If we were having coffee, we would talk about the election, even though it isn’t polite to talk politics or religion. You and I talk it, because we feel pretty strongly about it. I was surprised by how bad I felt the morning after the election and scared.
I have met men like president-elect Trump (or at least the “him” the public has seen): one who judges and objectifies women, dismisses women, manipulates women, grabs women by the breasts or pussy. I like to think that the guys who have done that to me are all living a shitty little life because they are shitty little people. But here is someone like them who ‘won,’ won the highest seat in the country, even when people knew about his offenses. As though it’s not *that bad,* and I think it was pretty fucking shitty.
If we were having coffee, we would also talk about the horrible hate crimes that have come up. I say how disappointed I am in so many of my cohorts. So much illogical hate. But I like that there is more opportunity to talk to people about privilege, because so many don’t get it. They think I mean privilege like your mama meant when she threatened, “I’m going to take away your privileges!” “I’m not a fucking child!” They respond. Or they think it means they’ve had things handed to them. “I’ve worked more than 40 hours a week my hold life and no one gave me a g-d damned thing!”
Privilege doesn’t mean someone got anything special than anyone else, but it means other groups didn’t even get the things others get. Like I don’t get looked at with suspicion, because of my white skin or Christian jewelry. My heteronormative marriage isn’t questioned. I’m never asked if I’m a ‘real’ woman.
If we were having coffee, we would talk about history and being part of it. This seems like an odd comparison, even to me, but the aftermath this week reminds me of the days in September 2001, in the weeks after the 11th. As then, the whole nation is united in being surprised by an event. I mean, the gravity of 9/11 was more significant (I hope) than the result of this election, but it feels familiar. The shocking headlines, the racist hate crimes and the protests.
In September 2001, I was going out with a thoughtful intelligent hard-working faithful man. Which people didn’t know by looking at him. They saw a brown man. A Muslim man. (He was Hindu, but ‘What’s the difference?’) He was an Other Man with a funny name and Indian accent. The hate reached him, our friends, and even me when we were together, even in the blue college-town oasis of red Missouri. I remember protesting and marching with his face in the front of my mind.
Now, as a stay-at-home-mother, I’m no longer working with vulnerable people or even among an uber-diverse group of people. Now, instead of marching, I’m writing and I’m modeling acceptance and open-mindedness to the next generation, the one who will ask me questions about these times in history, these times we’re a part of.