The day after the election I made the editorial decision to shutter Literally, Darling for the day. To say we were staggered by the election results would be an understatement. We chose to button up, hold each other close, and support one another before we put on our brave faces to face the future.
Throughout the day young women of different races, creeds, and sexuality came together and shared their pain. The honesty and rawness of their horror was both horrifying, but there was a purity in it. And strangely enough, it was a place to find hope. For in our darkest despair there was evidence that the next generation won’t let this happen again. We won’t stand for hate, we won’t be defined by it, and woe betide anyone who tries to break us. Our pain right now will be the foundation for change the likes of which this nation has never seen.
We grieve because roughly half of our country did not care enough to vote. We grieve because roughly 25% of our country voted for Trump, and roughly 75% did not. And he still won the presidency.
So yes, this week we will cry. Next week, the world will learn what it means to piss off nasty women.
Grace: Because I’m American
I’ve frequently wondered why people from war-torn countries, or those led by insufferable dictators, don’t just leave and start a new life in a better place. If you’d asked me last week, or any time in the past year, what I would do if Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, my answer would have been that my family and I were planning to move to Canada, and were currently trying to decide between Montreal and Toronto. I was so set in this decision, feeling that I could in no way support my country electing this man and would not stay. Early Wednesday morning, after looking at my phone and seeing my worst nightmare come true, I stared at my ceiling in shock. After about 20 minutes, I started to cry. I’m not a person of color, I’m not a member of the LGBTQ community, and I’m not an immigrant, but I am a woman. And more importantly, I’m an American. This is my home.
We are all threatened by a Trump presidency, and now is not the time to give up and flee. So I’ll stay, and I’ll fight.
Erin: Because of the things he said.
I cried because instead of electing someone immensely qualified, who is a role model to millions of girls, yet disliked because of the Paris effect, we elected someone who disqualified a woman by saying, “She was bleeding from her…wherever.” Oh, and don’t tell me that shit was locker room talk. Role models shouldn’t be talking like that, even in a locker room.
Corri: Because of what it says to me as a woman.
I looked at this election as a movement for women anywhere; this classy, elegant, qualified woman was running for president—that is such an amazing, inspiring thing to see as a young woman. It gave me hope. It let me see a future where women could get elected to these positions because Americans realized, finally, that women are just as qualified. Instead of that dream becoming a reality, however, America decided to elect a man with absolutely no experience or class or dignity to speak of. Do you know what that says to me? That a man who is so laughably under-qualified for a position is still a better pick than a women—god forbid we put a vagina in office, right?
Korey: Because of the anger he represents
Wednesday morning at work, I cried. My coworkers cried. There was a silence, a mourning. As we went about our day, there was a notable difference in our attitudes. Less jokes, more hugs. And as much as the results of the election hurt, I saw so much hope in the way we were treating each other: with kindness, respect, and love. But then I checked Facebook. Dozens of posts from my Trump-supporting friends and family telling us to “get over it” and “grow a pair.” People who I worshipped with, people who also post about the redeeming love of Christ. If one man has the ability to bring out such grade-school meanness in good people, then what will the next four years look like? How will we explain to our children that, yes, an accused rapist is our President, but no, that doesn’t make it okay? How will we hold each other, all of us, and block out the pain at being brought back in time to the sources of our own scars? Flashing back to our rapes, our attacks, our microaggressions. Every day being reminded of the pain, and that the society we live in doesn’t care about us, and what’s more, has put a man in charge of us who jokes about such things. For me, seeing Christians rally behind this man has seriously made me question my faith. I’ll forever have my relationship with Christ, but now, things are so different and I can no longer relate to those I thought shared my same morals and beliefs.
Gretchen: Because of the world I’m bringing my child into
I went to bed November 8th anxious and thinking of all the horrendous things he has said about people I love and about me as a woman. When I woke up and saw the news I burst into tears and started sobbing “I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry” over and over again to my growing child. I prayed I have a son, because this America would be more kind to him than if I had a daughter. I felt guilty that my husband and I had decided to bring life into the world and prayed that I would have the guidance to teach my child tolerance and love in a hateful world. The world I entered was much different than the one my child will.
Meghan: Because he is the antithesis of love.
It’s been only three days since Donald Trump became our President-elect, and already I’ve found myself crying more than I’ve ever cried before. It’s not just because it feels like an assault on so many of our personal freedoms, but because it feels like a loss. We are a nation bereaved. We grieve, for the loss of liberty, for the potential protection he intends to repeal, for the normalization of rape culture, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and outrageous and horrific rhetoric towards our brothers and sisters of different colors, faith, ability, and love. We weep for the hate that has come out of the woodwork. For the hate that people now believe is acceptable. We weep for the loss of love.
Molly: Because as much as we want to, we can no longer protect people from this kind of hatred and prejudice.
