And now we are here.

When I woke up the day after the presidential election in 1980 at the ripe old age of 10, and my parents told me that Ronald Reagan would be the next president of the United States, I cried. I was sure that we were all going to die. We were entrenched in nuclear proliferation and Reagan had this weird anachronistic bone to pick with the former Soviet Union.

We did not all die – though I would argue vehemently that a huge number of people did die who should not have as a result of the Reagan presidency [see the War on Drugs and denial of medical attention to HIV/AIDS patients], and to be fair, the disasters of Reagan’s trickle down economic policies and gutting of social programs are directly related to myriad contemporary social problems in the country today.

Today we are still alive – though I would argue vehemently that a tremendous number of people feel that status to be incredibly tenuous as a result of a possible Trump presidency, and somehow Reagan has become the epitome of Republican values. A man who spurred our national debt to as-of-yet unrecoverable measure, considered a conservative. I would think it strange, but for the more recent turn of events.

I feel pretty confident that I am not going to die – literally or metaphorically – as a result of a Trump presidency. Not 100% percent, but pretty sure. But this is because I am a white, middle class, straight, CIS-woman, with an education. However, I do not feel at all confident that my friends of color are safe. Or that their children are safe. Or that my LGBTQ friends are safe. Or that their children are safe. Or that my Muslim friends are safe. Or that their children are safe. Or that my working, tax-paying undocumented friends are safe. Or that their children are safe. They are all at terrible risk of brash executive action (eventually) and rogue populist rage (currently) that has been normalized, rationalized, accepted, and therefore condoned by 26% of the eligible voting population who chose to allow a man of such little character as Donald Trump access to the presidency of this country.

Although I feel pretty confident that I am not going to die – literally or metaphorically – I have already seen how this new set of circumstances will impact what it means to be a woman in this country. Having suffered more than a year of being told that I was voting with my vagina; that I was ill-informed because of my dissent; that I was acting emotionally about something that required reason; that an incomparably more competent woman will still not be chosen over a man because she won’t smile, is not personable, is not a “10”, is too pushy/ambitious/sneaky; that my experiences are not valid – and possibly not even real – because I am playing a woman card, I am certain that I am at far greater risk for assault, abuse, disrespect, and disregard.

As a woman who was sexually assaulted in college (did you know most of my friends were assaulted and some of us did not even know that it was assault at the time, we thought it was normal? Did you know that when it happened to me my friend’s boyfriend freaked out that I might sue his fraternity because it was one of his fraternity brothers? Did you know years later this SAME person contacted my on OKCupid in Hong Kong and wanted to date me, apparently unaware that he knew me? Did you know that I chose to meet up with him – with a group of friends – to see if he would remember and he greeted me by saying I had a nice ass? Did you know that right now in 2016 not one single person would believe that I was “legitimately assaulted” by him because I never said anything at the time and that I was willing to face him again?) I already know that I am facing an uphill battle trying to explain – even to “woke” men that the kind of misogyny we are facing in this country is possibly more insidious than the racism, and that is a bold statement, but the evidence is there. When a student posts on Facebook “got totally wasted tonight and decided to walk home alone in the rain and it was such a beautiful night it made everything better” and I comment #MalePrivilege, his Berkeley raised and educated friends tell me to lighten up – it’s just a walk, and when I ask them if I could do the same, they say, sure if I wanted to risk it “like he did.”

So I wonder then, what hope I can offer the young women I work with who are not only women, but black and brown.

Today we are still alive – although I am getting killed by people on social media telling me that suddenly we are “one nation” and we need to “get along” and respect the democratic process.

Really?

Where were all you people when Obama tried to do… well, the list is too long so I will just say: appoint a Supreme Court Justice, for an example. Or how about the efforts to remove Obama based on the birther movement that was largely the creation of the now president-elect.

Yeah, I will remind you: you were not insisting people get along.

Eight years of disparaging the Obama family in ways far to gross to repeat and now #notmypresident is offending you?

Really?

Two years of “lying cunt”, “lock her up”, “shoot her for treason”, and threats of “fire and pitchforks” if your candidate did not win, and now you are trying to sound out kumbaya (I won’t hold you to spelling it, it’s a bigly word.)

The elevation of Reagan to Republican hero status makes me giggle these days. A man who inspired fear and terror in my 10-year old brain, seems different to me through the lens of history as well. Less demagogue and more Wizard of Oz, Reagan has become a work of fiction that few bother to actually study. If they did they would see that he would never have supported the kind of policies Trump is suggesting, and as Reagan’s family has made clear – he would have never endorsed a man as unhinged as Donald Trump.

When I woke up the day after the presidential election in 2016, I was shell-shocked, nearly catatonic. I could not believe that an electorate – even a numerically weakened one – would have allowed for such a coup. I did not cry, but I felt heavy. And so disappointed in myself that I did not see it coming: that I did not truly acknowledge it wasn’t  Trump who created in this country what I was seeing, he just encouraged these people to show what they have been all along – a group of people fueled by fear and dogmatic adherence to concrete understandings of a nuanced world.

We were not all dead – but little bits of me started to crack when I saw people saying “voting for Trump does not make someone a racist or a misogynist, they like his policies.” The thing is, he has no policies, and allowing someone to represent us that is truly as demeaning to human beings as Donald Trump is does make you – us – complicit.

