So, I have the amazing “luck” to be the first, or near first, guest blog poster here to add something after the results of the US elections of 2016. I must ask your forgiveness, as much of this is a bit stream of consciousness, I’ve been up since yesterday morning. And I’m angry. And I’m hurt. And I plan to work forward, but I am still wounded. SO, it’s going to be a political blog.
I voted last night, for what I sincerely expected to be the first female president the US had ever elected. I had my areas of disagreement with her politics, but we align on so many things from a party perspective that I was perfectly happy to fill in her little bubble on my standardized test voting form. Unsurprisingly, my state did as always, and voted her to win with a handy margin.
But, we were one of the only states to do so. As the night wore on, and the tequila bottle diminished… more states rolled in, and they overwhelmingly said the same thing.
“We are tired of decorum. We dislike progress. Sophistication and multiculturalism are a weakness, and we will have none of it”
… and most vividly?
“Women are property, not leaders”
And then they did it for our legislature too.
I have never been more ashamed of my country. I believe, more and more firmly, that at its heart the issue we see in so many aspects of this divide, is misogyny. There is the obvious misogyny: the groping and degrading verbally of women, the assumption of power making consent.
Then, there is the hetero-normative prejudice. In these, my fellow cis-male-white-Americans, I see it as another face of the misogyny. Gay and bi men are “womanish” they say. Weak! Swishy! Clearly THOSE men are property too, and USELESS property, because you can’t even use them to breed another man! Gay women? Just broken property. Slaves that won’t put out.
The racial issue is more property thinking. The immigrants stealing jobs from “real” Americans. Those people of color taking space that “real” Americans could use. After all, white, hetero, cis-men are the only “real” Americans, and every other human creature is property to serve them…
This morning, I had to explain to my child, who is 12 and pretty clear in her attraction to women, that our nation had voted to codify her as broken property. To reinforce the bullies who called my candidate “bitch” and “stupid cow” and “cunt” at school. To minimize social progress as “Political Correctness bullshit”
And I held her, while we all cried.
Tonight, I try to plan to continue the fight. To forge ahead. I don’t know how yet precisely, but I know one thing:
I am not the only one here that deserves to never be considered PROPERTY. YOU do not deserve to be considered PROPERTY. My daughter is not PROPERTY. My friends are not BROKEN, are not USELESS, and are not PROPERTY.
WE belong to our SELVES. We are unique and special and one of many all at the same time. And we will NOT be silent.
To the world? I am sorry. You deserve better from your neighbors, but our house has issues we need to deal with.
To America? Do not rest smug in the assumption that this moment of resurgence of chauvinist, misogynist bigotry is license to return to the ways of the past. Is some kind of rebuttal of the progress we have made these two mere centuries. Parts of you have tarnished our torch of liberty, soiled our social contract. But don’t you worry.
We? The progressive Americans who believe in social equality, in caring, in a country that is understanding and inviting?
…. we, will Make America Great, Again.