In light of the recent election results, I have been walking around feeling very devalued for being a woman. Because now, the person who holds the most powerful position in the country, the person we are supposed to look up to, is a white man who has exhibited sexist and misogynistic views, not to mention his racist, homophobic and xenophobic rhetoric.
As someone who has rooted for Hillary Clinton to be in office this whole campaign, to see this man who is barely qualified to be the president win over someone who has dedicated her whole life to politics and who has worked to move this country forward instead of backward is confusing and devastating.
It has altered my view of the world around me and for a moment altered my view of myself. But then I realized, being afraid is not the answer. When Trump was first elected I went home, crawled into bed and cried. I was sad and scared for the fate of this country and my only thought was that we were doomed. I was scared for me and all my friends who are women. I was scared for the friends and family I have who don’t identify as straight. And I was scared for all the people out there who aren’t white.
None of these things are bad things. And none of these things should be the reason someone feels devalued or less than someone else. I can’t identify with the people who are scared because of their sexual orientations or because of their race. But I can identify with the people who are scared because of their gender.
But I am here to say that I am proud to be a woman.
I am proud of myself for working twice as hard as a man because it means that when, not if, WHEN I achieve the things I am striving for, the reward will mean so much more. Do I enjoy the fact that women still make 20 percent less than the average man? NO. Do I enjoy the fact that a woman who is just as qualified, possibly more qualified than a man, won’t get a job just because she is a different gender? NO. These are things that desperately need change and that we as Americans need to fight for.
I am proud of all the things that make me a woman, including that I have the ability to bring life into this world. But, do I enjoy the fact that some people and parts of the government want to try to tell me what I can and can’t do with my body? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Donald Trump has said gross, hurtful and terrifying things about millions of people in this country, and yet somehow he ended up in office. I am not sure how or why this happened but it is the country we live in and it doesn’t mean we as Americans should live in fear. It means we as Americans need to stand up and fight for what this country represents and what we believe in. Now is not the time to be afraid.
And to all my women and friends out there who are feeling the same way I do, Hillary Clinton said it best. “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.”
I am proud of who I am. As a Democrat, as an American, and as a woman. And you should be too. Never let anyone make you feel like you are less because you are different from them.
These next four years may prove to be a turbulent time for our nation, but let’s get up, stand up, and fight. This is our country. Now is not the time to let it down.