Her first text arrived at 6:47 pm on November 8th, 2016.
“Hi Mom. We probably have a female president to look forward to.”
To my daughter, I replied, “Do you think so?”
“Yes,” she wrote, “not that I have the ability to predict these things but I think she’s taking it. She’s ahead right now.”
Her confidence in Hillary’s win was heartwarming. I did not feel so certain.
And as the evening progressed, hopelessness set in.
At 12:33 am on November 9th, I wrote, “ I give up. I’m exhausted and going to bed. Will see what the morning brings.”
Her response: “I’ve already cried twice. I don’t think I can sleep without knowing the outcome….The crowd outside the White House is really freaking me out. Wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes violent before the night is over.”
“I know. It’s all getting crazy. Glad you have not moved to the States….Anyway, I will say good night. I love you lots. Wish you weren’t dealing with this alone.”
“Love you too Mom.”
The next day, she phoned me in tears. “How could so many people vote for a rapist?”
How could I reassure this twenty-seven year old, living far away from home, that things would work out?
That it was not our election.
Not our country.
That her aunt had several strong feminist friends working in the Canadian government. That these women would stand up.
That we could rise up.
How could I tell her it would all be okay?
My life had shown me slobbering middle-aged men molesting teen girls at bus stops. My world included catcalls and invitations to “Sit on my face, baby” from fellow students at college. I knew of doctors admiring young female patients as they undressed for physicals and dentists rubbing their dicks against women as they shoved needles into their palates. I knew of brothers raping little sisters. Baby girls being whisked away to safe homes, far from their violent fathers. Husbands raping their wives, still healing from childbirth.
My daughter’s life has already been invaded by online trolls looking to silence her with crude and violent comments. Men telling her on the subway to smile more so she will be prettier. Strangers telling her she is pretty.
And now our lives will include a United States president who laughs about grabbing pussies.
What reassurance can I give my daughter?
January 5, 2017