Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Reflections – Part 2 – What Hillary Clinton’s Loss Means to Me

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Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election. She failed in her chance to make history as the first woman to become President of the United States, but the reasons why sound like nothing more than excuses.

Hillary did not clinch the nomination because she is a woman. She’s strong. She’s independent. She definitely has her issues, but compared to Donald Trump, she should have been our next president. She is the better qualified of the two, and yet she was defeated by the likes of Donald Trump.

The race should not have even been close with the type of campaign that Trump ran. But her brand of womaness was ultimately her undoing. This begin to sink in for me on Election Day as I quietly listened to men around me speak. There was the “conscious Black man” from my dance class who said he was going to vote for Trump because he was anti establishment. Trump is a rich white man, how is he considered an outsider? There were the men in Whole Foods talking about voting for Trump. I was confused. They were Black men, too. Surely they had been hearing and seeing the same things I had. Even if it was a man thing, they were still Black and they had mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

Then the day after the election, I was having a conversation with my 8th graders, and I was surprised at how many of my boys supported Trump. My students are African American and Latino. They said Trump said what he needed to say to get elected. They said they didn’t understand why immigrants just didn’t come into the country legally. They said the world would not respect a woman president. And there it was: the real reason why Hillary was not elected. It was that v-shaped space between her legs.

At first, I tried to remain neutral, but I had to speak. My girls  were afraid of a Trump presidency, but wouldn’t voice their fears. They acquiesced to the boys in the room. My class is only an hour, and we didn’t really get into the conversation, but I have spent the last few days mulling over what I’ve heard. And I came away with two things: I’m going into my classroom with an assignment to give my students better insight into what the election means for marginalized people. And I also came to understand what the results of this election might mean for me on a personal level.

I am a single woman. Like Hillary, I am strong and independent. I am not currently dating, but I was hopeful that I might meet a man of my liking. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve never married, and I don’t have children, so I have always had to take care of myself. I’m strong because I have to be. I’m independent because I have to be. But I’ve come to realize that these might not be desirable characteristics to a man. Many of them are still looking for damsels in distress to rescue. I’m middle aged. I stopped looking for Prince Charming a long time ago. 

I’m looking for a partner. I need a man who respects my strength and my independence. I need a man who understands that my strength and my independence don’t mean that I don’t need him; I do. I need a man who’ll be there for me; who’ll allow me to lean on him when I need to. But in the meantime, I still have to take care of me.

So, Hillary might not be our next president. She still has a chance if the electoral college delegates decide to listen to the voice of the people.  And just maybe I still have a chance to meet a man who is right for me. This election was quite eye opening, and I'm still learning as I go. Let's see what the end result is for the strong, independent women.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 15, 2016 at 5:33 AM

    Powerful piece here, Steph. Thanks for sharing.