Episode 142 – Why does this feel so personal?

Thoughts and Feelings on the 2016 US Election Results from Two Irish Women- The Day After Trump Won

Dotty,35

I don’t know where to start other than I feel sick and that’s not because of the two glasses of red wine I’ve had at this unusually early hour for me. I, my daughter and many of the women I now are physically traumatised. It sounds ridiculous. I feel like I’m some sort of sensationalist wannabe by even admitting to my distress and grief, but the feeling is there and I can’t ignore it. Like the mourners who keened for Princess Diana in 1997, the mourners I scorned for their outpouring of what I assumed to be fake, attention seeking  emotion, I know get how something so public can feel so personal .

Why does it feel so bad? Why does it feel like we’ve been humiliated; rejected and punched in the stomach? It wasn’t me who lost an election, I haven’t been rejected by the American electoral system, twice. I don’t even know the woman who was. I’m not even American. I’m Irish and we’ve already had two women Presidents despite our abysmal record on women’s rights.

I have so many questions and very few answers, I guess everyone is in the same boat. I’ve just been  added to a WhatsApp “support” group for women (and men) who are finding themselves in a sort of existential limbo today. I have countless articles open and ready to read in an effort to substantiate my own visceral reactions through the cold, hards words of others. My own words, I’m aware, are rambling and raw.

Is it just because she’s a woman that it feels so crap? Is it because it’s the same woman, uniquely and unequivocally qualified to be the Commander-in-Chief that we are so despondent? What more can a woman do in order to avoid being ousted by a silver spooned, bullying, misogynistic 80s leftover for a job she has basically trained for her whole life? Must we be perfect to the point of complete absence of sin or human error and full to the angelic crown of purity like the Virgin Mary in order to finally split the glass ceiling? Maybe that’s what a halo is for, as it certainly doesn’t seem like a stiletto, let alone a low heeled tan court shoe, will impact on the barrier between woman and greatness.  Is it because our hopes were high and we were persuaded into blind faith by polls and the left leaning media that it’s the shock factor that we’re dealing with right now? Or was she the wrong woman for the job? Did we need someone more exciting for Americans to throw their enthusiasm behind? Was she just too tainted by her husband’s escapades; her founding role in a new potential political dynasty or by her past failures and mistakes? If she had been anybody else’s wife would this have happened? Then again would she even have got this far if not for the exposure that marrying William Jefferson Blythe Clinton would bring her. Did she need him to make it even this far? Hillary Rodham won the popular vote so I know that she wasn’t as hated by Americans as many liked to claim she was. What exactly was the problem? Why couldn’t she bring those last few states home?

I still don’t know why I feel so shit about all this exactly but I’m guessing it has something to do our family and friends in America; being a woman who has experienced assault and harassment; being a liberal; being a mother to a 16 year old girl; being a feminist; being a human who tries not to be a massive boil on the arse of humanity. I’m guessing all sorts of people from all demographic backgrounds are feeling dismayed, discouraged and distressed (basically, you’re feeling all the disses) and for now, that’s all I can clearly, and not very at that, get out in words rather than angry screams or exhausted sighs.

