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After the Election: How Girls See the Future

After the Election: How Girls See the Future

There's a whole lot of heartbrokenness (and general brokenness), but plenty of optimism, too.

“When I woke up and I remembered what happened on election night, I just started crying. My chest is still tight remembering the moment they announced Pennsylvania had gone to Trump and I knew it was truly over. I am shocked and appalled that over 59 million people (and counting) voted for a petty, uncontrolled bigot rather than Clinton. She isn’t a perfect woman, certainly, but she is a woman not looking to turn back the clock to a time where marginalized voices were even less present than they are now. As a queer woman, I am so afraid of what our political future holds. I never thought I would live to see my (relatively recently-confirmed) rights stripped away. The mood today on my college campus is somber; last night you could hear people crying in the halls. Not only is Trump an unpredictable, despicable ideologue, but Mike Pence is no better (just more predictable). I don’t how we can hope to go forwards, instead of backwards. But the emotions here are shifting; our grief is advancing from shock to acceptance, with a deep desire to make change. Already, protests are being organized and messages of hope are being published. I’m ready to fight again. I thought my college experience would be influenced by the inauguration of the first female president of the United States, but now I realize that it will be filled by political protest and upheaval. I am surrounded by wonderful, talented, brave women and I know that we will not just sit down and take this. We have so much work to do.” — Caroline, 18

“I’m currently living in Seoul, Korea, but all of my friends are foreigners from around the world. This day, everyone — and I mean everyone — was interested in the election, no matter where they were from. This election was not just a U.S. election. Due to America’s position as one of the major superpowers, their decisions affect the world as a whole. As soon as Trump began leading, world stocks plummeted, suicide hotlines got very busy, and the dollar (and peso) dropped in value. If this doesn’t say anything about how the world feels right now, I don’t know what does. Now apart from that, I just wanted to share with you guys: there’s also so much drama going in Korea’s politics, which also happens to connect to the election. The president is at a 0% approval rate in many parts of the country, due to a huge scandal — she was associated with a cult leader who had been controlling her actions, decisions, speeches, and even money throughout the entirety of her presidency. On top of this, Trump had previously threatened to withdraw American troops from N/S Korean borders. President Park ended up congratulating Trump, despite South Korea’s disapproval of him, just to in a way, “suck up” to him. It’s crazy how everything can be so connected in ways. I’ve heard many Americans tell other countries to “mind their own business” and such, but the truth is, this has been brought to global attention. It’s causing turmoil everywhere.” — Soo, 16

“The fact that we are closer to me being on a bus to a conversion camp and closer to making abortions completely illegal makes me break out into hysterics. I am beyond scared of the idea that I could be put into a place where they will try and force me to be straight, or try and force me to be something I am not. I also can’t believe that in the case of sexual assault or an accident or something of that sort, a basic human right is removed from us. I cannot believe that this is the world we live in and that so many people support it.” — Sarah, 15

“For months I’ve planned to move here and spend the rest of my life in the U.S. Now I feel like I don’t have a home anymore. I’m French, and this election just shows me what’s gonna happen in France next year. I don’t know what to do, or where to go. I’m so scared.” — Julia, 26

“I know I’m from a very liberal area, but I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that so much of the nation supports a candidate who has said the things he’s said. And now I’m researching colleges in Finland.” — Sofia, 17

“I am physically sick. As a queer woman of color, I had so many issues riding on this election. Yes, neither candidate was ideal. But as a nation, we should’ve never stooped so low to let him win. Never.” — Dymond, 18

“I’m terrified. I have horrible anxiety, and I had to skip school today because it got so bad. I have a single lovely mother and we could lose our house due to Trump’s proposed taxes.” — Wren, 15

“I’ve never been a political person nor have I ever really spoken publicly about politics since its such a touchy subject, but being part of the LGBT+ community, a minority, and a FEMALE, I’m terrified at the thought that our representative for the United States will be someone who disrespects women and minorities. This is not the representative America deserves, nor do his beliefs and values reflect a growing generation of millennials.” — Megan, 19

“I just went through the seven stages of grief in a matter of a few hours, and in an odd sense, I’m pretty impressed at that. Anyways, heads up to anyone who plans on being sexually active in the next four years — consider getting an IUD between now and Jan 20th.” — Madonna, 20

“As I write this comment, I’m sitting in my dorm’s lounge. Students are planning to protest and wondering how this could even happen. Everyone is completely shocked. It’s a tough reality that we have to accept. For now, we can celebrate how far women have come since the 19th Amendment and recognize the strides women have made to enable Hillary Clinton to be the official Democratic nominee.” — Autumn, 17

“I cannot comprehend how so many Americans would want someone so uneducated, sexist, and racist to represent our country. America is supposed to be a great progressive nation but Trump winning will put us back years. Why would you vote for someone who is accused of sexual assault and being inappropriate numerous times? Just because you think Hillary lied about her emails? Newsflash: All politicians lie. I will never understand how Trump won when so many people actually fear him and now want to leave this country.” — Elizabeth, 18

“So many lives are endangered by a Trump presidency. Having him in that position of power only enables those who have held hatred for the entirety of their existences. This election is reflective of the Andrew Jackson election, and that was the worst in our history. We learn about history to avoid repeating it but it seems to be all that sadly prevails.” — Sydney, 16

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