I could attempt to make a profound post but I can’t. So you’ll have to deal with a “reactionary post” written by a woman (gasp!) who is really fucking scared about the results of last night’s election.
It was painful… no, it was torture to watch the red sweep over the United States of America map on television. Several times I had to remove myself from within earshot, unable to catch my breath. Even two cups of chamomile tea didn’t calm me enough. I was in tears as the electoral votes climbed in favor of “the bad guy”, which was the only way to explain it to my 4-year-old.
At first, I was crippled by fear as Trump was declared the President-Elect. Why should I be fearful? I live in New Zealand. I should be grateful to be far removed from this nightmare happening in America. And hey… several straight white men have tried to justify this fear, even minimizing it by writing posts about how “we’ll be ok” or “there’s nothing to fear, nothing will happen.” If they say it’s going to be okay, it will be, right?
I thought of my family and what this means for us as expats. What if we don’t get permanent residency? Can we be forced to go back to America? What’s happening to the global markets? Will we be able to afford to survive? What does this mean for my parents’ social security? What about their health plans for the future?
Then the fear settled in as I thought of everyone else. My Black American friends who have already been through so much in that damn country; my Muslim friends who are terrified of the next wave of hate crimes; my sisters who will continue to struggle with their reproductive rights, who will feel silenced and afraid to speak up against assaults or abuse more than ever before. I fear for my gay friends who face having their right to marry taken away. I fear for children who will see a president who shows no remorse, no empathy for others.
So while I want to join in on the heterosexual, white male bandwagon of “everything’s going to be fine” and “nothing will change”, I can’t. Because it’s a lot more complicated than that. And I’m pissed.
Sure, politically, it’ll take a while to change. Since we’re now going to be up against a republican president, senate, and house, which will most likely lead to a conservative Supreme Court Justice, I’d say that’s PLENTY to fear. How can anyone suggest we’re going to be fine? This is dangerous. And if you don’t think so, you’re out of touch with reality.
Then there are non-political ramifications where we can expect there will be more hate crimes. The people who voted for our president-elect are going to feel empowered to enforce their toxic hate on marginalized voices. Get ready. It won’t be pretty. If someone a bit saner had been elected, there’d be a chance of coming together and uniting. But because we have someone who is a criminal, who has spent his life as a con man, as a bully, we will have more people embracing that mentality.
I’ve read this morning the woman who pressed charges against Trump for raping her when she was 13 has dropped the suit due to death threats. THAT disturbs me. How does it not disturb you? If you thought the Access Hollywood recording was bad, get ready because it’ll get worse only it’ll be on lockdown. Because women won’t report it out of fear. Women will continue to be silenced by men.
So, privileged white men, there’s plenty to fear. You’re right- YOU will probably be fine. But the rest of us won’t. Maybe it’s a wake up call to pay better attention to what’s really happening in America instead of living in a bubble. Maybe my reaction is because I care too damn much for what all our ancestors have fought hard for. Maybe I’ll get over it. Maybe I won’t.
But right now I’m angry. Pissed. And don’t you dare try to mansplain to me why I shouldn’t be.