On Wednesday morning, most of the people I know and love (myself included) woke up feeling like their world was upside down. How could Trump have been elected? We finally had a female candidate for president. And she was so much more experienced, poised, and presidential than the other candidate. Hillary's win was so obvious; her loss was unimaginable. So with her defeat, the blue bubble we were living in burst. We suddenly saw the red, red world around us.
But as sad as I am about the election results, I can't help but feel like it is a privilege to be shocked by the outcome. For so many, today is yet another instance of oppression in a lifelong series of moments of being beaten down by those in power. But for some of us (like me), today is the first political loss that we really feel. The first time we have lost faith in our leaders and our fellow citizens. That is a privilege, and it means that this is an opportunity for self-reflection, growth, and political action.
We can all do better. We can all stop looking away and opting out and performing our politics through pretty graphics and Facebook statuses.
We have to talk to each other -- particularly to people that disagree with us -- and embrace the challenge in those conversations.
I, personally, hold myself accountable for not having hard conversations with my friends and family members that support Trump. Maybe it wouldn't have changed their minds, but it would have helped me understand their logic and learn to fight it in new, more loving ways.
If you don't know where to begin, first, try calling a friend or family member and just talking to them. Ask how they are. Tell them how you're doing. Mend any relationships this election may have harmed.
Then, figure out who's serving in the offices that represent you. Do you support their ideas? If you do, say so. Contact them and ask how you can help. If not, find the resistance, and begin organizing for change.
Right now, it is important that we all practice self-care and care for each other. We need to make sure we're getting the nourishment our bodies, minds, and souls need. We also have to support and create safe spaces for the individuals that need allies in this much scarier-than-yesterday world.
More than anything, I hope this election gives birth to tens of thousands of anti-racist, feminist activists that change the world not only in 2018 or 2020, but tomorrow.
Hillary's campaign was not a victory lap for feminism. It was a major fight in a battle that's been going on for centuries. And we may have lost this one, but we have come so far.
If we want to live in the blue bubble we thought we were in just a few days ago -- that beautiful, cerulean bubble of equity and love and joy -- then we have to do the work of creating it.
So, use your brain. Use your voice. We can all produce the world we want to live in. Together.
Image by the amazing Laura Berger.