What Hillary Clinton's defeat truly exposed

LuxG
Posted November 19, 2016 from Mauritius

I woke up that day, truly excited to follow up on the results of the US election. From the beginning, I was very mesmerized by the whole process-the primaries, the building up before the debates, the debates themselves- this whole democratic process happening in the most powerful country on the planet captured our attention, invigorated our interest in politics, made us engage in conversations on race and gender. But Idigress. So when I woke up that day, I was excited to know the outcome of all these months of fighting, hurtling propaganda left and right and the blatant smear campaigns. But I didn't expect the stereotypical villain to emerge victorious.

'How did a guy like this win?' I said to myself as I read the news off my smartphone. I leaned over and swiped several times to make sure the news I was getting was legitimate and ultimately I was flabbergasted. I was on the buson my way home from school and I couldn't, for the life of me, fathom the enormity of this tragedy. An openly sexist man against an experienced poised woman? How did this happen? When I watched the movie 'Idiocracy', prophetic as it was, I didn't expect to see the events unravel this soon in the history of the Earth. But boy was I wrong!

But as I was mulling over this catastrophe, it occurred to me that no matter how qualified or educated you are, to a faction of people you will still be the woman who is controlled by her hormones, who is feisty and 'bitchy'. Although Hillary Clinton's campaign was plagued by minor scandals such as benign emails exposing literally nothing worthy of mention, throughout her whole runshe was subjected to ad hominem attacks based on her gender and perceived lack of 'warmth' or 'relatable' traits.

Why is it that only men reserve the right to be stoic and assertive? Hillary Clinton was attacked for not being able to connect with the people (when in essence her plans were more humanistic and geared towards equality), she was attacked for being too boring (she wasn't running for best comedian), basically, she was attacked for not being able to make men feel proud of being men (in their mind, the superior sex). Some people openly admitted that they wouldn't vote for a woman while some people would disguise their misogyny under the cloak of 'religious beliefs', but sexism had a huge role to play in how the fate of the most powerful country on earth would fall in the tiny hands of a bigoted person.

Of course, it goes without saying that sexism isn't the only factor that came into play during these elections-racism, classism, the media- all those had a significant importance in shaping these elections. But what truly shocked me,a 21 year old female, was how nonchalantly claims of sexual abuse were tossed aside. You have it on tape-an elderly man bragging about 'grabbing women by their pussies', objectifying his own infant daughter, telling Howard Stern that he wouldn't mind if the latter described Ivanka Trump as a 'piece of ass'. The fact that women even voted for this man is infuriating and truly redolent of the culture of women in sexist countries who blindly follow tradition and condone acts of honor killing against their own! You would think years of evolution would imbue logic and common sense in some people, but it's 2016 and people in the first world are still reveling in their bigotry, how can we expect countries like Pakistan and India to stop discriminating against women when it's now considered the norm in civilized society? I'm truly aghast.

This story was submitted in response to After the US Election, Make Your Voice Heard.

Comments 15

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Jill Langhus
Nov 20, 2016
Nov 20, 2016

Hi LuxG. I totally agree with you, and I'm not sure quite how it happened and I'm still in shock, too. I am moving, however, away from shock toward acceptance, though. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and I can only assume at this point that the overriding reason is for people to really rise up for what they believe in, especially women. I believe women are becoming stronger, worldwide; rising up and speaking their truth. Perhaps it wouldn't be as necessary if Hillary had gotten in. We may never now now. I don't think the majority of the U.S. was ready for a female president, unfortunately. So, now we need to make the best of it, rise up and speak our truths, and bring as much love, positivity and compassion into our lives as possible because this election has brought up so much hate, as well as other world events that are also taking place right now. I appreciate you and your input. Thank you for your viewpoint.

LuxG
Nov 20, 2016
Nov 20, 2016

Thank you for your response!  With the rise of the alt right globally, there's a really pressing need to remind people why feminism is needed.  Have a good day ! :D

Jill Langhus
Nov 20, 2016
Nov 20, 2016

You're welcome:-) I think the term feminism needs to be re-framed. I have always been a feminist but the term isn't exactly supported in many environments (at least not the ones that I have been in). Most people, men and women, seem to view it as a power struggle between the genders rather than seeing it for what it is; equality between the two.

LuxG
Nov 20, 2016
Nov 20, 2016

I know what you're saying, the aversion towards the word 'feminism' comes from a place of deep ignorance.  Basically a generation of men have been brought up to think their entitlement in society is fading and they want to feel superior by belittling our call for equality, whether it be in the workplace or in society.  'Feminism' in itself is not a word that will evoke such hatred, it's the fear of losing their privilege in society, of having a female boss, of not being able to woo a girl because she can think for herself.  Just my 2 cents on the matter.

allie shep
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Hmmm - another great piece LuxG - but re your conversation above, I think I'm happy with 'feminism' as a term and 'feminist' as a person because I think it describes what I'm about as a woman. 

The fact that it's been hi-jacked by men as a "bad" word needn't concern us because we know what WE stand for, and if it does concern us we're playing into the hands of the men trying to destroy us.

