Now is the time to take a stand
It's been a tough week. I am dumbfounded by the results of this week's election, and it has been a frustrating wake up call for people who think that racism, sexism, and hatred are only in the hearts of a few outlying individuals. These issues run wide and deep, to the point where it is okay for our country to elect a man to the highest office in the land even though he and his followers have been proponents for some truly unspeakable behavior.
This week was supposed to be one of celebration. I had a holiday party themed blog post scheduled for Wednesday that I postponed because it felt incredibly out of sync with the mood of our country. I was planning to write a post on the history of Hillary Clinton's pantsuits to applaud her victory. I am so frustrated that the glass ceiling remains intact, that someone who has worked their entire life to achieve this goal was kept from it by a man who only very recently decided he wanted to get into politics, and who entered the political arena by trying to delegitimize our country's first black president.
I am angry.
Yesterday I woke up with this heaviness that would not go away. I felt physically ill. Seriously, I wanted to vomit, I was so sick of the results of our presidential election. Later in the day that heavy sorrow turned into rage, oddly enough when a radio station thought it would be a good time to play Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" (aka the anthem of the Clinton campaign). When it came on I wanted to cry, but by the end I was shouting the lyrics, alone in my car, and it was so weirdly cathartic. The song itself is hardly angry, but hearing it brought out all the anger within me, all the rage, and I'm not gonna let go of it. Not for four years. I am angry and I am going to use that anger to keep fighting for what I believe in, to keep fighting for the rights of ALL Americans, to keep fighting for affordable healthcare and equality and freedom of speech.
In their speeches, both Secretary Clinton and President Obama focused on messages of unity. We are all American, and we must work together to succeed. They have to remain dignified. They have to keep the peace. But an America under Trump is no united country. It is an America where racial divides will worsen, where the white middle class will see this as an okay to mistreat minorities, to keep women from positions of power, to impose religious beliefs on everyone's health care and even their cakes. That is not okay.
Goddamn Donald Trump won the presidency on Tuesday, but he is never going to win me over, and if that's how you feel too, then we need to join together and make our voices heard. How? Not by fighting to abolish the Electoral College, which exists precisely so that candidates must address the needs of all states, not just the most populous cities or liberal-leaning coasts, and not by asking electors to be faithless come December, but by holding our elected officials accountable for their actions.
Hillary may have lost, but incredible women like Kamala Harris and Tammy Duckworth won Sentate seats, and there are plenty of strong female representatives and Democrats who we must remind of their duty to uphold and pass new laws that protect the rights of all Americans. Yes, our representatives should work with Trump and the Republicans to better the country, but they cannot let Trump, Pence, and others take away the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, or the LGBTQ+ community. Hold your representatives accountable. Let your voice be heard so that they do not back down to Trump.
We may not all be politicians, but we can all do things to help. Do not stand for racism, for misogyny, for hate. There have already been awful stories of assaults and attacks on PoCs and women in the wake of Trump's election by people who feel Trump's victory justifies and normalizes their bigotry; if you see stuff like this happening around you, take a stand and protect those who are being targeted. We need to look out for one another, now more than ever.
Donate to Planned Parenthood and other healthcare and social programs that may be in jeopardy. This article on Man Repeller has a great list of organizations that need your help and other resources for those of you who might be asking yourself, "What comes next?"
Trump winning is incredibly upsetting, but if there's one good thing to come of this, it's that his win has already galvanized so many people to take a stand, to rise up, to speak out. This election has changed people, and luckily it has changed me for the better; encouraged me to be more outspoken about my beliefs and fight for what is right. I'm not ever going back to being silent, and neither should you. We are going to fight this, together. Because, like the song goes, "I've still got a lot of fight left in me".
P.S. Here's a playlist to fuel your inner #NastyWoman
I have found that listening to girl power songs has been oddly soothing in these troubling times