You guys. I have tried to write this post a number of times, and the words keep coming out broken and in a heap on the floor. But it needs to be done for a number of reasons: 1) So that I can move onto the next damn stage of grief. 2) So that I can move on in my other projects, too. To all my editors: Know that I am well aware of my deadlines, and that I KNOW I am behind. Know that I am healing, and am almost there. I am almost angry enough, I am almost ready to roll up my sleeves from my tiny corner of the world, and get shit done. 3) To document this time, this place. I want to be able to tell Ximena about it some day. I want to share my shock. I want her to be shocked, too. I want her to live in a world where it is shocking that we still have not had a female president, because in her world, there have been MANY. In her world, we have made PROGRESS.
I am sure by know you may have guessed that I am talking about the election. If you are sick of reading about the election, move on. This space is not for you. I want to make it very clear, that amidst my fluffy posts about Ximena's birthdays, and fun Halloween costumes, I created this space to disentangle the messy world of intersectional feminism. While this platform is a memory board where I write about my family's day-to-day life so that I can come back to it and relive important moments, it is also a platform for change, and progress, and understanding.
Like many of you, I was SHOCKED by the election results. I sat up in bed for hours after the results had been released. Surely this is a joke, I thought. Surely there was a mistake. But alas here we are, three days later, and Ashton has yet to jump out at me to tell me I'm being Punk'd.
I was so devastated in the hours that followed, it is hard for me to put it into words. Later, as I licked my wounds with some of my dearest friends, I found out that for many, it was a loss comparable to a death in the family. Yes, I thought, I am mourning this loss.
This piece really encapsulates all of the sadness I was really trying to sort through. Hillary, more than so, so many people - deserved this. She has been working day in, and day out for this moment. She earned her way here; she was going to do really hard, but really terrific things as our president. I really, really believe that to my core.
I had SO many friends that were supporters of Bernie Sanders, that I became shy at the thought of admitting I was a Hillary supporter, and had been since 2008 (!!!). I had people tell me to my face how much Hillary and her supporters disgusted them - that if it came down to a Clinton/Trump decision, they would abstain. I would nod quietly.
I have a really hard time with people who tell me (both indirectly and directly) that the way I do things, that my work, that what I believe in is not enough. I have so many friends who are incredibly passionate, who are militant activists, who are organizers - many of whom fundamentally believed that a vote for Hillary, was a vote for a liar, a cheater, and ultimately a white feminist who was no better than DT at dismembering systems of oppression.
I heard them, loud and clear. Just like I have heard the same groups of people tell me that my nonprofit work is also systemic oppression. I have been directed at books like this one, wherein I was supposed to drop what I was doing (?!). I realize that I owe no one an explanation, but they should know I am critical and intentional with all things. I am critical of the systems that intersect to oppress me, I am intentional in the work that I do, and the people I let near me and my family.
And yet, it is not enough. Nor, I suppose, will it ever be enough...
Imagine how Hillary feels.
How lonely the road of a trailblazer. How lonely, and how hostile. She has experienced such malice from the American people (I really believe) because she is a woman. 53% of white women voted for DT over Hillary, despite all of the horrendous things he has said about women. Despite all of the horrendous things he has done to women.
I am still so surprised by how much hatred people had for Hillary. Sure, she made mistakes. But what human doesn't? Maybe it is because I have grown up professionally surrounded by people that run for office, and are under CONSTANT public scrutiny. I know that their public persona is not it: there is so much more to a person. I realize the same could be said of our current president elect. But please, let's make it clear: Hillary did NOT run a campaign founded on malice for entire groups of people, on entire ways of being.
So sure was I that she was going to win, that I didn't even THINK of what it might mean if DT won. I think this is why we were all (we being those of us living in our happy California bubble, etc) so shocked. So sure was I that our country had made significant strides in the way of combating sexism, racism, homophobia... Boy, how wrong we were.
I am not sure what the future holds. When I was younger (in college, and fresh out) I would have turned to the streets in protest like so many amazing young people are doing now. Now, whether it is because I am a mother, or because I am older, my process and fight looks a little different. I will continue to write, I will continue to share stories (mine, and those of others doing amazing things) with the world. I will continue to raise my own young feminist - whatever she decides to do with her future. I will continue to learn, and be critical, and hold people accountable, including and especially myself.
To those who were just as devastated by the results as I, I send you a big, warm hug. I hope that you are taking care of yourself. I hope that you are doing what you need to do to move on, and get past this ugly time. We will heal. We are warriors. For many of us (unfortunately) this was a confirmation of a lot of things: systemic racism is alive and rampant. And sexism? Que ni se diga.
This is not the last chapter of this story, of our story. I look forward to the next one.
PS: This story helped.
PPS: So did this YouTube search.
PPPS: Did anyone else picture Park and Rec's Bobby Newport in the scene where he's like "Wait, we are allowed to vote for ourselves???" when you saw this picture?
Love you guys.