I voted for Hillary Clinton. But I didn’t just vote to see the first woman president. I voted for every time I’ve been grabbed on the street, for every time I’ve been discarded like a senseless piece of property. I voted for every time I, and the women in my life, have been interrupted, assaulted, and pushed aside by men like Donald Trump. I wanted someone in office who understood what it’s like to be a constant target, not a constant shooter.
I have experienced firsthand the emotional and physical violence that results from the ignorance and entitlement of men like that. And when the race was called early this morning, it was the most frightened I have ever been.
But I have learned one thing in life. All you can do is move forward. And in the dark hour I turned, as I always do, to my books. Tolstoy wrote a great deal about peace and nonviolent protest. In fact, his texts were inspiration for activists like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. To me, last night, he said, “We lost because we told ourselves we lost.”
I can’t control the actions of our government, of our country. But I can work personally, every day, to make this world a better place. Falling into this pit of despair is how we lose. Reliving past wounds is why they never heal.
I can’t tell you that it’s going to be okay. I can’t tell you that the abuse of women and minorities won’t continue to rise. But if we each work to do good in our own lives, I believe that many of us can survive this. Tolstoy said, “The greatest warriors are patience and time,” and I am ready to fight.