On behalf of all sexual assault survivors, I am deeply offended. I get that Hillary Clinton was not a good enough candidate, that the middle class is angry and tired of the status quo, that they demand change and somehow saw the straight talking billionaire talk show host as that glimmer of hope. Obama failed them for eight years and they were looking away from the Democratic party, for something new, not the establishment.
But then the Access Hollywood tape and “grab her by the pussy”. Even after we already knew he called women fat pigs, etc. and that he is a bigot. We saw how he spoke to some of the women on his reality show. We heard about building the wall and banning all Muslims from the U.S.
Eleven women came forward and told the world that he assaulted them. That he touched them inappropriately and made unwelcome advances. Do you think they made this up? Do you know how difficult it is for women to come forward and accuse their attackers? How shaming?
And still, not the majority of voters, but the majority of women in this country voted for Donald Trump. I cannot figure it out. Fuck the sisterhood? Fuck everything that we have worked for since the suffragettes hit the streets 100 years ago? The economic outcome may be better so it’s alright to have this vile man in office?
I am now working on forgiveness and I tell you it’s not going well. Not going well at all. Forgiveness is everything. Not forgiving is worse for the person who needs to forgive than for the the one who needs to be forgiven. The anger festers and weighs down the person I will call the “victim” here. It doesn’t help at all. I know that. I have forgiven those who assaulted me, I have forgiven the countless men who have cat called and whistled at me, the smarmy men who said inappropriate things to me as a child, as a teen, as an adult. I have revisited it all, thanks to this campaign, thanks to this man who ran for office. I am not alone. The number of women running to therapy to heal old wounds because they were triggered again is large.
This week I had an African American woman in my Nia class weeping for 10 minutes at the end. A lesbian couple I know in Charlottesville, Virginia was threatened twice in one day and then RUN OFF THE ROAD by a pick-up truck. Students being dropped off at their school in Marin County, California had racial epithets shouted at them. His vitriol has now given permission to this very dark segment of society to unleash their hatred. It’s happening every where and we all need to be on alert. On high alert.
This is easy for me, right? Fifty-one year old white woman from white suburbs near San Francisco, the left coast, the blue state with 55 electoral votes which didn’t save Hillary. We live in a bubble!! But the edge of our bubble is close. Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley are diverse and they are rumbling. Students walked out of high schools in Berkeley and even Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, the neighboring city to ours. Go Knights! The unrest is obvious.
It’s Saturday, November 12th and I want to forgive. To work together and mobilize but more importantly to forgive. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me.