America’s recent presidential election has sparked a number of discussions about race, gender, class, and privilege across the United States. Like any other country, ours has its flaws. As a woman in the United States, I will receive an unfairly short maternity leave when I decide to have babies. I will never make as much money as a man who does the same job as me. I will be scared to walk home alone at night regardless of how safe my neighborhood is. I will go to professional meetings where men will look at my breasts when they speak to me. I will be “asking for it” if I wear a short dress. I will be “hormonal” if something upsets me.
I am not pretending that my life has been filled with hardship. I was lucky that my parents started saving money for my college tuition the day I was born. I was lucky that I grew up in a place where you don’t have to lock your doors. And I was lucky that nobody EVER told me that I couldn’t grow up to do or be whatever I wanted to.
To my parents, my sister and I are exempt from every negative thing you hear in the media about being female. To them, there is nothing we cannot do, even though we are women and will have to work twice as hard, look over our shoulders when we walk home at night, and be belittled over the course of our lives.
Because of this, they have no understanding of how terrified I am that someone accused of multiple sexual assaults has been elected president of a country I have loved and been proud of my entire life. Because of how hard they have worked, they believe that nothing bad will ever happen to us–and I am not allowed to be a victim. I am not allowed to talk about how many times things happened to me that I didn’t consent to; how many times my feelings were brushed aside; how many times I felt ashamed to be a woman.
I don’t consider myself a political person (and this blog is not a place for politics) but as someone who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world, it’s hard to remain silent.