Disbelief. Shock. Fear.
These were just a few emotions that were felt by many Americans all across the country early Wednesday morning when Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. These emotions were echoed in Hillary Clinton's concession speech on Wednesday afternoon.
The speech was incredibly moving. I even saw quite a few Trump supporters commending her speech of Facebook. One of the first points she made was that “we owe Trump an open mind and a chance to lead.” I really think that a lot of people needed to hear this in order to truly accept the election results. However, she did express the sadness and pain many are feeling and will continue to feel for a long time.
The most moving part of the speech, at least for me, was when Clinton addressed the young girls in America: “To all the little girls who are watching this, 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.” Coming from the first ever woman presidential candidate to make it this far, this message is tremendously powerful. Clinton said that, although she would not be the one to break the glass ceiling, she confidently proclaimed that someday, maybe sooner than we think, someone will. After this statement, I was filled with hope for the future. We may not have shattered that glass ceiling yet, but we sure are knocking on it.
As for what the future holds for women, only time will tell. Trump has promised to elect anti-abortion supreme court judges in order to overturn Roe V. Wade: the landmark supreme court case that gave women their reproductive rights.
He has also promised in his first 100 days in office to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The ACA made birth control accessible to thousands of women across America who may not have been able to obtain it before. According to Google Trends, the number of people searching "Donald Trump, Birth Control" shot up after it was announced that Trump had won the election. More and more women are now looking into more long-lasting birth control methods such as IUDs and intrauterine devices.
When looking at the future of women in America it is imperative to do so through an intersectional lens as well. We must look outside of ourselves and examine the situation from the perspective of others. Because of Trump’s vitriolic speech, a racial divide has been created. All over the country, women in minority groups are trying to figure out how to manage their feelings about the decision that the country has made. Many will now face xenophobia alongside sexism. Muslim women are scared to wear their hijabs in public. African-American women are sharing the ways that they are coping to help others who are struggling.Hillary reminded all of us in her speech to keep an open mind; that we owe Donald Trump at least that. We must keep an open mind but we cannot stop being active. Do what you can. If something is happening that you do not agree with call your local representative, vote in every election you have the chance to and do not stop bringing awareness to issues that are important to you.