Image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore
Trump is the most powerful person in the world. What does this mean for women?
Like a pre-teen waiting to be collected from a Bieber-inspired slumber party, the US election has left all of us tired, over-excited, and acting out. Over the course of this election cycle, we've seen more shocks than a slasher movie and more debacles than Lindsay Lohan's endlessly devolving career, but finally: It's over. The astrologers were wrong, and The Simpsons was right. Donald Trump has won.
For Clinton's supporters, it wasn't supposed to end like this. They'd hoped to watch Hillary Clinton—the first woman to win the Democratic nomination—take to the stage to accept the presidency. Balloons would cascade from a glass ceiling, welcoming the first female president of the United States. The promise of those pioneering female activists, set into motion in 1848 at the first-ever women's liberation conference at Seneca Falls, would be fulfilled.
Instead, Americans elected a man who is no friend to women, LGBTQ people, Jews, Muslims, or other minorities. He has pledged to repeal Roe v. Wade and criminalize women who seek abortion, been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, has a running mate (Mike Pence) who advocates for gay conversion therapy, has frequently made anti-Muslim and Islamophobic comments, released an anti-Semitic campaign ad, and has absolutely no foreign policy or political experience. To the bunker, my friends.
As the dust settles from the election, we reached out to our favorite female Broadly and VICE writers from around the world.
Sarah Hagi, Broadly Canada
I can't wrap my head around Trump winning. The thought of him winning, as someone whose life is really influenced by a neighbouring country—it makes me feel unsafe. I'm black and Muslim, so I will definitely never visit the United States unless there's some kind of miracle and he goes to jail or gets ousted somehow. I used to think any country that elects an asshole like Trump deserves it—but this election totally changed my way of thinking. The millions of minorities who this will hurt don't deserve what will happen, and I can only hope they will find protection and safety somehow.
Ivonne Gutiérrez, VICE Mexico
Honestly, I'm not especially thrilled about either of the candidates. However, I really think that Trump is the worst possible choice. Hate and racism won today. I'm very sad to stand in this political moment in history. The only thing that can save us now, not only US but all of us, is to fight back with love, justice and tolerance. Let's not give up, the fight goes on.
Trump and his running mate Mike Pence. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Alejandra Nuñez, Broadly Spain
To be honest, I'm not surprised with the results of this election. To me, Donald Trump is the living portrait of what comes to my mind when I think about "the American Dream" and all that shit. As a citizen of Spain, a country where since 2011 a president as moronic and fascist as Donald Trump governs, I can tell you that life for women will not be as tragic as you expect. I mean, it truly is tragic, but all that hatred towards women will make all females join each other to fight for their rights. I feel like since Rajoy is the president of Spain there's been a rise of the feminist movement in our country so hopefully this will happen in the US too.
Andreea Pocotila, VICE Romania
I woke up early this morning with my mom, who is visiting us, staring at me and asking me: "Did you see? He won! How is it possible?" At first I thought she must have misunderstood, but I soon I realized. For some time, I remained silent. How could I answer her? I still don't have any answers.
I got to the newsroom and started working on an article about how Americans living in Romania feel about Trump's victory. One of them said he feels sad that now American people have to explain to their children that a misogynist and a bully is president. I agree with this, because this victory makes it okay to offend women, immigrants, whole countries, and many others.
There are so many troubling issues about Donald Trump that I don't even know where to begin to make a list. But the most disturbing is probably the fact that usually people filter what they say—they don't share everything that's on their mind. And when a man talks to his friends and colleagues—openly—about grabbing women by the pussy, I don't even want to know what things Donald Trump thinks privately.
It's showcased what happens when politicians exploit the darkest parts of human nature.
Aleksandra Niksic, VICE Serbia
When the news of Trump's winning started pouring in, I felt like I had been punched in a face—not by him, but by all that he represents. He's backwards, conservative, macho, and his opinions are those of a high-school bully pestering all who are different, weaker, and fragile.
I had hoped I lived in a world where women were not just decoration for men: where their opinions matter and aren't just brushed off or used if expedient. I know Trump can't deprive me of my rights and freedoms, but what scares me the most is that more white women voted for Trump than for Clinton.
Beatrice Hazelhurst, VICE New Zealand
King Henry the fucking VIII reincarnate has done it, my god. After a large step forward, we've literally just fallen 60 years behind, putting the representative of the worst part of middle America at the world's helm. It now seems inconceivable that only a year ago we were laughing at the candidacy of a large rotting melon with a toupee, considering he's since morphed into the most shameless demagogue in recent history. Not only is Trump's victory a huge "fuck you" to women in the 21st century, but it's showcased what can happen when politicians exploit the darkest parts of human nature. The only shred of hope that's keeping me going is convincing ourselves that presidency is the figurehead position we know it isn't. Nevertheless, let us pray.
