someone much more prepared, even-tempered and qualified to be our next president, ”Words matter. Words matter when you run for president, and they really matter when you are president.” 

Your words speak volumes, and I’ve heard enough.