Like millions of others, I closely followed the U.S. election. I was quietly rooting for Hillary. Not that it actually matters in the greater scheme of things considering I am not a U.S. citizen and therefore don’t have a vote, but I tapped into the inspired energy of the sisterhood. I felt a sense of pride and hoped this woman — this accomplished, bright and capable woman — would become the shiniest beacon of light for women around the world.
Following Hillary’s defeat, I found myself mourning. At the core of mourning is a sense of loss. In a way, mourning seems unreasonable because I am simply a bystander to the entire U.S. election circus, em, process. It is not my election. But I am not alone. So many others are feeling a sense of loss – and pain. It still dominates conversations between friends, at work, in social settings and even the dog park.
We hurt because this was personal. Women who have come such a long way in our evolution and fought so hard to be valued, valuable and powerful in every definition of the word. That pain knows no borders – or walls. And that mourning is the loss of a dream. The dream that women can be much more. That’s why it feels so personal.
What I have taken away from this crazy election is how impactful words are and how they impact humans at their deepest core, whether negative or positive. President-elect Trump thrust upon the world massively painful words that energized, galvanized – and hurt – depending on the values of those hearing them. But the kicker is this: he is only expressing what the masses are suppressing.
Women have to fight for respect. Let’s be honest, Hillary lost not just because she had baggage, but because she is a woman. And let’s be even more honest, the United States of America is not ready for a female leader.
Of greatest and immediate concern now is that women’s rights, which Hillary fought long and hard for, are at risk. That’s obvious. What happens in the U.S. touches all of us. So, yes, I care.
Find your voice
Today, the renowned feminist, Gloria Steinem, penned a thoughtful article in the Guardian, encouraging us not to mourn, but rather to organize. A Million Women March is being planned for January 19th across cities in the U.S, to protest, and I am considering taking part out of solidarity with my American friends. My anger for how women have been treated in this election and my bewilderment for how so many either turned a blind eye or accepted it for “it’s normal” needs to be channeled in a productive way.
Exercise your rights
Hillary is the real winner in this election. Thanks to her, our eyes are more open than ever. Women are expressing themselves and finding their voice. Men are beginning to understand the seriousness of misogyny and its chronic nature. Changes are underway.
Moreso, we are likely about to see the largest, most determined and organized women’s rights movement in history.
Thanks to Hillary Clinton.