Noor Spanjer, Broadly Netherlands
The day I woke up and Obama had won the election, my mom hugged me with her eyes full of tears. It's one of those mornings I remember almost physically, especially because she was so moved and full of joy. When history's being made, you feel it in your body and heart.
The newspaper was delivered, and on the front page was a big photo of Obama and his family. My mom cut it out, stuck it to the door of the living room, and it stayed there for years. Today the door of the living room is the same, the lodger moved up a generation, but the picture should have been one of a white woman. Unfortunately, I won't forget this morning either, but today's newspaper I'll use for my cat's litter tray.
Lisa Ludwig, Broadly Germany
Trump showed in the past that he has no respect for others—especially women—so it's kind of hard to imagine him sitting with our German Chancellor in a room and discussing important political issues. But dealing with megalomaniac assholes seems to be part of her job description, so I guess Angela Merkel will be fine. Not sure if I can say the same for German women in general.
The big fear I personally have is that his presidency is some kind of foreshadowing for the German elections next year. We have a big problem with the rising popularity of right-wing parties like the Alternative für Deutschland, who are also anti-abortion, anti-feminist and anti-LGBTQ. If the mightiest man in the world is a misogynistic racist who thinks that women should be "punished" for having abortions—how far fetched is it to think that this could give the AfD the up-wind they need to become even more influential?
Nell Frizzell, Broadly UK
Like many women staring down the grey-pubed log flume of my thirties, I seem to greet most headlines these days with a single, compulsive, unexpected and unwelcome thought: does this mean I shouldn't have kids? The lightning strike from eyes to womb is so immediate as to be beyond my rational control. But never before have I felt that deep, sinking, contraceptive fear than today.
With Donald Trump as president, with that man in charge of climate policy, nuclear weaponry and military personnel, can I ever, really issue another person into this world? Is it fair to subject an as-yet unaware collection of cells to a future I can hardly bear to imagine? Do I want a daughter or a son to be born into that world? Donald Trump has turned the world, and by extension my womb, into a hostile environment. And I am sad, dear reader. So very sad and scared.
Clinton is a woman who's incapable of being a showgirl.
Virginia W. Ricci, VICE Italy
Like Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton is a woman whose private life has invaded her political discourse and who was given no say over the whole process: Both women were seen to be responsible for the behavior of the men they married. Politics is still a delicate territory for women to tread, most of all because female politicians are usually defined by the men that surround them.
The same rules apply in Italy, and the fact that we have endured a couple decades of Berlusconi governments definitely plays a part in it. He is a man that has often been compared to Donald Trump. He's always had a clear vision of women and the muscular, decisive role that men in government should have: we call it " cazzo duro", which basically means "with a raging hard-on." It's completely based on appearance, and contrasts with Hillary Clinton's need for privacy: she's a woman who's completely incapable of being a showgirl.
It seems absurd that the majority of white women voted for Trump, but it's a sign of how the path towards an aware, autonomous, and strong female identity is still far from the heads and thoughts of women themselves, who seem to still be anchored to the idea that "phallic behavior" equals "power." Sadly power, for a woman, is often a quiet and almost invisible thing, and unfortunately in some political situations showing ourselves for who we are is still a decisive factor. I hope that when Michelle Obama runs for office things will have changed, both inside and outside the minds of the electorate.
Jill Krajewski, VICE Canada
It's very hard to articulate how disappointing today is for women when your head is filled with a cocktail of shock, fear and depression. Americans had all the evidence of Trump gloating about sexually assaulting women, all the statements from the women who were brave enough to come forward about when he groped them, all his tweets demeaning women's appearances...a Trump presidency is a revolting indicator of what white, rich men are "allowed" to get away with. I'd say I feel lucky to live in Canada if I wasn't so fearful with the United States' physical and political proximity to us.
Laetitia Laubsche, VICE New Zealand
Okay, so the worst has actually happened. Congratulations America, you've just plunged yourself fifty years back into a bigotry-filled past. White pointed hoods and Trump baseball caps for all.
As an immigrant from South Africa (currently happily settled in New Zealand) where the current president Jacob Zuma is an "alleged" rapist, the fact that the United States now has a misogynistic president who brags about assaulting women (and has been accused of "alleged" sexual assault) doesn't actually feel too outrageous. It's just the symbolic final nail to the coffin of America's declining status as the world's only superpower that the current president has more in common with presidents from developing countries than any first world ones.
Johanna Derry, VICE UK
The whole world was watching and now the 'leader of the free world' is someone with beliefs so antithetical to the rights of women we have a choice of how to respond. Will we follow suit, give permission to the haters to voice their views unchecked? Or will we, as Michelle Obama so beautifully says, go high when they go low, find new role models, set new examples, and lead America, like lady Liberty, back from the dark ages and into a more enlightened, egalitarian world? I look forward to a time when this ceases to be a talking point, but until then, we press on.
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