I almost have no words for how I feel right now. Except for I do. Right now, I feel depressed, frustrated, angry, hopeless, and that my faith in America has been lost. At the same time, I feel a sense of unity through the bringing together of so many people I know who do not support the outcome of the 2016 US election. I feel driven to fight against the hatred that has plagued our country. I am compelled to write my thoughts in defense of my feminist values.
Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling good. Then I asked myself why? Oh yeah, it is election day. The first women president will be elected today! Fast forward twenty-four hours and I am dragging myself out of bed because I don’t want to face a country that elected a racist, sexist, homophobic celebrity to be president.
I am still struggling to fathom how Americans have chosen Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton to be our leader for the next four years. A woman who has more experience than probably any presidential candidate ever, lost to a man with no political or military experience. This is a major step back for feminism. It shows the double standards still faced by women as they try to break through glass ceilings. This election has brought to the forefront that women are judged much more harshly than man on how they look, on their credentials, and on how they act. Feminism is needed now more than ever.
When the president-elect views women’s bodies as objects and feels entitled to do whatever he pleases with them, that is perpetrating rape culture and the idea that women’s bodies are for men’s pleasure. This goes against what I stand for as a feminist and as a recovering ED warrior. A women’s body is her own, no one elses’s. Our culture, and most definitely our president, should not value women for their looks and sexuality. This only reinforces the misogynistic idea that women must conform to unrealistic standards of beauty for the pleasure of men.
Many of you probably heard about this, but it is worth bringing up because it illustrates my point well. In 1996 when Donald Trump owned Miss Universe, he body shamed the winner of the pageant, Alicia Machado. Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping. He also described her as an “eating machine.” As a result of this, Machado developed an eating disorder and has sought out a lot of psychological help. Before hearing this story, I already did not like Trump. Upon hearing that he caused this women’s ED, I disliked him on a personal level.
Trump illustrates how women develop eating disorders. He causes eating disorders. He makes women feel like their bodies are inadequate. Women will never be good enough for Donald Trump. He may say he supports women’s rights, but his actions speak louder than words. And even his words contradict his words.
Yesterday I mourned for the state of our country. Today I am ready to fight back against what is happening in our country. The voices of minorities and women need to be heard. I am a woman who has been personally affected by the sexism present in our culture, shown through the over importance of women’s bodies. I am a woman who is on a journey of self-acceptance. Trump cannot change that for me. He only fuels my feminist rants more!
I do not hate Trump because if I do that makes me no better than Trump himself. But I do hate how Trump’s election makes me feel, like my voice does not matter and the oppression of many people does not matter. I will not be silenced. I will not be silenced as a woman supporting the acceptance of all people. I will not be silenced as an ED survivor. I will not be silenced as a feminist. Progress still needs to be made in our country. We need to keep fighting for our rights as women, and for the rights of all those who have been dehumanized by Trump. Stay strong and keep the faith. This election is not for nothing. It has already exposed the racism, homophobia, and sexism still present in society. There is no question that it is there. Now the question is, what will you do about it?