I woke up to the news of trump winning the us-presidential election 2016 alone in a Cologne hotel room. I sat by the side of my bed, staring at the screen of my phone trying to make sense of the words “President Trump”, but my mind refused to accept it.
I just sat there in paralysis and shock for three hours, unable to move until the friendly room service person told me that it is really time to check out now. then I went around Cologne, crying my eyes out. truth is, I could not stop crying for two days.
Slowly now the reality is sinking in. This election changed the world as we know it. And it surely did not change it for the better as it could have. My tears are not tears of joy as I expected them to be. We could have celebrated the first woman ever to be the leader of the most powerful nation in the world – what a historic moment that could have been, not even 100 years after women in the USA got the right to vote.
It did not happen.
Instead, America chose to put the biggest misogynist ever to run for president in power.
I needed time to process this devastating election result, time to turn the grief and devastation and sadness into anger, time to turn the anger into determination.
The truth is: Hillary Rodham Clinton would have deserved this. I know it and you know it. You may not agree with (all of) her policies, you may have preferred Bernie Sanders for his. But she would have deserved this. She was qualified like no one before her, she spent thirty years in public service, she is smart, she is experienced, she is competent, she is diligent and thorough, she worked so hard and prepared and did her homework.
And she lost against a man with no experience whatsoever, a man who does not know what “Brexit” is, a man with no qualifications, a man who does not read or study or prepare or educate himself because he believes (as he said) he is his own advisor. A man who just thinks he is entitled to be president, entitled to abuse women, entitled to bully fellow humans. Entitlement is what the world taught him as a rich white straight male.
Now, the world also taught women and girls something in this election:
No matter how hard you work, no matter how prepared you are, no matter how qualified, how smart, how willing to learn and study and do everything humanly possible to do your job well – you will lose against the guy. Any guy.
This is why i am crying. This is why i am angry.
In this election, women and girls, again, were taught a lesson about their value in this world.
By electing a man president who prides himself on “grabbing women by the pussy” without their consent, who allegedly sexually assaulted at least 13 women and throughout his campaign displayed blatant hatred of women (as well as hatred of immigrants and people of colour and people with disabilities), girls and women everywhere are told: you are not important. Your pain is not important. Don’t speak up, because there is no point. You will not win.
This is why i am crying. This is why i am angry.
Don’t tell me to calm down or just “accept it as it is”. Don’t you fucking dare tell me that.
I am not going to accept a status quo in which a man like that can be the president of the most powerful nation in the world.
I am not going to accept a status quo in which glass ceilings everywhere keep women from getting positions they FUCKING DESERVE.
I am not going to accept a status quo, in which the person who shouts the loudest wins against the person with the best argument and a thought-through plan. Because the person with the plan is a woman.
iIam not going to accept a status quo, that allows history to repeat itself and put a racist, xenophobic man into power who talks about mass deportation and building walls and incarcerating political opponents.
I am not going to accept a status quo in which white people dehumanize and attack people of colour and immigrants.
I am not going to accept a status quo in which straight cis people dehumanize and attack queer people.
I am not going to accept a status quo in which men dehumanize and attack women.
I am not going to accept a status quo that tells me that because I am a woman I am a human being of a lesser category, whose dignity, whose opinions or thoughts or feelings or accomplishments don’t matter.
I have every right to be sad about it, to be angry about it, to grieve, to be devastated, to be frustrated. And to express all of that. I do take this personally. It affects me personally.
I decided to take a day off caring for myself and processing. in this world that tells me i do not matter, taking care of myself is a radical political act. I matter. You matter.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (i am not going to stop saying her maiden name either), delivered an incredibly gracious concession speech. And yaaaas she wore a purple pantsuit like the badass feminist that she is. The sentence that stood out the most for me was:
“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.“.
Let’s just repeat this to make it sink in:
“you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.“
So today, I got up, I stopped crying, and I emailed all of the feminist groups near me and asked them how i can participate.
I am going to be louder than ever, braver than ever, more feminist than ever before. I am going to fight harder for what I believe in. I am going to speak up and stand up. For myself and others. I am going to be really really really very annoying, make my point even more clearly, force myself to be courageous no matter how hard it is.
I will do what i can with all the means that I have.
If you think, we will just watch silently, while white nationalist, xenophobic, racist, sexist chauvinists “take back” what they believe to be “their countries”, no matter whether it is in America or in France or in Germany or in Austria, you are wrong.
If you think, women, people of colour, immigrants, LGBTIQ*-people, will watch silently, while our rights are taken away, you are wrong.
If you think, you can silence us just because you learned to shout more loudly, you are wrong.
If you belong to a minority and are scared now. I will stand with you. This is a personal promise. you are not alone.
More than ever: Let’s create support networks, let’s care for ourselves and others, let’s be loud. Let’s vote. Let’s participate. Let’s organize. Let’s write, tweet, post.
Let us not be silenced.
Instead, let us share our stories, support each other and be the worst pain in the asses of all the sexists, racists, queerphobes, nationalists and fascists of the world.
We are not going to be defeated by this.
The to-do-list got a lot longer with 11/9.
So, if you think we were “nasty” before: watch us now that you really got us pissed off.
On Facebook, everybody keeps sharing pictures of that 2000 Simpsons episode in which Trump is elected president leading to chaos and economic ruin. What you all forget to share is what happens after the chaos and the ruin: Lisa Simpson becomes president.
to quote a tweet by Jefferey White:
“may this election of trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.”