As long as this was about politics and political differences about how the country should be run, I held my tongue. I figured, people have the right to their own opinions about what is good for this country and how to go about getting there. But the minute you try to tell me that I must respect him, the man, because he was elected as the President of the United States, I’m out.
I was not outraged that he has never served in government, and in fact, has had no record of public service. I figured maybe they’re right, maybe it’s time for a fresh perspective.
I was not outraged that he was a wealthy businessman who thought his skills were transferable. I hope that people will afford me the same chance when I pivot again into a new career.
I was not outraged that he ran as a Republican despite the fact that he shares practically none of their moral and ethical values. I figured that Republicans are not a homogeneous group, and that even the evangelical Christians were willing to compromise on his apparent lack of (or casualness with) faith.
I was not outraged that he is a much married, twice divorced man, who cheated on his first wife. I figured that was between him and his family.
I was not outraged that he did not pay federal taxes. The system is rigged to make that happen–he was just doing what any other businessman would do.
I was not outraged that he could not string two sentences together. Lord knows we’ve had a couple of those!
But when he spoke those filthy words, that “locker room talk,” something snapped inside me.
It was like in the movies, when the film rewinds at double speed, across millennia to the very beginning of time, and all my sisters, my ancestors, felt the collective kick in the gut. We all know. We’ve all been there. At one time or another, we’ve all been disrespected, disregarded, disenfranchised, dishonored, disparaged, degraded, dehumanized, simply for being women.
Yes, all women.
And when people defend or even dismiss Trump’s behavior towards women as being trivial, or casual, or, God forbid, “normal” (locker room talk), my heart breaks again. And again. And again.
So no, I will not respect this man. I will not respect someone, anyone who can speak so disparagingly of women. Not even the President of the United States.
I am not in mourning. My life will go on. And, as my daughter reminds me, I will carry on because I have privilege.
But make no mistake, every chance I get to call people out on their bigotry, on their sexism, on their misogyny, I will do so. And I know my brothers and sisters of color will similarly call out the racism. And my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters will call out the homophobia. And I will stand with them, allied, ready to place a steadying hand in the small of their backs should someone strike a blow.
Folks, if this post resonated with you, or if you know someone with whom this post might resonate, feel free to share it.
Target Audience: Human Beings.