I’d like to offer a word about what this woman, at least, and perhaps many other women too, have been feeling, after this election.
During this election, Hillary Clinton became relatable to me because of the way Donald Trump behaved toward her. When he spoke over her, and interrupted, and paced behind her menacingly, I felt the experience in my body because some version of that has happened to me, and to most women I suspect.
When he called her nasty, I proudly claimed the word, because I’d heard it leveled at me before.
When tapes surfaced of him joking about grabbing women by the pussy, I felt the pain of that too. We know sexual assault is no joking matter. We know there are men who feel our bodies are their’s for the taking.
We know women are blamed for men’s behavior. All the time.
And so, on election day, I saw a woman who has experienced in her body the things i have experienced too. And the thought of a woman finally breaking that glass ceiling became personal too.
Yes, women only make 70 some cents on the dollar to what a man earns for the same job. Yes, we still face discrimination and sexism.
But finally. It was so close.
And yet so far.
As the returns were coming in Tuesday night, I had to turn them off. I couldn’t bear the pain of watching yet another dream being what was shattered instead of that damn ceiling.
I don’t want to tell people to “get over it”. Yes, the election has been decided. Yes, the world moves on.
I’m here to tell you to listen to and trust your own body. If you’re grieving, be gentle with yourself. Sign off social media and surround yourself with friends and signs of hope. Give yourself time.
If you’re feeling strong and empowered, use that power to build a better world for all of God’s children.
And in the aftermath of this election, we recognize some people feel less safe than others.
It is up to us all to be people of safety and civility.
It is up to us to listen to, and trust, the stories of other people whose experience is not our own. To stand with and for them. To increase their safety and flourishing.
Some of us are excited about the outcome of the election. I’ve heard other people say “he’ll never be my president”.
I get that. I truly do. But i encourage you to look at it differently.
If he’s not your president, then he doesn’t need to listen to you and he doesn’t have to be concerned with your welfare.
I encourage us to claim that he is our president.
And as such, he has to listen to us, represent us, lead us, and respond to us when we stand up and stand together to let him know what kind of behavior and policies we expect from the leader of the free world.
Our president is accountable to us and subject to our constitutionally given rights to speak our minds in peaceful ways. He is my president elect. That doesn’t give him a pass to normalize dangerous speech or actions.
And so I will both pray for his wisdom, leadership, and flourishing as, at the same time, I stand up for justice for all Americans, regardless of how they are embodied.
In the days to come, be kind. Be kind to the people who celebrate. And the people who mourn. The people who fear for their safety. Be firm on the side of love and welcome in the face of fear and exclusion. And be hopeful.
A quote I keep near me at all times is from W.H. Auden:
“To choose what is difficult all one’s days, as if it were easy, that is faith.”
It doesn’t matter who sits in the White House if we decide to come together, and choose what is difficult, as if it were easy. Let’s do it, together.
Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary. She serves on the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood and the Mission Agency Board of the Presbyterian Church USA.
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