Thursday, November 10, 2016

Stop Telling Me to Give Him A Chance

In the wake of the horrible news that Donald Trump will, indeed, be the next President, I've swam through a sea of ignorance, white male privilege, and pure hostility on Facebook. I spent a good portion of yesterday unfriending and unfollowing people that support and spread the rhetoric of hate and intolerance while I tried to reconcile my own feelings, only to sit on my couch crying and feeling nauseous. This election season has been so stressful, and I get it, people are tired of hearing about it, tired of campaigns, tired of media oversaturation. And that's okay. I'm tired too. I'm emotionally exhausted, but my brain is already trying to think two steps ahead to plan how I'm going to help people most affected by this national tragedy. And as I try to think, as I read about the fears people have, I keep seeing the same things written by people over and over, people who don't get it, or people who lack empathy and compassion for others to see exactly why we're scared.

"Give him a chance"
"It'll be okay"
"He has no real power"
"Get over it"
"Stop whining"

On an on the apologist litany goes. I will be totally up front that I do have a level of privilege being a middle-class, educated, white woman in a largely rural state. I've never been sexually assaulted and despite dancing with poverty and mental illness, I've had a relatively comfortable life. But reading these sentiments over and over makes me sick. Why? Because these are the things rape apologists say about the victims of sexual and domestic assault when they try to use their voice and stand up for themselves and expose someone for the predator they are. And that's not okay.

I am scared. I am scared for my fellow women, queer folk, trans friends, friends of color, friends in a non-Judeo-Christian religion. I am scared of the culture of hatred, racism, and misogyny that has already sprouted as people are reporting harassment, threats, and assaults, all in less than 24 hours of the election results. For the first time in my 36 years, I am genuinely afraid of sexual assault. This is a Trump presidency. It's already happening. So no, I will not "take the high road," I will not "give him a chance." And it certainly will not be okay. This will be an unbearably long 4 years. Let's support each other.

Ways to help:
Donate to help transpeople get their names and genders legally changed here
Jezebel has a great (and expanding list) of organizations that support women, transfolk, people of color, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities that you can help by donating or volunteering here
Support the ACLU