Mona, sadly, everything written above tracks. We here in the US, especially those of us who are white and cisgendered, have to remember that we live in a country that was founded by religious extremists.

Our Pilgrims were an extremist, fringe, religious group who murdered women who behaved differently from the prescribed roles assigned them, calling them witches.

We fail to recognize that our Constitution's first amendment gives extremely short shrift to Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, gutting that screed against organized religion in favor of allowing us the freedom to practice a religion. The idea that Jefferson offers of freedom "from" religion in that statute is far from the freedom "of" religion that we got from Madison. The truth is that our ruling Elites have established a peculiar form of Christianity as the state religion of the US, a form of Christianity that is fraught with nationalism, magical thinking, denial of culpability, anti intellectualism, and worship of raw power. And Madison's amendment gave those Elites cover to do exactly what they did and continue to try to do.

I am not a woman, but I know that my mother refused to leave my father when I begged her to leave him so that I could be protected from his beatings, which followed every confrontation my mother had with him. My mother's response was a resounding "No." Her reason was that she wanted the protection my father, the well-off country doctor could offer her. She wanted his money, which she knew would be cut off if she left him to protect me and my brothers from his violence. Was it right that she was forced to make that choice? No. That admitted, is it right that my mother opted to subject her sons to their father's murderous rages, which she elicited as she pleased?

When I came out to my mother (I am a relatively happy, well adjusted, and prosperous gay man, for the record), her response was "Why did you have to tell me that?"

My mother was a good, white, Southern, Christian woman who was at bible study every chance she got; and who agreed with the theocrats who stood in the halls of government shouting for people like me to be locked up in concentration camps in the 1980's and 1990's.

Our toxic American Taliban have to be confronted, both male and female; and the truth about religion in the US has to be admitted. Religion was used to justify slavery in the US folks, and then the sanctity of white American women's chastity was used to justify Jim Crow and lynchings for the better part of a century after Reconstruction. Religion is a tool that was used to deny me full rights as a citizen for most of my life. Even if I live to be 90 years old, more than half of my life I was denied what straight, cisgendered, white women expect for themselves from the moment they achieve self awareness.

We need "freedom from religion" in the US. We need to understand that one's tolerance is the measure of one's ability to gauge her degree of intolerance. Our American religiosity stands in the way of our actually being the "Shining City on the Hill" that the ultra bigot Reagan loved to talk about. We need to understand that to be a liberal democracy, we have to relegate religion to the private world and banish it from our government completely. We have to understand that in a democracy, religion must always be a private matter and never something that is considered "public" in any official, "government" way. Allowing things to continue as they are with respect to religion now in the US, means that the US remains an oligarchy rather than finally graduating to democracy.

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absolutely brilliant piece of writing. America has been sleep walking into disaster and fascism for years. The world is fucked

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Thank you for this piece of brilliant writing! I'm sharing it on my social media . Every white woman in America needs to read this. But of course most of them are going to think that you're not talking about them. I love the term "footsoldiers of patriarchy". I was raised Mormon so I know exactly what that means. But I rejected Mormonism as an adult and now I am a bisexual, bleeding-heart, liberal feminist. Thank God!

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Judge Barrett has accomplished an astounding degree of success both professionally and personally. She is brilliant but not arrogant. She has faith, convictions, values, family, and an undeniably successful career. She hasn't compromised her integrity to achieve any of it and she has maintained community and family as well. She has succeeded at accomplishing what feminists want...

As a feminist I laud her accomplishments and I'm proud that she is about to be confirmed to a seat previously held by another incredibly successful woman. To say the contrary is hypocritical unless being feminist is more in line with misogyny.

In 2020, which mysoginistic old white man should feminists be supporting for president? Biden is a Catholic. If he has integrity, particularly in regards to faith, do you question his "support" of women?

Women can speak up for themselves, you don't speak for me. Justice Barrett is a laudable feminist! If she was Muslim there would be great public outcry at the hateful bigoted rhetoric. Hypocrites aren't brilliant.

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Thank, you Mona, this is fantastic, and should be required reading for all white women - I'm white and I'm going to pass it along to other white women I know. I had this same conversation (well, it devolved into a shouting match) with my brother, who thinks that women here are crybabies because they're not equal to men and think that I should care more about women in other places than I do about women here. I told him that I do care about how women are treated elsewhere, but since I live here, my first responsibility is to ensure that American women are not victims or perpetrators of the patriarchy. He didn't like that answer. Of course, he also thinks that black people here complain too much for the same reason he thinks women complain too much, because things are worse for people in Bangladesh (or wherever) so I didn't get too far with him.

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Excellent information and thoughts as usual, Mona. However this exchange had, I think, an unintended, but positive effect on me:

"....a white woman who said she had spent some time in Egypt, asked me what she could do to help Egyptian women fight female genital mutilation (FGM).

“Nothing,” I replied. “Egyptian women are fighting already, Why do you want to help women thousands of miles away instead of right here in your own state? Do you know how many abortion clinics have been shut down in Texas?”

The reason this hit me is that it reassured me. I am a person who wants to change things and fight for what's right. In "Diana World" I was letting those women down by not paying attention to the practice that has always bothered me. I am an activist & I have always been a #feminist. All women are important to me. This gave me permission to keep up the good fight on the home front, and I am not letting any women down in any other country. Silly, but when you want to change the world, this kind of thinking can happen. Love the newsletter!

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Thank you for this truth-telling. I'm sorry white women are such an embarrassment. I'm an educator and I'm fighting hard. Was sent this by a colleague & will share.

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Such a powerful article. Thank you. Ill never forget a sign in my children's school; "You think education is expensive, try ignorance." Its an apt statement. I will continue to read, and learn, and critically think, and your article has contributed to just that

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