Like many of those around me, I am in a state of utter shock at the results of the presidential election.
In the wee hours of the morning, as I nursed my sweet four month old daughter, tears streaming down my face and splashing onto her impossibly chubby cheeks, I posted this on facebook:
Today is a new day.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified, outraged, and deeply saddened. But I will not dwell in those feelings.
As a privileged, white cisgendered woman, I have the responsibility to stand up for those around me
I will choose love, action and respect.
I will not be quieted by the oppressive, offensive and dangerous rhetoric touted by the pending administration.
I will model strong, unwavering and respected female leadership for my staff and my family.
Most importantly: today I will stand tall, brush off my (metaphorical) pantsuit and I will fight.
Join me. We truly are stronger together.
My social media feed is a mixed bag of reactions; many expressing despair, some anger, some lashing out, and some sharing glimmers of hope.
It's these glimmers of hope, I need to focus on today because there are plenty of people, articles, and organizations that will commiserate or fuel the (just) anger.
Without hope there is no future.
In my last post I mentioned our theme for the next couple months is the importance of building community, finding your tribe and connecting. What I didn't realize is how important that would prove to be now. In President Obama's address to the country, he reminds us that we are not republicans and democrats first, rather we are americans. We are all on the same team.
I am incredibly thankful to be surrounded by strong, courageous feminists, both men and women, who are dedicated to fighting for equity for all Americans, who show compassion, who demonstrate integrity, who are committed to social justice.
Last night, we ranted, we yelled, we cried, we collapsed onto each other, we grieved. But we also felt the call to action. We reminded each other that we are strong. We will not be silenced. We will continue on.
I hoped and frankly assumed my tears on election night would be joyful, reminiscent of eight years ago, celebrating the progress our country has made. I hoped that my daughter would be born into a world welcoming the first woman president, and not just any woman, but the strong, intelligent, passionate and caring Hillary Clinton. Hillary won the popular vote, but lost the election to an archaic process that is the electoral college. I grieve that loss. I look at my beautiful baby girl and I feel as if we failed her. But as my friend the Suz reminded me,
"We sort of failed the whole country, but! I'm looking forward to this, we get to raise our children to be compassionate activists who will not settle for the systematic oppression of our brother and sisters. If this isn't a call to action I don't know what is."
This is absolutely a call to action. And as Hillary so poignantly said in her concession speech:
Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought...
...I've had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks too.
This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.
It is, it is worth it.
And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and specially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
Hillary Clinton was and remains one of my champions. I promise I will continue to fight the injustice that plagues our nation. I will fight for community and social justice and integrity.
So I beg of you. Do not flee. Do not resort to violence or pettiness or divisive behavior. Stay here. Stand strong. And fight for those who do not have a voice. Fight for your country. Fight for your tribe.