Written by: Carina Minami Uchida and Celia Pannetier, your co-editors for the blog, in reflection of the US election results.
The Commentary section is where one can express their opinions freely, in whatever format or tone they wish to, we are always looking for those who are interested in postulating their thought processes in writing.
Hate is a very strong word. Hate is the word we used to describe our least favourite foods when we were little. In the way our lips articulate hate, emphasis on the T, is the way we solely express our unwanted.
We do not know when hate became synonymous to votes. We do not know a lot of things, as seen with the results of the US election. Hate has been thrown around so much that similarly to when we repeat the same word over and over, it loses it’s meaning and we are stuck in the repetition of noise. There has been a lot of noise, perhaps too much. When did making noise become synonym to being electable?
The politics of hate is plightful not because we are not used it, but because we thought history had taught us enough about the precariousness of loathing each other. It is painful despite the sun still rising because we truly believed we were in the era of progress, but most importantly in the era of compassion through interconnectivity. We trusted that our peoples were loving and considerate enough for kindness to trump hatred, misogyny and racism even in the game of politics.
This is not a political message to persuade or express rage, it is grievance. We are in sorrow for the past 8 years, or come to think of it, for the past century of growing acceptance that seems to be on the brink of resetting. We are grieving because we are uncertain. We are grieving because we, the young generation, had faith in our institutions but mostly in our peoples.
Hillary Clinton, so close to shattering the glass ceiling, is now a clear representation that even in the 21st century (although now that moral authority of progress is questionable), we are subdued by the subconsciousness that womanhood does not indicate leadership. Yes, we could go on forever about the reasons behind the result, instead let us ode to a great woman who has devoted her whole adulthood to public service. Regardless of whether one agrees with her policies or not, her accomplishments are remarkable and her perseverance despite gendered backlash, a pinnacle of success. We are endowed to Hillary not only for her political achievements but for paving the way for young women and girls into a vast world of opportunities, one which is rocky but hopefully not lonesome.
It is ever so difficult to be graceful amidst our fears for women and all minorities that do not fit the mold of whiteness. There is fear because that is what fed Donald Trump and as of recently, the majority of the electoral votes. We acknowledge that he has triumphed amidst the anti-establishment narrative, reaching out to those who felt excluded from globalisation. Certainly, not all Trump supporters voted to express disagreement with a female president, or condescension towards women in general. It is a shift in the status quo, which is not by default or an accident, the reality is that such seems to be more important than sexual assault charges and outrageously sexist (and continuous) comments. Not to mention lack of experience and countless insults. When diversity becomes equivalent to unemployment and racial hierarchies are not only reiterated but supported by millions, we tremble and clench our hearts for ourselves, our friends and others. He does not stand alone, which is what scares us the most.
Unfortunately, freedom for some seems to come at the expense of freedom for others. This mutually exclusive trade off is saddening as we, including the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Blog, were allowed to thrive on the foundations of empowerment. By echoing Hillary Clinton after the election, “to all the little girls [and not so little girls] who are watching: never doubt that you are valuable and powerful…to pursue and achieve your goals”, we hope to end this election reflection by wiping away tears and raising chins. We are more than those who lead us, and more than those who resent us. From Breaking the Glass Ceiling to you, we are grieving but we are not surrendering.