Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Where do we go from here.

“Just don’t get into any political arguments today, stay off Facebook, it’s not worth it” – Jake’s parting words to me today as he left for work (before the usual, love you’s & have a good day’s of course). My response: “You should be proud to have a girlfriend who’s educated in her opinions and can voice them critically and civilly”, “I am, but it’s just not worth it babe.” He saw how absolutely devastated I was, and am. Texting him last night while he was at boxing, “Babe, it’s going to happen. He’s winning. I feel sick to my stomach, how is this happening!?" He was right, as much as I hate to admit it – and love a good debate – it was not worth it. But the thing is, this is no longer a debatable topic. This is now reality, and not the scripted kind that it almost feels like we’re trapped in.

My heart is so broken today, on so many levels. I, among millions of women and feminists alike were waiting to see that highest and hardest glass ceiling finally broken. To see a woman of power hold the highest office in the world, and what it would show to generations beyond us what that meant for them. To have my nieces grow up in a world where this was possible and not even a question. Beyond that, my heart is shattered for how much hatred won this week - “silently” or guns literally blazing. We’ve all been seeing it poke its ugly head through, bit by bit, becoming more and more “okay” to make offhanded remarks; to bravely revel in racism, hatred, misogyny. Having to argue with co-workers why discussing grabbing someone’s pussy was not locker room talk at all, and if you felt this way you were letting down the women in your life sincerely. I am so disturbed that an entire nation was split squarely in the middle between a way of thinking that should have been dead for decades, and remain to be an embarrassing, ugly, stain on our very core of values; and that of progression & equality. We used to think aloud and to ourselves: can you BELIEVE people used to think this way? Act this way?! Thank god we’ve learned from their mistakes. Well, it would appear we have not. Not even close. We’ve been here before, the history books told us what happened and it is unimaginable to me to think that we may be here again, except this time we don’t have an ocean shielding us from the danger, its right next door loading up on ammo at the local Wal-Mart. I’m really frightened, and I feel very justified in feeling that way.

Why do I care so much, when I’m not an American? Easy. First & foremost, I’m part of the human race. We all bleed the same blood, and fundamentally we are no different. I was raised to think that I am no better or worse than anyone else, NO MATTER WHAT. Be it my skin color, my gender, sexual orientation, my education, my social standing; I am not better or worse than anyone else and everyone deserves my respect. Second, when Washington gets a cold, Canada sneezes. To think this type of xenophobia & hatred won’t trickle into my peaceful country is beyond na├»ve, and we’ve already seen the previews during our last election, when the argument to block refugees coming into our country was so strong and diverse and difficult to process that I couldn’t believe I was hearing this rhetoric come from people I knew & respected. I fear for what this decision is going to do, the floodgates it’s going to open, and what is going to become the “new normal”. Last? Well, I’m a woman who on more than one occasion and for numerous reasons, has been saved by our healthcare system allowing me to make MY own choices for MY body. I'm so devestated for the generations of young women to come who will most likely not have access to safe abortions, birth control access, cancer screenings, etc. Some of the most difficult, heart wrenching and overwhelming decisions they may ever have to make will be out of their hands and in those that don’t even have uteruses.

The most disturbing sentiment I’ve said in my entire life happened last night, when I said to Jake, “Do you realize how twisted and sick it is, that we’re considered lucky, to be white, and straight?” that my race makes me LUCKY because it means I don’t have a target on my back when I walk down the street. That we can flaunt our love for each other openly and freely and never have to worry that it will make us the target of random violence. The thought makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.

America, you proved so many wrong last night. You dissapointed so many on a global stage when you actually let hate win – either for that sole purpose, or disguised under the path of “change” & “shaking things up”. All we can now hope is that your new president makes good on his one promise that provided even a sliver of hope to the rest of those watching– that he will unite the country once again. I hate to break it to you, but that’s a job that’s now going to take decades to achieve – and many of you are going to have to want to change your way of thinking, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Forgive me for having hopes that are about as high as an ant.

For now, as melancholy as I feel, I will continue living as I have and carry on believing in the good of my fellow man - as fractured as that belief currently is. To know that love will always win, small victories or not. Knowing that I am incredibly lucky to be Canadian, where the good still outweighs the bad. I will continue to be the voice of equality, as small as my voice may whisper sometimes. Quite simply, I will continue to love.