Hello all. This is a post for a dear blogger friend. She does not live in the US. She did not get to vote in our election. Yet incredibly, she found herself in tears discussing the outcome. I know that the Mrs. and me spent a great deal of time crying. I think we are grieving and in mourning too. It feels like a death has happened. The death of progress, hope, equality. We are left with misogyny, racism, xenophobia, sexual assault, bullying and hate for religious freedom and the disabled.
Without further ado, please read this brave, real, honest post from my friend in the ether-world, Mac at reflectionsfromme.com .
Women all over, please know that together, we are stronger. We have a voice.
I am not American, and I am first to admit I know very little about American politics. I am not going to pretend I am an expert or that I have followed the campaign closely enough to write a highly educated post. Admittedly I know little about Hilary, I know little about Donald and I have even less knowledge on the other candidates.
What I do know though is I found myself in tears last night. Unexplained tears. I was talking to my mother over the phone and I found myself starting to cry, I was shocked. Somehow this vote left me feeling extremely vulnerable and brought feelings out in me that I was surprised by, feelings I thought I had dealt with many years ago. Yet somehow hearing that Donald Trump was to be America’s President tore open old wounds, and left me feeling violated as a woman, and as a mother.
To say it upsets me is an understatement, I, and I am sure many other women and men are in shock! I feel disgusted, and I feel let down. I am not naive enough to believe that women have equality in this world, far from it. I am blessed to have been born in a country, and a point in time where women where I live have it pretty great. I guess in some way though this is what gave me the false sense of security that a person like Donald Trump could not be seen as a leader. Don’t get me wrong I am not in any way saying Hillary was not voted in because she is a woman and I understand that she is not well liked by many Americans, this post is not about her. It is about how let down I feel as a woman, no scrap that not just as a woman, it is about how let down I feel as a human being that anyone would support a man who can be OK with talking about grabbing a woman by her “pussy”, and how they let him do it to them because he has fame, because he is a “star”! He can talk about trying to “fuck” his words not mine, married women as if it is his right to sleep with anyone he pleases. And apparently he doesn’t wait to start kissing someone he just does it!
Oh and here is another Donald Quote, he tweeted,
“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
I mean what is he saying Here? Because it sure sounds to me like he is saying that of course women should expect to be sexually assaulted if they are part of the military? And what is it saying about Men? As a woman this disgusts me, and if I was man I would be so offended!
This is a man who openly insults women, who has even gone as far to say that if his own daughter wasn’t his daughter that he would be dating her! I mean what father says that????? It is sickening! It is fine to acknowledge your child is attractive, but that you would date them is just a weird statement to make in my opinion.
I am not saying that Hillary Clinton is perfect, and I know that people saw Donald Trump as the better of two bad choices, but I just don’t understand how they can justify that thought? As a mother I want my daughters to be respected, not looked upon as sexual objects, as a mother I want my son to know he deserves respect and that he must also respect women and their right to say no to any unwanted advances. I want both my daughters and my son to see everyone as equal and know everyone deserves to be treated with respect regardless of their gender, financial status, colour of their skin, or sexual preferences.
Like I said I am not an American and I don’t live there so who am I to judge anyone who voted for Trump? I know you had your reasons, I know that many Americans are scared and live in fear especially after September Eleven. But still, I just can’t understand voting in Trump. I feel so confused. I don’t feel I could ever vote for someone with such a vulgar opinion of women. I would never want my daughters to think I would vote for a man who speaks about women that way. I would never want my son to look up to the leader of his country as a role model. I feel like voting in Trump is like saying “hey men of the world you can treat women however you want and still lead a great country like America”! “You know what go ahead and insult women, grab them by the pussy, kiss them without permission and you will be rewarded with the presidency”! Is this a joke????
Maybe I am being too sensitive? Because clearly the majority of voters didn’t see it that way. They excused his behaviour, or as a close friend of mine who is an American citizen said that she voted for Trump “despite his many character flaws” because he offers something “different” which she and many others believe America needs. I understand that, but still I struggle to excuse or ignore his character flaws. I can’t justify his character flaws. I know my friend and she has the most beautiful heart, she wouldn’t be my friend otherwise. She is very intelligent and works very high up in the Nursing Industry, but still I feel let down by her. Very few people know this about me, but I was raped and beaten on a regular basis by a boyfriend when I was 19 – 20. Me saying NO made no difference! Me screaming and fighting meant nothing to him. I lived in fear daily, and it was a dangerous situation whether I stayed or left. I left, but it didn’t stop, I was stalked and attacked for a long time after. I have now been safe for 14 years. Although something like that never really leaves you, hence why I use a pseudonym for my blog (something I only revealed a little while ago). Like I said hardly anyone knows, but my friend knows and it blows my mind that she can vote for a man who seems to think sexual attacks on women is expected! I am not mad at her, I am not mad at Americans, I just feel sad. I thought we had come further than that. What scares me is that Americans and many people around the world think he is the only choice. It makes me feel like we are all running scared, that Americans are so in fear of where their country is headed that the feel the only choice is to vote for Trump.
I hope he helps America, I hope that he does amazing things and heals the country. I hope he is the best leader we have seen so far! I truly do! I also hope that he realises upon reflection that he has treated women badly, that he has made men look bad, and woman look weak, and I hope he apologises for his disgusting behaviour. I hope he can become a positive role model, that he can lift men and women up and stop putting them down. Is that possible I don’t know? I honestly am not sure a man like him can ever see himself as wrong. But I hope I am wrong about that!
This man sickens me, but more than that it just breaks my heart that amazing strong women, intelligent people have somehow excused his behaviour, that they believed it was justified to vote for a man who has no moral compass. I am left baffled. We need leaders who stand up for equality, who want to heal our world, is Trump that man? Is Trump the man I would want my children seeing as a role model, someone to set your morality standards upon? NO. I could not vote for him and look my children in the eye and say “Mummy is proud of her vote”.
Last night my daughter who is 12, asked me right before she went to sleep, “Mummy why are women not treated the same as men?” I knew this was an important question. I knew my answer would set a standard for her, yet I didn’t know how to answer. I hadn’t discussed the election with her, but she had heard things at school. It is a topic I really need to talk to her about, but it was late and I needed to really think. I told her we would sit down and have a big chat about it, but in the meantime I told her that
“Women are strong, we are intelligent and amazing, and that we are equal to any and every man.”