The following guest post was written by Chelsea Coffey, Development Manger at Vanguard Public Affairs and a recent Political Science and Economics graduate of Saginaw Valley State University.
If you’re a Trump supporter it may come as a surprise that as a self-proclaimed feminist I’m not all that upset that America rejected its first potential woman president. I didn’t cry when Trump became the President Elect because Hillary Clinton lost. I’m not emotionally numb today because the Democratic Party lost the Presidency, Senate and House of Representatives.
I used to brush off warnings from my parents to be vigilant at night and to be cautious at parties because I truly believed that enough people valued me as a person that I would be okay. Today I am afraid. Half of the population told me that women matter less than their nationalistic urge to “make America great again”, whatever that is supposed to mean.
Americans had the very clear choice to embrace or reject rape culture. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, rape culture is one that tells women that they have to dress a certain way, act a certain way to protect themselves from being a rape victim. We don’t teach boys to respect girls, we teach girls to cover up their bodies. When a man sexually assaults a woman and changes her life forever, we excuse it as being just a mistake, just fifteen minutes of action that will ruin this bright young man’s life.
We chose a man who has publicly bragged about sexually assaulting women. A man who thinks he can just walk into the changing rooms of beauty pageant contestants and see them naked without their consent because he is rich. Writing this off as “locker room talk” is rape culture. It tells young men that it is okay to objectify women. If you are a successful white male, you can do just about anything to women with few ramifications. You can literally rape a woman and only get three months in jail if your sports future is bright.
This might be an overgeneralization of a complex and unprecedented election. I don’t think you are an awful person if you voted for Donald Trump. I’m saddened that you are so unaware of the real issues facing women, the LGBTQ community, people of color, the disabled, non-Christians, immigrants, and those living in poverty. How nice it must be to have the privilege of not falling into any of these categories. America has proven itself to be a nation of ME, not a nation of US, and it truly breaks my heart.