Having lived in America for two and a half years I was almost certain nothing could shock me more than the combination of marshmallows and potatoes that they insist one eating yearly in this culinary confused country, and then came the 2016 election, and everything changed. My hatred for sugary spuds suddenly paled in comparison to the overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, outrage and hope that I have been fluctuating between for the past few months.
As a New Yorker (I have a cockroach infestation in my apartment so I officially count) without a vote it’s hard to know how to react to the current political situation in America. I love Hillary with a passion I’ve only previously felt for my year 4 teacher whom I asked to adopt me, and hate Trump with a fury I’m not sure I’ve felt before; but with no where for these emotions to go except into long angry texts to my American friends it’s hard not to feel like a passive and pointless voyeur.
The fact I can’t personally do anything to stop Trump is painful to me every day that I live in this country with so much potential for beauty and so much inclination for hate. However Donald Trumps horrific treatment of women and minorities throughout this election is by no means one crazy man’s single handed diatribe. Trump is representative of a systematic problem within our society that still places the rights of women and people of colour beneath those who should by now be their equals. Wherever you live, whatever you think about this election, you can’t ignore the fact that there are other men like Trump out there, we all know a man who would grab them by the pussy, and it’s time we spoke up and made them stop.
For any foreigners watching this election we need not to see it as entertainment but as a call to action. A painful and brutal reminder that our world is not free from hate and there are things we all need to be doing to change that every single day. If you can’t vote tomorrow I implore you to use that day and go out and do something else instead. Don your pantsuit, raise your feminist flag and find some small way to fight the patriarchy even if it’s just trying to explain to your little brother why it’s wrong for the rappers he love to refer to women as ‘bitches’ (an activity I personally like to partake in weekly).
No matter the outcome of this election, no matter where you live, at the very least I hope the past year has shown us that we all need to speak up more. Just like the gas bill sitting at the bottom of my handbag that I’m trying to pretend doesn’t exist, the more we sweep conversations around sexual assault, misogyny, racism and inequality under the rug, the more powerful these issues become. So let’s talk, let’s fight to make things better, and let’s bloody well hope Hillary wins.
Images via @alia_pop