TW: sexism, internalized sexism, Islamophobia. CW: Discussion of racism, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia.
I am so ashamed to write this post.
Over half of voting white women chose Donald Trump. Over half of voting white women picked an incapable candidate who preaches racist and sexist rhetoric over an extremely qualified candidate who has posed no threat to white women. I wish I didn’t believe this. I wish I was stunned by what my fellow white women did. But I’m just numb, honestly terrified for my friends’ safety and our collective future. We white women aren’t the only ones responsible – a larger percentage of white men voted for Trump, but that was almost expected. Besides, a Donald presidency isn’t dangerous for most white men.
I did not vote for Trump, but that doesn’t matter. I still benefit from a society where white women have the privilege to indulge in internalized misogyny and overlook our society’s racism. Yes: racism and misogyny are so ingrained in our society that white women chose a candidate who actually poses a threat to them. Voting for Donald just because of his politics doesn’t make you exempt – so many of his policies are influenced by his own racism, xenophobia, and sexism. White women would rather have that kind of candidate than see a woman in the White House. We live in a world where we can’t even fathom a female president. Donald may have been the one to say Clinton doesn’t have a “presidential look,” but he isn’t the only one to think it.
How long can we keep living in denial? We live in a racist and sexist society. People may argue that we aren’t sexist, that we have so much admiration and respect for women. But we have still not even come close to seeing women as something other than men. And then we don’t seem to either care or realize that a Donald presidency puts women of color at risk. This is not only racism, it is also sexism. Women of color are women – when someone yanks a woman’s hijab off of her head, that person is being Islamophobic and sexist. We have ensured awful acts such as this will only increase. That is the worst part about Trump – he has emboldened those who hate.
The reason so many of us thought that things like racism and sexism are dead is because outright examples of these things are not nearly as common as they used to be. We think someone is only a “racist” when they say things like the n-word, but modifying our vocabulary doesn’t change our internalized understanding of the world. When we keep these unconscious ideologies under wraps, we let them fester and explode when we least expect it. By not confronting our own racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic tendencies, we get something like a Donald presidency. It’s time for us white women to look at ourselves and not just blame somebody far away.
And don’t forget, we have the lovely Mike Pence to look forward to, as well.