The past few days have been very disappointing and depressing for me as a woman, as a feminist, as a mother, as someone who is a minority in my country and most importantly as a human being.
Like many others across the world, I was following the US elections and was hoping and praying that the glass ceiling will finally be shattered in that country. But like many others, our hopes were instead shattered that day and millions of women, minorities, and others were left devastated and crying.
As a woman it makes me wonder why a country which has taken the lead on the world stage can’t come off the patriarchy it seems to be in and vote for the person most qualified for and most competent for the position? Instead, they (and by they, I am not only referring to the white male, but also to the 53% white female who voted for patriarchy) voted for someone who not only showed absolute disdain and contempt for women and minorities, but who also ran a campaign on a racist, sexist, misogynistic and xenophobic tone. How could this person be so much better than the woman who opposed him? I am not saying she was perfect, she did have her faults, but how was he better than her? I still can’t get my head around that one!
What’s more frightening to me as a mother of impressionable teens is that how they will now perceive the world around them. I’ve always been telling BB that she can be anything and anyone she wants to be, even the Prime Minister of her country, but suddenly now, I am not too sure. As a female of a minority race, does she even have the same chances and options as a male of the majority race? This election is making me rethink what to tell her now. Maybe our country will be enlightened enough a couple of decades later to elect a minority female prime minister, but do I have the conviction to tell her that now? Can I continue to tell her to work hard, do her best, be nice to people and she will get the results she is hoping for? Or is this all a big fat lie we parents tell our girls?
And then there’s BB. I have always believed that mothers of young boys have a greater job in ensuring that their young boys grow up to be men of integrity and character, that when they grow up, the teachings they learn from their parents and especially their mothers should be the foundation which they base their interactions with the women in their lives – be it wives, daughters, friends, colleagues and every woman they meet in their day-to-day lives. They should be polite men who believe internally that the women in their lives are equal in every respect to a man. But this election has blown that out of the water. That a man, who denigrated women at all times, who was caught doing this so many times, has become the most powerful man in today’s world is nothing but catastrophic for parents who want to teach their boys how not to behave as opposed to how to behave. Now when you teach boys good behavior, it’s going to come to pinch you in your back when they see the reality around them. What they see around them tells them that their parents are wrong. You do get rewarded for bad behavior and the reward is nothing else but becoming the most powerful man in the world! I have no words….
It’s going to take me some more time to get my head around the new reality of our world today and I think I need more time to process it further. I also need to think about how I am going to continue to teach my children how they need to navigate this new reality. This post is the reaction if my feelings from the past few days and is actually a very early morning (4:30 am to be precise) post where I had to write down my thoughts and feelings.
I’d love anyone who reads this to react and comment. Maybe I get a better understanding of the situation and also some tips on how to navigate it.