Like a lot of people with daughters, I am doing post-election triage.
We just elected a man who bragged that he “grabs women’s pussies,” who has been accused multiple times of rape, has joked about dating his own daughter, and made other countless, objectifying remarks about women. His behavior toward women is, as Michelle Obama put it, ““Disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.”
All her life, I have been telling my daughter it’s not okay for people to touch her against her will, that no means no, that she is more than how she looks, that she can do anything in this world that she sets her mind to. She believed me. She called predator boys out on Tindr. She rallied with her girlfriends to stop slut shaming in high school. She believed in her own dignity. She made plans for a future as an equal citizen.
Now she wants to leave the country. What do I tell her?
We should have slapped this awful man for his behavior. Men should have stood up to him to defend women. We should have pressed charges, arrested him, at least walked away and warned each other about him. Instead, we elected him president.
My daughter was too young to vote in this election. But if her demographic was in charge, it would not have gone down like this. This is an info-graphic showing how the election would have played out if only people 18 to 24 voted.
I am having trouble finding hope. But I want to help her find it.
The best suggestion I got on how to do that came from a friend in Canada who suggested that I do what she was doing: Volunteer at We.org. Go to a We Day event. Buy some We to Me bling. Or even just watch the inspiring video (I embedded it above) about this youth movement that is using its social media clout to change the world from a selfish place to one that takes care of everyone, in the US and abroad.
It wasn’t our kids that voted for sexism and bigotry. But it will be up to them to turn those sentiments from selfishness to compassion.