I'm still not quite ready to jump back into talking about fashion, or posting #ootd Instagrams. It all feels too light and trivial in the wake of last week's election. Instead, I thought I'd check in and offer some words a colleague shared recently. Shelby Howard's message sums up exactly what I am and have been feeling.
Some people don't understand my upset over this election. They say "it will be okay" and to move on.
It will be okay, for me, because I am saturated in privilege. Because I am white. Because I am heterosexual and cisgender. Because I am educated and economically resourced. Because I am healthy and have employer provided insurance. Because I live in a liberal pocket of a liberal state. Because I'm married to a white man.
It will be okay for me. I can get through the next four years fine and I can even likely withstand the longer term ramifications of a highly conservative Supreme Court and probably won't live long enough to see the consequences to our environment if climate change is treated as a hoax and the EPA is dismantled.
So I could ride out this term, comfortable in my privilege. I could overlook the president elect's objectification of women and the prevalence of sexism that allowed for a supremely qualified woman to loose to a historically unqualified man.
Instead I choose to be an ally.
Not because anyone who didn't vote for HRC is racist or sexist or generally hateful- I don't believe that. I realize there are many complexities to individual political stances and voting choices. But because that vote did endorse those things, intentionally or not.
It matters that many racial, religious and SOGI minorities woke up feeling less safe Wednesday morning than they did Tuesday morning. It matters that we elected a candidate that said and did things to endorse bigotry and has therefore emboldened those who would act on biases to intimidate, harass or harm those they identify as "other". It matters that the rights of all those that don't identify as a white, Christian, heterosexual, cisgendered male are potentially in question.
Policy is important and how that will be enacted remains to be seen, but words matter. They particularly matter when being spoken by the future leader of the free world. They matter to oppressed Americans. They matter to privileged Americans. They matter to foreign allies and adversaries. And they matter to me. That's why it's not okay and I won't get over it. That's why I will get back to work, because we can do better than this.
We can all do better. See you out there.