These opinions are the opinions of our author and do not reflect the opinions of everyone within VocaLady Magazine. This past Tuesday, American women, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and the working class took a hit. Our nation, which has been led proudly and wisely by Barack Obama, the first black man to do so, for the past eight years has been handed to a racist, sexist, xenophobic predator. Not only that, but the House, Senate, and Supreme Court have been effectively dominated by conservatives, led by the extremist likes of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence. I refuse to pretend as if we aren’t in danger of losing swaths of progressive policy, or as if our foothold for civil liberties such as transgender rights and criminal justice reform hasn’t, at least for now, crumbled underfoot. I refuse to pretend that I’m not heartbroken over the fact that a qualified, passionate, dedicated woman was so close to the White House, only to lose to a mediocre and incompetent man. I saw myself in Hillary Clinton. She is disliked, loud, cold, calculating, flawed, and intelligent. Her eyes light up over policy and she shimmies when she knows she has a good rebuttal. She’s snarky, and afraid of bland food, but not afraid of asserting her right to privacy. She’s a nasty woman. No one deserved America’s highest office more than her, and it was ripped from her hands.
But as demoralizing as this election cycle may have been, and as heartbreaking a loss this November 8 was, we cannot afford to rest. Our mobilization efforts failed to unify the Democratic Party, but Clinton won the popular vote and there is hope for a brighter, more organized effort to rise up and fight for the political minorities who found themselves rejected by their country this week. We nasty women- the LGBTQ women, the working class women, the immigrant women, the women of color, and the minority of white women who did not vote for Donald Trump- have a responsibility to ourselves, our sisters, and the millions of people who did not have a vote this November.
Our hurt is deep and real, and we have every reason to be angry, fearful, and demoralized. There is a long road ahead, and there is no easy or conventional path to reviving our ideals in the wake of this loss. Feel the pain, and then mobilize that pain into a force for positive social change. We’ve lost a lot of ground, and liberal political leadership is scarce, but that’s all the more reason to gather our wits and reignite our determination. We have already worked so hard. We have fought and battled for every single right we have. Nothing was given to us, and our history is that of suffering and endurance. Progress is not linear, and federal progress is subject to the whims of majority rule, but human dignity and human rights are worth the fight.
Mourn, process, vent. And then, fight.