Well now. I guess it’s safe to say I’m pretty devastated at the outcome of the US election. I went to bed defeated, confused, angry and with a headache. My heart was (and still is) breaking for a woman I’ve admired for 19 years delivered such a crushing defeat at the hands of bigotry, racism, inequality, and misogyny. Everything she worked so hard to achieve, the example she strived to set for young girls across the world, thwarted so publicly and soundly.
But bigger than Hillary is the feeling we have taken a giant step backwards in our quest for a better world. The folk who are marginalised and discriminated against are facing yet another setback, when the rise of the internet and social media had meant a surge in the direction of equality. We weren’t there by a long shot, but we were trying. More and more people could become aware of the issues these people face every day and lend their support, maybe even do something about it. And this election has told them to get back in their box, that they don’t matter.
So I’m going to try and do more, starting at home, lending my support more than I have been doing. It’s the only thing I can do. None of us can heal decades of hatred and abuse, but we can’t sit passively by while people like Trump – who stands for everything I find deplorable – be the people who shape the world.
Of course I was upset when we voted in our own versions of repression and conservatism, but this seems more shocking somehow. That an orange racist pussy-grabber can hold the office of the leader of the free world in 2016 is a crushing blow to everyone who isn’t a rich white man everywhere.
I’m going to work harder to make our home a haven from the rapidly-expanding feeling that the world is too broken to fix, because I can’t afford to be so defeatist or fearful. I have two young girls who need strong examples of compassion and action, people to ensure that the world they inherit will not be run by folk who marginalise them for their gender. I despair thinking that they may come up against the same misogyny, sexual harrassment and even abuse that I have in my 36 years on Earth… even one of those experiences I wouldn’t wish on a young girl, especially my own. I had hoped that we could make a real change for them, and I guess we can, but it will just have to take a bit longer.
I will take more time to focus on the joys of life we do have, to practice gratitude for what is beautiful and good and remember to extend my hand to those who are not so fortunate. And if you need me, I’m going to be Googling organisations and campaigns in my area that could do with an extra pair of hands. Because clearly what I’ve been doing until now hasn’t been enough.