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A Millennial Feminist’s Response to the Election Results

Last night, I fell asleep with my laptop screen open, still streaming the election results. So when I woke up this morning, it was the first thing I saw. 

And I cried. 

I cried for my friends and family who are gay, trans, bi and lesbian, who know that their rights will soon be under attack. I cried for how far their rights have come in the past eight years, and how terrible it must be to know you’re at the top of the list of things that must be fixed.

I cried for my fellow women, for my mom my sister my grandmother and my best friends, who now have legitimate fear of getting our rights, our control over our own bodies, and our voice taken away by a man who has a long track record of disrespecting women. 

I cried for the Americans who have a legitimate claim to citizenship, but now fear being thrown out because of what they look like, what they sound like – things they have no control over, but the things that now make them “less of an American” (“less of a human being”) in the eyes of the President of the United States. 

I cried for the Natives who have had their land taken from them and have been brutally slaughtered by men who think they deserve everything – men like Donald Trump. Because why won’t the businessman let the big companies build their pipeline, even though it has potential to harm the only sacred land they have left? 

I woke up this morning and cried for America, for the things that it’s too late to change. I woke up this morning and cried, because America elected a businessman over the most qualified candidate in the history of the Presidential election, and put the rights, liberty, and safety of their fellow Americans at risk. Big time. 

I woke up this morning and cried because America is already great, but it will definitely never be the same. 

And I’ve cried three times since then, one of the times being when I was watching Hillary’s concession speech. Yes, I’ve shared all sorts of things on Facebook because I have friends that need to see them. And friends that need to see that they’re loved and appreciated.

But I’m not focusing on today anymore, even as there are boys on the bus behind me talking about how excited they are that the “f**king c**t can’t tell them what to do.” I’m not focusing on today, even as my friends on Facebook either celebrate about today or cry about the future. I’m not focusing on today even as Hillary rightfully proclaims “Its painful, and it will be for a long time,” because it will be. Even though it’s difficult, I’m not focusing on today. I’m doing what Hillary told us to do when she said “we must accept this result, then look to the future.” I’m not focusing on today – because my job is to focus on the future, and my hope comes from looking to the future. 

As an education major, the thing that I put the most faith in is the future generation, the next group of people to step up to the plate. And with all of the outcry I’ve seen from people my age, even just in the first few hours of the morning, I can have hope in the future, even if I have no hope in today. Most of my Facebook friends who have spoken out so eloquently against hatred, bigotry, sexism, and Trump, give me the ability to feel better about the future, even with the few that have cheered for the new faces of bigotry, sexism, and homophobia, the new President and Vice President of the United States.

But based on what I know, what I’ve seen, and what I’ve fought for over these past few months, my generation won’t settle for the change that oppresses people, the change that takes people’s rights away, and won’t settle for bigotry and sexism and homophobia, even if the current generation of power does. So many people have lived in peace under Obama (for as much as I can attest to), and we won’t settle living in a world full of hate, once we have the ability to change it.

So today, I am crying. But even with all of the bad things that can happen under the current president, we won’t settle for that world. Even if we have to build humanity back up brick by brick, we will not give up. We cannot.

My mother told me this morning that according to ancient texts, “the patriarchy must fall before the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine can rise together and save us all.” As my mother and grandmother, and their other yoga teacher feminist friends say, “we must continue to howl at the moon.” So we must be part of the movement that tears down the patriarchy, even if it has to happen brick by brick, bigot by bigot, one troll and mansplainer at a time. We have now been given the opportunity to fight for our rights and our beliefs, perhaps more than has been necessary for the majority of America in the past decades, if not since the original Revolution. Imagine being part of that revolution, the biggest American revolution ever, fighting for the rights of humanity and equality. Those are the stories I want to tell my children and my grandchildren, the stories where we fight oppression instead of giving in to it. What about you?

Set your eyes on the future. Have faith in the future, even if you have no faith in today. Continue to speak out about adversity and hatred and all the things you see going wrong. Because if you don’t, you can’t assume someone else will. Tear down the patriarchy. Destroy gender roles. Break through sexism, bigotry, and hatred. Use the things you love to build yourself up, even as you’re being thrown down. “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dreams.” Play music, write songs and poetry, make art, and work to defeat the oppressive society that we’ve found ourselves in, practically overnight.

And please, please, please never give up. Fight for today, fight for tomorrow. Fight for your right to party. Fight for yourself, for your friends, for your family. Fight for the future generations. And don’t let anyone stop you from fighting.

Be angry, nasty women, and angry men, and angry people – because now more than ever, we have the right to be angry. But don’t be disrespectful to the people you love. At least, not yet. For now, be excellent to each other. 

For now, I just pray and hope and strive to believe that all the people that are saying that he “can’t be that bad” and it was all “just empty words” to get the presidency – because if it isn’t, if it’s all real, then people I love and care about are going to be hurt, then I am going to be hurt. And then no one will be silent anymore.

(These were originally published on my personal blog in two pieces; find them here and here.)

Megan. 20. Kutztown University Class of 2017. English Education Major, Gender Studies Minor. Activist, writer, movie lover, and blogger. www.wordsbymeganmichael.wordpress.com
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