Today I am sitting with the reality that 58% of white women voters voted for Trump. This was the group – the group I am a part of – that the pollsters never saw coming. 58% of voting women in this country hate another woman (or a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body) more than they hate a man who is facing child-rape charges, upwards of 12 sexual assault accusations, and believes that you can do as you please to women because there is nothing a quality piece of ass cannot solve.

Although I am devastated, scared, and bewildered by all of this… all I can think to say is you get the democracy you deserve. A climate denier has been appointed to the EPA transition team with the intent of dismantling the agency. A Wall Street banking savior is being floated as a chief financial advisor. The architect of the unconstitutional stop and frisk may be the next secretary of homeland security. Germany is warning us about violating human rights. China is warning us about dismantling environment protocols. When Russia starts lecturing us on the protection of civil liberties, maybe people will start to understand irony.

To the 26% I say to you, we are getting what you deserve. And because we allowed it to happen, I suppose we deserve it too.

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Do you believe in magic? How about John Fugelsang?

A lot of talk on the internets these days about what g/God thinks, and who g/God loves/likes/hates, and what is means to be religious (well, to be honest, this is mostly surrounding what it means to be Christian…) While I know this is hardly a revelation (see what I did right there?) recently it seems quite pointed toward specific current issues: the abortion debate and same-sex marriage. Granted I live in San Francisco so I am sure that my perspective here has a very obvious bent, but I have been amazed listening to people speaking for g/God, even here. Interestingly, no one is talking about how we should not judge and we should love our neighbor and we should care for those who cannot make it on their own…

It has got me thinking about a couple of things. First of all, I am not traditionally religious insofar as I was not raised within the teachings of a particular faith. But I do believe… in something. I am not sure what that looks like exactly, but I think to assume that everything conceivable is a result of humanity (not to mention the silliness of considering (believing??) that we have the capacity to comprehend “everything conceivable”) is rather limited in view. And I am not just talking about science or evolution, but I am talking about feelings, and connections, like Edward Lorenz thought about and like the feeling you get when you are around someone you have a huge crush on: that shit is real. These ideas inform the foundations of my belief system. Secondly, I have come up around a variety of religious types, from Catholics, to Baptists, to Lutherans (okay, not traditionally super devout…), Mormons (of the traditional & Jack varieties), Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, even a few fundamental Christians, as well as a few other new-agey varieties. I feel like this was a really great environment to see how religion can be hugely beneficial to humanity. None of these traditions seem to fit me perfectly, but I keep my eyes open – perhaps embodying the hope my mom had for me, that I would “have a ticket for all the rides.” I do not mean to make light of all this either. I think to say, as people like Richard Dawkins do, that people who believe in a god are delusional, is pretty ignorant, and even in my darkest days I have not come to the depressing conclusion that more than 90% of humankind are delusional.Frankly, the only thing I find more arrogant than religious zealots spewing hatred in the name of an omnipotent God, are atheists judging people in the same way for holding a different world view. But I have written about this before and need not digress. Lastly, I believe that the energy that connects people is benevolent (if sometimes misunderstood), even when I am in my worst moods, I hold this to be true. This is important to understand my criticisms of those who would speak for g/God. Continue reading

Apparently, you can be a “little hypocritical.” Related: You are an idiot.

America, please explain the following:

1) You supported the Patriot Act because, you said, If you are not doing anything wrong you should not care if you are being checked up on. But then, you lost your bloody mind over Edward Snowden’s disclosure that the NSA was “spying” on you. What have you been up to, friend?

2) Further, you say that the government should not be able to spy on you, but this guy is a traitor for telling you they did? I am so confused. (Still, I think something is rotten about this whole Snowden thing… )

3) You would sacrifice your first-born child to guarantee your right to unfettered access to any sort of firearms, and insist that increased regulation of guns in any way is a violation of your 2nd Amendment Rights. But, you are totally okay with requiring people to show multiple forms of identification – on demand – to vote, or walk down the street.

4) You do not believe that Americans need laws to help them make wise choices about the shitty food they insist on eating, making us the most obese nation on the planet, but you do not trust these same Americans to be able to make sound decisions about smoking marijuana –less dangerous than your WalMart diet, BT-dubs.

5) You believe that you should have the right to do whatever you believe is appropriate in terms of how you raise your family, as long as it is not hurting other people, yet you do no think same sex couples should be allowed to marry.

6) You scream about upholding the US Constitution, but allow for a)monopolizing the press; b) the elimination of basic rights of privacy; c) the dismantling of the right to remain silent; d) the assignment of individual protections to corporations. This is very confusing, but maybe you cannot read?

7) You support the death penalty, but will not allow women the right to choose when it comes to abortion. Related, you refuse to support social welfare services that would provide for the babies you want to be born.

8) You are freaking out about ensuring that future generations are debt free, but are totally okay with destroying the environment to reach this end. Does that not seem somehow incongruous to you?

I find it interesting that the same people who scream about what we’re “leaving our children” in terms of debt happily ignore climate change and pollution.
“Here you go Billy and Susie, a nice squandered planet with unbreathable air! But hey… you’re debt free!!”

9) Your litigious nature has made it clear that you will take no responsibility for anything, so you forcefully obstruct any sort of new legislation that suggests government control; but you want the total freedom to make shitty decisions that result in costly consequences. Apparently you are unaware of the most basic cause and effect reality of lawmaking and that laws are a response to the idiots among us.

10) You might be an idiot. Or I am for spending time thinking about all this shit and somehow thinking that might make a difference.

https://twitter.com/VirgoRises/status/348971508040884224

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