In the late evening of Nov. 8, the impossible became possible: Donald Trump was elected president.
Trump’s victory was a stinging insult to all women across the U.S. Millions of misogynistic Republicans, mostly white men, made the message very clear to us: it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how qualified, capable or experienced you are. You are still a woman, and therefore a man, even a misogynistic, sexist, racist, bigoted man, will beat you.
Polls indicated that white men broke for Trump by huge margins. Contrary to the media narrative that the election was based purely on economics and class, it’s increasingly clear that Trump’s victory was about race and gender. In what we thought was a changing country, turned out to be a white lash against minority groups.
It was up to women to win this election. Not just for ourselves, but for the future of our country. For little girls, for immigrants who want to come to our country to get a better life and for minority groups who are already apprehensive for their own well beings. Yet we failed, not due to our own mistakes but due to the sheer rage of Republicans.
The people who voted for Trump owe their black, Latino, Muslim, LGBT, disabled and female friends apologies. While I do believe not all of you are racist, sexist people like him, you decided that these were things you could overlook.
This is not a failure of feminism, but a failure of America. Many of us, feminists and not, have wondered why we aren’t getting there. Why we only make up minorities of leadership in big businesses, law, politics and sciences. It can’t be just sexism. Women everywhere are thinking maybe we aren’t strong enough, maybe we are too combative, maybe we are too quiet.
I’ve realized it’s not us, but rather white, republican males who are afraid of powerful women.
If you are a woman and you voted for or supported Trump, it says a lot about the way you value yourself, your body and other women around you. As a 16 year-old woman, I am scared of the rights that will be taken from me while I am entering adulthood. I’m terrified of going to college, where sexual assault and rape is widely common, while having a president who glorifies it.
In Trump’s latest interview with 60 Minutes, he continued to double-down on his promise to overturn Roe vs. Wade and to appoint pro-life judges. He plans to defund Planned Parenthood because it is associated with abortion, even though that is only 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does. I now have a man, a disgusting excuse for one, deciding what I can do with my body. Women everywhere are rushing to get IUDs that will last up to ten years and abortion pills before it’s too late.
During the election, when women came forward allegedly saying that Trump had sexually assaulted them, he debased these women, saying they were “too ugly to be be sexually assaulted.” His victory threatens to intensify sexism and misogyny in American public life. His behavior and crude language of bragging about groping women sends the message that it is permissible to talk about women as little more than sex objects.
Before he ran for office, in 2013, he tweeted “2,600 unreported sexual assaults in the military – only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?” What kind of idiot believes that because men and women are together sexual assault should occur? It’s as if this is a normality to him, as if these things should happen. In a generation in which sexual assault is in an effort to be suppressed, this sends the message to young men that this sort of behavior is accepted.
Well, thank you, Donald Trump. You’ve made this acceptable to the future of our country. Glorifying abuse is disgusting. Calling a woman ugly is immature. And supporting a man like Trump is bizarre. As a woman, this strikes pain, and most of all fear, inside of me.
In a conversation two weeks prior to the election with my Republican friends, they justified Trump’s demeaning, abusive words and actions towards women, claiming that all guys talk like that. “Besides,” they said, “Hillary’s so ugly.”
Trump also said that if his own daughter were to be sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace, he would think she could just find another job rather than reporting it. Our future president would rather have women be without a job than reporting a man for inappropriate behavior. Not only does he want to take our rights away, and our voices away, but he wants to take our ability to demonstrate our intelligence.
Throughout history, we have had to fight twice as hard to be equal to men. To vote, to be taken seriously in the workforce, to gain control of our own bodies. Yet, we cannot look at this election as a complete loss. Hillary Clinton has come further than any woman in the history of the U.S. She has inspired me, and millions of other women and people of minorities to remain strong, calm and hopeful for the future.
President he may become, but he will not become my president.