In case you live under a rock and have been oblivious to the last 24 hours, there is a new President Elect of the United States. That person is not the first female President, it’s rather the first reality star President of the United States who appears to fundamentally believe that women, minorities and LGBTQ individuals are not worthy of his respect. Even though I am not American and therefore get limited say on the internal politics of a country I don’t live in, I do believe that it’s a tough day to be a woman – no matter where you live.
I will not get into the weeds of the politics that led to a Trump Presidency. I simply can not wrap my brain around how some people’s brains work and again, I am not an American living in their everyday lives which led millions of people to join a movement supporting a man best known during this Election campaign for his racist, misogynistic and xenophobic remarks. Donald Trump has views which fundamentally oppose to many of mine, and yet I still do respect people’s rights to differences of opinion. I am choosing to believe that people were voting more for an era of change in Washington rather than for the man Trump himself.
But what I can get into is how it has made me more determined than ever, as a woman, to be active in my support of the advance and strength of my gender. The first female President of the United States did not happen today. But it will happen on another day. Signs of women coming together were evident yesterday when thousands of people lined up at the grave of Susan B. Anthony, a suffragette who fought so valiantly to give women the right to vote. Record numbers of young women turned up to vote for the first time, believing in something larger than themselves. This is not just an American thing, it’s a global thing. America is just where the detriment to women’s rights manifested itself last night.
I sincerely hope that Trump as a candidate is different from the man Trump as a President will be. Time will tell. We will see in 4 years how he stacks up against his promises (great article from CNN here on the top 5 that his supporters will be looking for) As a Canadian, I hope that he changes his stance on NAFTA and doesn’t cause serious problems for the integration of our two countries who are arguably the closest allies there are. As a woman, I hope that he truly does mean it when he says “No one respects women more than me”. As a human, I hope he does not cast the actions of a few crazy individuals on an entire religion or ethnicity of people.
Women are the strongest gender, of that I have no doubt. (Need empirical evidence? Look at a man suffering from “man cold” versus women who endure childbirth) We were knocked down but not out. Hillary is just the beginning. And while it’s a tough pill to swallow today, it will get better. It has to.