Thursday, November 10, 2016

Apparently I'm a sore loser, an alarmist, and a bad parent. So glad that was explained to me.

I'm still trying to process my feelings on the election results. Well, maybe "process" isn't the right word. I already know how I feel, but dealing with a mixture of profound disappointment and murderous rage isn't comfortable. "Tamp down to a manageable level" is a more accurate description, I guess.

What made me so angry yesterday was the proliferation of statements that derided those of us who were upset as being "part of what's wrong with the country." I didn't hear this from people who reluctantly supported the candidate because they were party voters, or from people who voted for the winner because they were voting against another candidate. I heard this from the Fuck Yeah 'Merica! supporters, the ones who seem to support the man no matter what he does or says. One of these folks - a picture himself of white male privilege - actually had the nerve to lecture those of us who were trying to figure out how to explain this to our children, saying we needed better parenting skills. 

The reality of things is, unless the stock market crashes, the election results will not have much of an impact on my life, at least in the short term. I am privileged. I am white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, raised as a Christian, married, old enough that unwanted pregnancy is unlikely, overweight enough that people don't hit on me or grope me or make comments about me when I walk down the street. I have a stable family with good health insurance and enough money to be comfortable. I do not fear for myself.

I fear for my daughter, who will have to deal for most of her reproductive years with the decisions made by the Supreme Court appointees the new President selects.

I fear for our non-hetero friends, whose marriages may be under threat and whose way of life will certainly be de-legitimized by the new Congress.

I fear for my daughter's non-Christian classmates, whose very presence in the country may now be seen as a threat.

I fear for my acquaintances with mental health issues or chronic illnesses who rely on the Affordable Care Act - as expensive as it can be - to qualify for any health insurance to help manage their conditions.

I fear for people who don't look like me, whose very face proclaims them as "other," regardless of where they were actually born or raised. People the newly-elected President seems to have no respect for, and no interest in understanding their lives or views.

I fear for my friends who have relied on food stamps, WIC, and subsidized housing to get them through rough patches that were not entirely their fault. 

I fear for my friends' older children, who will be going to high school and college in a world where assertive women are seen as "nasty" and judged on their looks rather than their accomplishments. Where comments about sexual assault are waved off as inconsequential, and women who are brave enough to come forward to face their abusers are vilified, mocked, threatened, and - worst of all - not believed.

And I fear for all of us in a world where gaslighting apparently has no negative consequences, and people care more about their own righteous beliefs than they do about the truth. Where a candidate can make hundreds of statements that are blatantly, proveably untrue, and still get elected. Where the media doesn't have the balls to call out a candidate for his lies, and the American public doesn't even care.

So if you've been thinking of those of us who are upset by the election results as alarmists who are overreacting to not getting our way, I suggest you check your privilege at the door and try to empathize with people who aren't in your position. No, this election won't influence my life much, but it sure as hell is going to influence those of my friends, neighbors, and fellow humans. And you belittling my concern for those people is just reinforcing my bad impression of the supporters and apologists of the winning candidate.

1 comment:

Luna Park said...

Amen, sister.

Could not have said it better myself.