Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally posted on the following personal blog on November 16, 2016, and has been reposted with permission from the author: https://leehumeniuk.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/the-2016-u-s-election-a-mans-view/
Author’s Note: The first version of this was super aggressive. The second version of this was less aggressive and all about me. The truth is that it’s not supposed to be aggressive or all about me. I’ve done a lot of thinking and asked for a lot of feedback. I think version three is a good starting point.
A country is judged by its leadership
It’s important to realize that this is a critical time for Western society (I hope that only sounds slightly dramatic). Mainly, you’ve got a total asshat as the President Elect of the United States. By way of that event, racism and misogyny have flooded into the spotlight. I don’t believe Mr. Trump has the power to convert tolerant people into bigots, racists, misogynists or the like, but he is undoubtedly a catalyst for what was seemingly under the rug. I don’t mean to say none of this previously existed, but it is of interest to see how prevalent these issues are when a potential leader communicates to a country that it is OK to think this way.
Something about the result didn’t shock me, but seeing that 42% of females voted for Trump definitely made me turn my head. You’d think, as far as thinking reasonably goes, that if someone was constantly attacking your identity on a national scale, you simply wouldn’t vote for them. Call it self-respect, at the very least. This is a problem that will take more work to fix than previously thought.
I checked the definition of feminism, it reads as such: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”
You can’t say that’s a bad thing to believe in, so why not fight for it?
Adopting an ‘us vs. them’ mentality only shows contrast and incites conflict.
If you feel uncomfortable with a man writing about feminism, I can respect that. However, if you feel that it is not my place to comment and I should stop now, then I disagree. I see an imbalance in the society we live in and I want to do my part to make it right, as I’m sure many others do as well. Adopting an ‘us vs. them’ mentality only shows contrast and incites conflict. It never promotes equality.
To know my role in this situation, I tried my best to pretend to know what it’s like to be on the other end of a misogynistic comment. This is usually how I start all of my problem solving. I have a pretty good imagination, as imaginations go, but I couldn’t do it. It’s not because I didn’t try hard enough, it’s just not possible. I’ve never been through puberty a little bit ahead of schedule and had a boy in the hall at school ‘accidentally’ rub up against my chest. I’ve never been called a slut just because the boys think it’s funny, and so it catches on and runs through the whole school. I’ve never been disregarded for speaking up about sexual assault, only to have my voice fade away.
As a non-female advocate for women’s rights, I suppose I can only make one suggestion. Reach out to men. Let us know what we can do to help.