It’s not my selling point, but I am a former member of the Republican Party. What this election has done more than anything is reaffirm my decision to leave an institution that values tradition over integrity, sexual assault over emails. I am not alone in my shock at America’s newest president-elect, shedding my fair share of tears with friends, family, and strangers.
As a woman, this election felt like a slap to the face. My voice–as it has been for centuries–was silenced and washed out over the bigoted rhetoric of a man who judges women based on their pant size and brags about his ability to sleep with anyone he wants to. As a history major, I can’t help but remember every imperfect male that has sat in the oval office, yet at every turn Secretary Clinton was forced to pass every test with 110%. If that isn’t sexism, I don’t know what is. As a patriot, I feel shocked that the systems meant to represent me have utterly failed me. I have had realizations newly made and old beliefs reaffirmed.
Yet as a woman, I have never felt more empowered to fight back against structural violence and end the suffering of my fellow sisters. I refuse to sit back and watch for the next four years as women’s rights continue to be put on the sideburner. The glass ceiling has yet to be broken, but it is within our reach if we have the strength to stand on each others backs and work together.
As a history major, I know that we are doomed to regress 50 years if we don’t consciously move forward and organize to achieve our goals. History can be made in spite of any barrier that blocks the path. This loss will only make the win that much greater. As a patriot, I am inspired to channel a revolutionary spirit into progressive reform. A love of country extends deeper than contemporary issues.
Though everyone will grieve in a different way and each person is entitled to their reaction in light of recent events, I hope to see more activism than ever before. Now is not the time to push a particular agenda, but rather to work together from all fronts. Some will take to the streets and make their voices loud. Others will continue educating citizens about the importance of voting and make their voices tactful. Many will write letters to the appropriate organizations with advice for next time and make their voices heard. It is not a matter of how but when individuals will choose to stand up for what they believe in.