By Julia Abbiss
I’m not a crier. I often feel uncomfortable, even in the company of my closest friends, letting myself break down into the ugliest cry during my darkest of days. But on the morning of November 9th, I found myself sitting on a bench downtown with tears streaming down my already soaked face. I was in good company. On the bench across from me, two older women were passing a tissue between each other, shaking their heads solemnly, as oblivious little girls were playing tag on the grass next to them. In an effort to bring comfort, a young man and woman were holding “Free Hug” signs and warmly embraced anyone who took them up on their offer.
I openly wept there on that bench because this was so personal. I wept for the tribe of women, religious and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ communities that I have the privilege of knowing and loving. For today we had each been told to our faces that we were second class. That it really didn’t matter if someone rips off our hijab, revokes our marriage rights, or non-consensually grabs us by the pussy. For our Commander-in-Chief has shown us that this is not only permissible, but acceptable. I wept for the older women that sat across from me, for their disappointment was shattering. I wept for the two little girls, for they had no idea how their future was just jeopardized by our electoral college.
I’ve heard many people try to diffuse the situation by saying that his eventual policies won’t be as extreme as his platform. That he used fear tactics just as a way to rally people and garner support. This justification makes me feel even more nauseous. I don’t care if he ends up being the most left-leaning republican president we’ve had in history. It’s the fact that he was able to get the support of our nation by insulting every single group that didn’t consist of white males that makes my head spin. Through his loud catch-phrases and keywords, he was able to conjure feelings of nostalgia that opened the door for blatant bigotry.
My anger continued as I considered the fact that had Obama said, “You can do anything to women if you’re famous,” or if Hillary had children with three different men or mocked a person with a disability, that they would be instantly disqualified. I couldn’t begin to wrap my mind around the fact that a man who had done this – and a laundry list more – was now the most powerful leader in the world.
Through my reddened and puffy eyes, I watched Hillary deliver her concession speech. Per usual, Hillary’s words were exactly what my disheartened self needed to hear:
“This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you to keep fighting these fights now and for the rest of your lives. To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion…And to all the little girls watching right now, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.”
Jesus Christ. I’m tearing up again just by writing this part of her speech. Anyway, back to the point. The fact that I needed the reminder I am truly valued as a young woman entering the professional world made me disappointed in myself and my reactions to the election. My devastation threw me into a state of helplessness and made me feel that my worth was being questioned.
This realization really pissed me off. I’m a big believer in letting yourself feel your rawest emotions. However, I realized in that moment that my wallowing meant that I was letting the patriarchy win.
Well. I’m not about to let that continue.
Because you better believe that hell hath no fury like a nasty woman scorned.
Let the revolution begin.