This And That: Thoughts On The Election
The above illustration is by one of my favorites -- Aimee Bee Brooks. The artist originally created this piece for Lenny Letter to accompany an article about Pantsuit Nation. I love how the design is soft and subtle yet exudes strength and unity. There's a good chance you've come across Aimee's work before -- she boasts a client roster including The New York Times, Vice, Buzzfeed, H&M, Land of Nod, Narratively and more. Learn more about her stunning work here.
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I’m homesick. For Nov. 7.
Remember Nov. 7? The promise of that Monday before the election? Just one more day, we thought. Just one more day, and this twisted, toxic mindmeld of a reality show will end. We can move on. The country can move on. I can stop writing the phrase “grab them by the p***y” in articles on a daily basis. We can get past this. We will get past this. And we can just skip into the next chapter of America’s history finally knowing that any one person can be president.
Instead, we found out that any one man can be president. Literally, any one. Pick any man. Off the street, from the cubicle next to you. Any one man. Just as long as he tells other men who look and sound like him that they, in fact, are worth it — bigly. It’s like a L’Oreal commercial on crack.
After the election results were announced, many writers I admire crafted pieces with a simple message: Take a day, collect yourself and then get up. There’s work to do.
I needed more than a day. I needed about a week. Okay, more than a week. I sat shiva. Twice.
Of all the ways I felt personally attacked as a woman, a Jew, a journalist, an expat who felt so proud to define herself by her nationality, I knew that the depth of my fear and disappointment paled in comparison to many people back home who considered this year’s election further confirmation of the racist, unjust nation they already knew they inhabited. And that became the most crushing part of this — we proved so many right for all the wrong reasons.
It’s unsurprising that there’s a path to the White House paved on the backs of "disenfranchised" white men. And it’s reckless that so many additional Americans can vote for a person sick enough to exploit people in ways so divisive and cruel. But the one part I can’t shake is that the opportunity to elect our nation’s first woman president wasn’t enough to derail that nightmare of a train. In 2016, it should have been enough. Hillary Clinton is more than enough.
We can look to campaign mistakes and questionable choices and mull over just how "unpopular" a candidate she was, but none of this will give enough credence to the reality that Clinton’s entire public image is shrouded in decades of institutional workplace sexism. Clinton’s loss is a sobering reminder of studies that show a women’s likability is inverse to her power status (while the opposite is conveniently true for men) and that both genders associate leadership with men over women. Even in 2016. Still in 2016. How much further we have to go.