post-election think pieces

Lady Gaga was one of many people protesting the election results yesterday (Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock)

A read to remind you to roar
Lindy West, author of Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, opens her op-ed, “Her Loss,” for the New York Times with a scene from her breakfast table on the morning of Election Day. She’s sobbing—a “wracking burst” of tears that’s gone from “zero to firehouse”—and now there are “mascara-tinged rosettes blooming black in [her] cereal milk.” Hillary’s on the TV, proudly striding forward to cast a vote for herself in Chappaqua, N.Y., but West is focusing on Bill. He’s beaming with pride. “It’s not just love—we expect husbands to love their wives—but something less traditional, more conditional and gendered. It’s professional respect.” Later, West finds herself sobbing again as Hillary’s electoral college loss becomes increasingly more evident. She nails the feeling when she calls it “fresh, close grief.” You might think, how could this piece possibly lift my spirits? Read on. It will. Because West wraps it all up with a call to action. She reminds Hillary supporters—and women everywhere, even those who voted against Hillary (“sorry, white women who voted for Mr. Trump, but your shelter is illusory”)—that HRC will always have the popular vote. And midterm elections will be here soon enough. Then she delivers her last line (won’t spoil it for you) and it’s absolutely chilling—dare I say, it’s 2016’s equivalent of “I am woman, hear me roar.”

A read to remind you that love will trump hate
For Chatelaine, columnist Rachel Giese writes about one of the best ways to move forward from this devastating blow to human decency in “The One Meaningful Thing We Can Do in the Wake of Trump’s Victory.” We’ve got to love with all our might, and fight for what’s good and just without being a bully about it. It’s the golden rule, and something we’re all taught as kids, but it’s also something Trump completely flouted throughout his cruel campaign with regular displays of misogyny and bullying. Giese describes how she sent her 13-year-old son to bed on Election Night and promised him everything would be fine come sunrise. She explains that yes, a lot will remain fine, especially for us up in Canada, but that the “impulses that drove Trump to victory—the bigotry, fear, isolationism, selfishness, willful stupidity and arrogance—don’t recognize international borders.” Canada might not breed extremism the way the U.S. does, she writes, “but there are plenty here who share Trump’s loathing of Muslims, immigrants and people of colour, and his contempt for women, LGBT people and people with disabilities. His win may embolden them.” And Giese is right. Many people are still trying to shake off their hangover from Hillary’s loss, and they are right to be scared of a president-elect who is unprepared to an unprecedented degree and who hasn’t shown them they belong in his vision of a great America. But even though Giese and her family, like so many other people, woke up to morning clouded with the “rage, negativity and destructiveness” that Trump’s campaign personified, she still makes a case for hope.

A read to remind you to start calling yourself a feminist
One of Hillary’s career-defining characteristics has been her ability to get back up after she’s been knocked down. This past election cycle made painfully obvious the level of sexist criticism and misogyny women face every day—even when pursuing the highest office. We witnessed one of the most qualified candidates of all time lose to one of the least qualified: a man who has never held political office. And of that defeat, Jill Filipovic writes, “Make no mistake: a vote for Trump is a vote against women.” In “What Does President Trump Mean for Feminists,” Filipovic’s piece for The Washington Post, she makes a strong case that we’ve got to embrace common acts of feminism—like, right now. “We fix this with more feminism, not less,” she writes. The feminism Filipovic describes must focus specifically on the women—and men—that a Trump presidency will make more vulnerable than ever. But this feminism also requires men to step up. “What this election makes clear is that little changes if men don’t change,” writes Filiponic, “Feminist-minded men need to convince other men that more women in power, and a more gender-egalitarian society, is in everyone’s best interests.” So how can you fight? Donate to domestic violence shelters and local abortion funds. To Black Lives Matter and local groups helping refugees and undocumented immigrants apply for legal status. And start calling yourself a goddamn feminist! “Trump wants us to sit down and shut up,” Filiponic writes. “If there was ever a time to refuse to cower in this face of defeat—to speak louder, even in our female voices—this is it.”

A read to remind you to get mad as hell
David Remnick’s “An American Tragedy,” in The New Yorker, is something you’re going to want to read with a glass of wine—or a stiff drink. His opening words: “On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American president—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.” Take another big gulp and buckle up as Remnick explains what the next four years are going to look like. They’ll be a test of strength—our collective and that of America’s institutions. Commentators and the general public alike will try to normalize what happened, but Remnick calls out to us to avoid the inclination toward complacency and apathy. His scenarios are harrowing. Cue more wine. But they are ones we must look dead in the eye. “To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honourably and fiercely in the name of American idea—that is what is left to do.” Bottom line: get mad as hell—and don’t just blindly accept the next four years.

A read to remind you some glass ceilings were shattered
Did you know on Tuesday that the number of women of colour serving in the Senate QUADRUPLED? The number is small—four—but it will make a major statement every time Trump tries to do anything. Refinery29’s Some Glass Ceilings Did Shatter Last Night” is a small ray of sunshine to help you climb out of your despair. The piece profiles six women who defied the odds on Tuesday. And it’s perfect. Savour every word.

Related:
We Asked a Fashion Historian Why Hillary Wore Purple
Heartbroken. Devastated. Ready to Mobilize: 12 Hillary Voters on Trump
Voters Share What It Felt Like to Cast a Ballot for Hillary
Need a Safe Space to Gush About Hillary Clinton? Try Pantsuit Nation
“C. U. Next Tuesday” Is the Election Day Feminist Rallying Cry We Need

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