The President-elect has just validated all the hatred and fear and discrimination that has been stewing under the surface of this country. I cry, because I have never been so ashamed to be a part of my demographic as when I heard the percentage of white women who had supported Trump in spite of his blatant sexism and cavalier attitude on sexual assault, and because such a massive percentage of Americans either couldn’t be bothered to go vote- or were convinced that their voices wouldn’t matter. Because I know what it feels like to be followed and harassed. To tell someone, “no, stop” and be ignored. Because I know too many women who have been assaulted and violated- and now men are parading around saying they can grab whoever they want by the pussy. After all, Trump did it, and look where it’s gotten him- the presidential nomination. Because I had to ask my mum if I would still have access to my birth control moving forwards- because there are so many women who will not. Because homosexuality is not a crime. Because Muslim does not mean terrorist. Because some of the best people I have met in my life are minorities. Because even though the most qualified presidential candidate ever won the popular vote, a less qualified man still got the job- god forbid we have a vagina in power. Because Trump supporters don’t understand we aren’t upset because our candidate didn’t win- we aren’t being brats or sore losers. We won’t just ‘suck it up like they did when Obama won.’ We are scared, because we don’t know how to protect the people we love. We cry because hate won. We are angry, because women, minorities, and the LGTBQ community have just been told, yet again, that we are inferior. But we are powerful, because we are stronger together, and you can be sure as hell that we will never let this happen again.
Jenny: Because we deserve better.
I was born in Cairo, Egypt and I lived among mostly Muslim people. I woke up to the call to prayer and saw faithful people praying for themselves, for their families, and for others. Random strangers smiled at me, tousled my hair, and kissed me on the streets. They were kind and respectful to me and my family. They deserve better. I served my LDS mission in southern California where I worked with Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants, some illegal some not. I saw how much they loved their family and how terrified there were of returning back to their home countries. One woman cried as she told us that her sister was planning on crossing the border soon, but instead a gang had gotten hold of her and her child and beheaded them in the street. I saw her cry when her husband was deported and sent back to where her sister was just killed. This woman and her family had gotten out of that terrible place and come here. Not to rape. Not to steal jobs. But to raise what was left of her family away from that. They deserve better. I am an LGBTQIA ally. I attend meetings with my friends who are struggling so hard to figure out their identities and their sexual identities that they become depressed and often turn to self-harm or thoughts of suicide because they don’t know how to cope. They are trying to figure out where they fit into society and to surround themselves with people that love them. They deserve better. I am from Quantico, Virginia, where I live in a community with countless veterans and active military members. They fight both physically and mentally to protect our country and when they are done, they are left with guilt and nightmares. They are not weak. They deserve better. I am currently unable to walk very far. The black community has suffered through years of racism and oppression already. Racism is still radically present in the United States, as shown by the fact that a man that was endorsed by the KKK and refers to black people as “the blacks,” was just elected. The black community deserves better. I am classified as temporarily disabled. I have been sexually assaulted. I am a woman. I plan to be a mother. And I cannot bear to think that a man that has no respect for more than half the population (women + minorities) was placed in power. I look at him and I see the fact of my sexual predator, given the power to represent the country that I love. My future daughters deserve better than a world where men like this exist, let alone where men like this are elected into the highest office of the United States. I ache because I deserve better. They deserve better. We deserve better.
Olivia: Because I believed our country would do better
I am a military brat, through and through. I have grown up serving my country with my family–and in my family patriotism has always been synonymous with diversity and care. I have watched my father become a significant leader in our United States Armed forces, and he has done so through his determination, his activism, and his commitment to what is fair and what is right. I have walked through the halls of the Pentagon by his side, as he greets shocked, stoic faces with simple niceties. He raised me to believe in myself–and to believe in the good of this world, and his has lived it every moment. He raised me to be dependent on no person–no man, no entity, no individual– other than myself. He raised me to be confident and kind, unconditional in my love but strong in my convictions. He is not naive, he is not even (necessarily) an optimist–he has seen more horrors than I ever have–and has worked to protect me, and others, from having to see them. He still does.
He raised me to believe in an America that, if flawed, was mostly good. He raised me to believe in an America that would stumble, and maybe fall, but that was ultimately going to swing in the direction of progress–even if we couldn’t’ achieve perfection.
And as I sat on Tuesday night and I watched our country turn red, as I watched the anger and the fear overtake compassion and care I felt chills of horror and despondency and disappointment. I cried, because all I could think of were the honorable men and women like my father, whose Commander and Chief was elected from the depths of ignorance and hatred. I cried for my little brother, my friends’ fiancés, my adopted uncles and aunts– all people of character, of unyielding good, of unwavering courage and bravery, who are now to be led by a man who epitomizes fear.
I cried, and my heart simply broke for us all.
Kristin U: Because the pain in my stomach won’t go away
I cry because the knotted feeling in my stomach won’t go away. I cry because I am afraid of the impact his presidency will have on young people. I am terrified that no matter where on earth you are, his effects as president will still reach you, due to his regard of climate change as a hoax. I am afraid for my sisters and brothers of all creed. And I am desperately saddened when I think of how much progress the country has made in the past eight years, and how that progress will surely be tuned back. I am grieved that as I prepare to internationally travel for three weeks this December, I am contemplating telling people I am Canadian. Not because I am ashamed to be American, as I will stay here to fight for what I believe, but because I am now afraid that people will believe that I tout the same hateful belief system that our President-elect believes.