Scandi, 16

Dear America,
Congratulations, you’ve done it. You have elected Donald Trump for your President. (To all Clinton supporters, thank you very much for trying to oppose him). You’ll be happy now that you have this man who ‘understands America’. This ‘outsider’ has become an insider, this ‘truth speaker’. You must be delighted he ‘Trumped that Bitch’ as your delightful shirts say. I honestly hope you’re happy.
On your happy day I would like to ask you some questions, don’t worry, you don’t need to reply. Just think on it.
Hillary Clinton has run for president twice, why do you think that she has never succeeded? First in the race for the democratic nomination in 2008, then in 2016, against your main man Donald J. Trump. Now, don’t use her emails as an excuse, they didn’t even exist in 2008. Is is because to you, a woman should never have that much power? Is it because, a woman as president is a ludicrous thought? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, please try to think of your reasoning.
Do you agree that all Mexican people are rapists? Did you know that 57% of rapists are white? Would you want Donald Trump around your daughter, around your sister, around you? Do you think it’s ok to ‘grab a woman by the pussy’? Do you think that a rich, famous man can do anything he wants just because he is famous? Would you ‘grab a woman by the pussy’? If you are going to say that this is locker room talk, then what fucking locker rooms do you go to? A prison locker room for rapists?
Do you disagree that women who were raped, or victims of incest, should be denied abortions? Do you think it’s ok to gun down or bomb a Planned Parenthood centre because ‘They are murdering babies’. Did you know that 33% of women who have been raped contemplate suicide, and 13% follow through. Did you know the number of children conceived from rape ranges from 7,750—12,500 in the US every year?
You say Clinton should be in prison for sending her emails on a private server, for rumours of embezzlement in the Clinton foundation. Do you not think that a man, who said that he can just kiss a woman because he’s famous, that he ‘moved on’ a married woman ‘like a bitch’ and that he just grabs women ‘by the pussy’ is completely innocent, is a great man against Mexican rapists. Did you know that Trump has court cases pending against him for fraud? Did you know he had a rape case against him of a 13 year old girl? That just disappeared? Do you know that 11 women have accused him of sexual assault? Please tell me, how you think this is ok?
On the topic of ‘those darned immigrants’, tell me, you constantly say that latino immigrant are ‘taking your jobs’ but would you do they jobs that they are willing to do so they can send money home to their families? Would you build Taco Bells, would you collect garbage? Would you risk your life to cross a border to a country you thought would hold a better future for you and your family, to escape the crime, the danger, the poverty? They come to a country to escape and they are escaping into a country that holds them as criminals, wasters, not worthy. Tell me, where did this picture you have painted of immigrants from Central America come from, is it the simple fact that their skin is darker than yours?
Do you think it’s ok for police to shot a young black man, because he looked suspicious? Do you think that black communities should be monitored and patrolled by police just because the population is black? I’m sorry, I forgot it’s 1952. Do you not think that Black Lives Matter? You’re going to say all lives matter, yes, they do. But that’s not the point, black people are still persecuted in America purely for the colour of their skin. Do you realise how ridiculous that is? Have you heard the story of Robert Davis from New Orleans who was arrested and brutally beaten on suspicion of public intoxication? Would that have happened to a white man, or would he just have been told to go home and get a cup of coffee? What about Amadou Diallo, the Guinea immigrant who was shot and killed by police in New York as they “Thought he had a gun, looked suspicious, and may have been assisting in a crime.” The officers shot 41 times into his Bronx apartment. When he came out they shot him as he put his hand in his pocket and they thought he had a gun. It was his wallet. Did you know those officers were acquitted of second degree murder and other charges a year later?
Were you aware that Vice President Mike Pence still believes in conversion therapy?
Are you aware of the effect this will have on the LGBTQ+ community? What is wrong with not being straight? It’s against the bible? Did you know the bible is also against mixed fabrics and kid gloves? Check the label on your shirt if I were you, I can almost guarantee you’re sinning. As President Bartlett said in the West Wing, they bible also says it’s ok to sell your daughter, tell me, how much would I be worth?

America, Irish people have loved you for a long time. We held you in great esteem, we helped to build your country. Did you know that the architect who designed Donald Trumps future residence, The White House, was Irish. Did you know that your country used to have signs in windows of businesses saying “No Blacks or Irish need apply?”. We were not worthy of your time. Now, you’re suddenly all related to Paddy O Donnell from Tipperary? America, we think you’ve gotten a bit too big for your boots. If Paddy O’ Donnell saw how you were acting, he wouldn’t be proud.
You may think I have no right to an opinion of your country, but think of me as a concerned sister. I have spend most summers of my life in your country and God, did I love it. But the older I get, the more cracks I see in your facade, the facade of the American dream.

Think on it,
Sincerely,
A 16 year old, white, straight, Irish girl.

 

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