After I’d been writing a column for a few years, a male boss gave me a T-shirt depicting the Furies swooping. He didn’t mean it as a compliment. The three sisters, the “infernal goddesses” of ancient mythology born from the blood shed by Uranus when he was castrated by his son, were known for relentlessly hounding men. But the Furies took vengeance on wicked men who hurt women and swore false oaths.
So I took it as a compliment.
The capital has suddenly been infused with the spirit of the Furies. After many false springs and discouraging backlashes, we are finally experiencing a revolutionary assertion of women’s power that is transforming Congress. “Kill Bill”-style, the fiery Democratic women keep coming, driven by vengeance against the wicked man in the White House with the history of hurting women and swearing false oaths.
Swooping toward 2020, the moment of truth for Donald Trump that is also aptly the centennial of women’s suffrage, the women are gathering force at a giddy speed. This was not a good week to be a dude in politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her girl squad — fellow freshmen lawmakers Katie Hill of California, Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Jahana Hayes of Connecticut — tracked Mitch McConnell to petition him to have a vote to reopen the government. The Senate majority leader has been trying to lay doggo as Trump thrashes after pulling the rug out from under McConnell. It was another jangly A.O.C. media stunt that irritated some of her colleagues but fired up the meme factory. She broadcast the scavenger hunt on Instagram with the hashtag Where’sMitch?
When A.O.C. tweeted that a Getty photo of the women storming the halls of Congress looked like a Spice Girls album cover, Hill tweeted back her own remix of the Britpop girl-power anthem “Wannabe”: “I’ll tell you what I want … What I really really want … 800,000 government employees to be able to pay their bills.”
Image by Tom Williams
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