Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wake up, women—and men!

Today, American voters proved why Olivia Jordan's answer to the final question at Miss Universe 2015 was on point.
At the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, Miss USA Olivia Jordan was asked why she should bring home the crown. Part of her answer went, “I want to work to bring equality towards men and women. It is time to step up into power, women, and I want to empower women all over the world!”

I remember some people criticized Olivia for focusing on equality between the sexes. They said that as far as issues go, equality is passe because men and women are on equal footing now. They said women are already empowered. But I disagree, considering how the 2016 presidential election in the United States is going.

As of this writing, Donald Trump is well on his way to the White House with 264 electoral votes to Hilary Clinton’s 215. That a man like Donald Trump is poised to become the leader of the free world scares me. He was backed by the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK has, at different points in the history of the United States, advocated anti-Catholicism, anti-immigration, anti-Semitism and white supremacy, as well as other extremist schools of thought.

That the KKK saw fit to throw their support behind Donald Trump should tell you what kind of man he is, and why I’m extremely heartbroken. Right now, I’m trying really hard to understand how this could’ve happened, and the only answer I can come up with is Olivia Jordan was right. The battle against sexism is far from over. If anything, Donald Trump’s success proves that you can be better educated, more qualified and yet still be passed over for the job because you’re a woman. The way this election is going indicates that more American voters believe a man's transgressions are less grave than a woman's. They condemned Hilary Clinton for the Battle of Benghazi and her leaked e-mails and, despite the Billy Bush scandal, rewarded Donald Trump by voting for him.

I think it was rather poetic how Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton ended up battling it out for the presidency of the United States. A man who has little to no respect for women up against a woman whose victory would be a big step forward for her gender? I honestly think Shonda Rhimes couldn’t have come up with a better premise for a political drama if she’d tried. But if she did, I’m sure she would want the woman to come out on top. Shonda Rhimes has always put strong women front and center in all her shows—Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal. 

But I digress.

I’m aware that Hilary Clinton isn’t perfect. But in an ideal world, one where people hate bigotry and racism more than the thought of a woman in the Oval Office, one where sexism isn’t a thing, she would’ve won handily. Unfortunately, this isn’t a ShondaLand TV show. Sexism is alive and well in the United States, which is why the whole world is now facing four years of having a pussy-grabber prance around the White House.

Sexist attitudes may be changing in many parts of the world, but Donald Trump is living proof that they’re not changing fast enough. The United States presidential election may be over, but the fight against sexism is just beginning. I'm just as heartbroken over the results as the next guy, but I sure as hell am not going to roll over and drool for the next four years. My inner feminist may have been hibernating before today, but I'm waking him up and I won't let him go back to bed anytime soon.

As Olivia Jordan said, it's time to step up into power, women! Go on, I'll be doing whatever I can to support you in your battle against people like Donald Trump and everything they stand for. Who's with me?

Photo courtesy of Missosology.

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