So as of five minutes ago I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room staring at my mountainous pile of textbooks and feeling a little under-qualified when my phone buzzed. Itching for a distraction, I “grabbed” (a term I’ve hated lately, you probably understand why), my phone and investigated the source of the buzzing. It was a notification from-I’m not afraid to admit it-Buzzfeed, one of my favorite websites, not because of its hard-hitting journalism standards or anything, but because it never fails to make me laugh or smile when I’m down. The notification was an article that showcased “32 Of The Most Powerful Photos Of Women’s Marches Around The World”. The article title wasn’t lying.
Listen. I didn’t plan on writing a blog post today, but the events of the past few months (and, some could argue, this goes back much further than that), makes it impossible for me to stay silent.
As a writer, I am drawn to many things. I am drawn to carefully crafted sentences that crackle and inspire. I am drawn to pleasant words that feel like spring and smell like roses. I am drawn to passages that hurt and messages that burn. I am drawn to people who feel wholly and completely, and have the courage to put what they feel into words. I am drawn to those who spend hours on a single sentence. But most of all, as a writer, I am drawn to the truth.
As a woman, I am drawn to many things. I am drawn to things that make me cry. I am drawn to flowers that puncture my fingertips. I am drawn to the cement that cakes my shoes and hands. I am drawn to the spirit of invention. I am drawn to rain and autumn, blood and fear. I am drawn to strength. But most of all, as a woman, I am drawn to the truth.
The truth should not be a rare commodity. Americans should not have to import truth from other places. America was built on the notion of living freely and honestly. The truth doesn’t belong to a particular breed of man, but to every human. Every man, woman, and child, no matter where they came from, what they look like, who they love, and who they are, deserves to live their truth.
It’s no secret that America is divided. We all know this. Some Americans have known this for hundreds of years. Others are only catching on now. I am a 20 year old white American woman, and this was the first presidential election I voted in. I can’t help but feel as if some small shift in the space-time continuum brought me to today’s reality.
I am not going to hide who I voted for. I was-and still am-proud that I voted for a woman in my first presidential election. However, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton entirely because she was a woman, but because she spoke of and demonstrated basic human decency in a world that is becoming increasingly indifferent. Without kindness, love, and especially respect, what will support civilization as we know it?
I refuse to repeat some of the things our President-elect has said. He is an appalling human being. Call me soft, call me weak, call me naive, call me a bitch, I don’t care. If you voted in opposition of human decency, I do not understand you. But I respect you.
Without respect, we’re nothing. It’s hard to admit defeat, especially defeat as bitter as this. But regardless of who you voted for, we have to respect each other. We have to stick together. We can’t remain divided.
All day Friday, I fought back frustrated tears. All day Saturday, I cried tears of love. I watched my fellow women come in droves to march peacefully for our basic human rights. I watched men support us in our battle against misogyny. I saw small children wearing pink hats and carrying signs and thought, in the words of Lin Manuel Miranda, “some day, they’ll blow us all away.”
We can enact change, too. But we can’t allow the demonstrations to stop here.
Girls, we have to keep fighting for what is fundamentally ours. WE decide what we will and won’t do with our OWN bodies. WE will be paid what we deserve. WE will overflow into positions of power. WE will achieve all of these things peacefully. WE are not asking for much. WE are simply asking for equality.
The most powerful images I saw weren’t even from America. Seeing people from totally other countries holding signs up that say “NOT MY PRESIDENT” made my heart swell. For the first time in months, I didn’t feel so alone.
There’s so much more that I want to say, but that pile of textbooks is starting to wobble, so I should probably get back to work. Thank you to everyone who stuck around throughout this long post. I know that we’re all pretty sick of these kinds of posts, so thanks to everyone who reads it. Please give it a “like” if you want, and feel free to leave a comment if you’d like. Thank you to all my fellow humans-most of you give me the strength to carry on each day. Ya’ll rock.
And to anyone who feels bothered by what I have to say about the Women’s March or politics, please-get used to it. We’re not going anywhere.