If I'm going to be honest, it hasn't really been the easiest to work on anything Strugglista related the past few days. Like a lot of the country, I'm in a state of shock, a state of mourning; mourning, for the peace and progress I naively believed we were working towards. The results of this election shoot past the disappointment of my candidate losing. If that were the case, I'd be bummed, but would respect the transition of power. This was more than Democrat versus Republican. For me, personally, this was a case of politician I'm not over the moon about, versus a man who refrained from showing any sense of decency for the past year and change of his campaign. I've said it before, and I will say it again: Hillary Clinton was not my dream candidate. To be honest, I'm not sure if in the history of my voting ability I've seen a dream candidate, even as incredible and wonderful as I think Obama has been. But that person may not exist at all, or be able to exist, in the realm of American politics. Which is sad, but a story for another day.
But I know for sure that Donald Trump was not my dream candidate either. For. Sure. I know for sure that a person who encourages discrimination, hatred, and violence is not my dream anything. And I refuse to pardon the behavior he exhibited, especially as it has resulted in the intimidation and threatened safety of so many.
For the past few days I've asked myself, "Where do we go from here? What can possibly be done?" I've read the point of views from the many Trump voters who do not support his bigoted, misogynistic rhetoric, and have tried to understand where they're coming from. I do believe, and find legitimate, a lot of their reasons for electing the candidate they did, but that has not made it any easier to move past the pain and fear I, and others, now feel—both as a woman and a minority. So where do we go from here?
Well, as I see it there are two choices. The first is back and down. We become rooted in our divides, pointing fingers and accusing one another of being sexists, racists, classists, elitists, closed-off, closed-minded, and so on and so on. We stumble backwards into the trenches we've dug for one another, and stay there for refuge. Personally, that sounds like a dreadful option. Trenches are not fun. History should have taught us that by now.
The second choice is to move forward and up. We hold our heads high, embracing the wonderful diversity within ourselves, and present it to the world in a manner that is open, respectful, compassionate, and willing to learn. We walk our strides of pride, and admire one another for it. The best offense here is not defense. The best offense here is shutting the fuck up and listening to each other, for once. It is examining the plumage of this bird, and that one, and the one way over there, and seeing what makes them different from one another, what makes them exceptional, what makes them vulnerable, and what symbiotic relationship can be formed within this hodge podge flock that is our country. And then, maybe then, we can figure out a flight pattern that works for all of us.
Sound Pollyannaish? It's really not. I'm not promoting holding hands, and singing Kumbaya, and braiding each other's hair. Not at all. In fact, that sounds like a tailored nightmare, because I don't like being touched or singing—both of those activities make me very uncomfortable—and also my hair is a hot mess, and I honestly don't trust anyone to deal with it other than myself and the man who cuts it. All I'm saying is that we have to figure out a way to coexist. It's not impossible. We only make it sound like it is, which, sorta contributes to the reality of it. Kinda makes you wonder what would happen if we changed our tune. Or, bird call, if you will.
Sandra Rubel vintage couture; American Apparel belts; Zara earrings; Jeffrey Campbell heels.