Whatever we re-named ourselves would be equally pilloried by men anyway and would be open to further abuse as "re-branding", as if we were merely selling a commercial item that needed a "re-boot".

Feminism is, for me, a statement of my passion - which is wanting for myself and other women the right to work, play, love, discuss, relax, and just plain exist on a level playing field with a man.

When I was in my early teens and trying to call myself a feminist I had concerns about what other people thought. But when I moved to an all-girls school at age 16 I realised that feminism wasn't just a term that mean I wouldn't be stepped on. It became a state of mind in a way, telling me that I was equal to any male who cared to challenge me. At uni I and other girls were sometimes ribbed by boys, but that's what it was - ribbing, a jokey exchange - because they knew that we were sensible feminists who believed in equality for all.

So the word has always served me well.

I do realise as I've said elesewhere that I've led a sheltered life, and  my 'feminism' has been academic, not forcing me into conflicts physically. But feminism IS an academic chain of thought, not a war cry, and I'm sure women fighting for their lives either as people or BECAUSE they are women aren't concerned with their collective name.

Sorry if any of that sounded confrontational - it wasn't meant to, just a discussion or opinion. And writing it out like that has helped me to focus anyway!

Allie x

LuxG
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Thank you for your reply!  I absolutely agree with everything you've said especially this part :

'Feminism is, for me, a statement of my passion - which is wanting for myself and other women the right to work, play, love, discuss, relax, and just plain exist on a level playing field with a man.'

It's such a simple thing yet so many people disparage our pursuit for happiness as an affront to 'traditional values', 'family values' etc. It's depressing that this mentality is on the rise in many parts of the world.  

Have a good day :D

allie shep
Nov 22, 2016
Nov 22, 2016

First apologies LuxG, I guess I should have written my "speech" about feminism under your article about feminism!!

But writing it out made me feel happier about my feminism - and thank you for the reply.

World Pulse has helped me be more passionate about curing the problems we face.

You are so right that the 'mentality' that puts feminism down is on the increase. (Witness Trump and the people wno think his election gives them the right to condemn us.)

It is also the fault of the media. Feminism is NEVER reported and explained for what it is. We're still made to seem like outsiders who want to replace the life people know with lesbians in dungarees* who'll chop off little boys wieners and feed them to ravenous dogs!

*I have nothing against lesbians in dungarees (I have worn dungarees myself!) and I'm sure they aren't into castration, but it seems to be one of the images presented.

Jill Langhus
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

I suppose it could be ignorance but more of an unacceptance for what women are or could be. And, I have to admit that in the past it has seemed like it's sometimes a power struggle for men when you come across too strong or like they feel threatened. Probably some it is lack of flexibility as well, since they are used to the ways things are in society, as you said. I have noticed personally that in the past when I have come on too strong that it's not received very well, so I have to keep reminding myself that there is a time, place and also new skills that need to be learned for both sexes; for men more acceptance, flexibility and appreciation and for women patience with the new paradigm unfolding, compassion for the old system and ways, and also assertiveness so that we feel strong and empowered from a place of self empowerment. It's sad really, because life would be so much easier for everyone if everyone (men and women) was not only accepted but appreciated for their own unique capabilities, skills, gifts and character.

LuxG
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

It's always a power struggle in this world, sometimes it's people who think that their race is the superior race, sometimes it's men who think their gender entitles them to certain things in life.  In essence, as you've mentioned, all that is needed to quash these hateful stances, is tolerance and equal consideration.

Jill Langhus
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

You could be right. I don't think there needs to be any power struggles, though. That's what I find frustrating. It's just ego getting in the way all the time. We're all humans. It's such a waste of energy!

LuxG
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Indeed!  Though it's easier said than done.  We have come a long way since our barbarian or  'inquisition' days but there's no denying we still have a long way to go when it comes to educating people, sensitizing people on the importance of equal rights. 

Okeny-Lucia
Nov 22, 2016
Nov 22, 2016

Hi,

For me here in Africa ,it meant doom.It clearly show we still harbor mediocre ideologies on power,That the patriachial society still clings to the belief men must be ahead ,women behind to support their cause.It is absurd this thoughts masculinity still purposes to be the reality in a population calls itself democrat,freedom for all.Men and women have equal chances only in theory and not reality-period.The more politics becomes dirtier the better,we play by the game.However women must continue to look for more higher posts.I rest my case.

LuxG
Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016

You are indeed very right!  Mauritius is part of Africa too- although our experiences differ, the politics that rule the women here is very sexist and favors males by huge margins.

Have a good day!

Carrie Lee
Nov 22, 2016
Nov 22, 2016

Powerful words sister!  Thank you for your response.  I'm moving through so many emotions about what this means for and about our world.  For me personally, it means taking up more responsibility, speaking out more.  And the opportunity is obviously there- to speak out against the racism and misogyny that are considered norm.  

Perhaps that is exactly why this happened- so that as the old way becomes more apparent, we can rise, rise, rise in all our authentic power, and pave the new way.  

Blessings,

carrie 

LuxG
Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016

I completely agree with you!  Facing adversity with resilience and positivity helps to change the world for the better.