Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Letter To My Young Nieces In The Era Of Trump

My nieces Sydney and Alex are "nasty women"
in the best possible and young women like them
will get us through the Trump years, just you wait. 
This open letter is to my nieces Sydney and Alex, who are super sharp college age young women. This letter, from an old white man in Vermont who is thinking about Donald Trump, is also to all young women and girls.  

Dear Sydney and Alex: 

With the election of Donald Trump, you might not feel like this is a great time for a woman to rev up her young adult life.

Once again, old white men decided that a woman's place is not in the House, Senate or White House, but someplace subservient. Which of course is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Oh sure, there were many reasons Hillary Clinton was not elected president, but her being a woman was one of them, as we all surely know.

This time, the old, white men who had such an influence on selecting a president brought us one that really doesn't appreciate women, to say the least. The misogyny during the campaign was breathtaking.

Women are right to worry about what a Trump presidency will bring. Women are right to worry about the future. After all, the Powers That Be seem to want to go back to the days when women were truly considered second class citizens.

But you'd be wrong to give up in despair.

This is a setback, definitely.  But remember, Syd and Alex, you are "nasty women." You know what I mean. During one of the debates Trump snarled that Hillary Clinton is a "nasty woman." Women embraced that moniker as a badge of power, strength, purpose and morality. All of which made me cheer joyfully.

The nation remains full of young, nasty women, like you, and your numbers are growing.  This old white guy knows that what the nation needs more than anything is legions of nasty women.  The more the better.

Here's the dirty little secret: Old white men who voted for Trump are VERY afraid of nasty women.

Because women, particularly the "nasty"ones, are what will get us through this situation. Your uncle Jeff and I are a gay couple, part of one of the groups targeted as not worthy by some of the Trumpeters. Jeff and I and other LGBTQ people aren't necessarily the principal targets here, at least compared to Latinos, Muslims and African Americans, but we've nonetheless been put on notice.

Nasty women like you also know that love Trumps hate. Alex, I'm particularly happy you posted the following on Facebook:

"To Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their supporters.
I am a woman and I love you.
I support black lives matter and I love you.
I am a feminist and I love you
I am Christian and I love you."

What this tells me is all the nasty women like you, Alex and Syd, will be the ones that lead us out of the darkness in a purposeful, peaceful way.  I wish old white guys like Jeff and I would finally realize that it's always women who make things work when things go to hell.

You know, Rosie the Riveter in World War II. The labor organizer Mother Jones. The simple, honest grace and intelligence of Anne Frank and young Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai. The "when they go low, we go high" moral clarity of Michelle Obama. And so, so many others.

You will surely get down and depressed at times during the Trump era, but let me explain something else:

I don't normally lecture young women this way, but really, listen to your mother. She's a strong, assertive, smart woman who's trained you well to take on the world. She's a really nasty woman. Thank God.  And you're lucky to have a father who insists on letting you be you.

Everyone should be so lucky.

In her gracious concession speech, Clinton spoke to you, and girls much younger than you:

"Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but someday, someone will - and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."

Hillary Clinton was wrong about some things, but she was so very spot on here. Clinton, like me and your Uncle Jeff, understand the world needs you and all the other nasty girls and women more than ever.

Pop star Katy Perry, a strong woman in her own right who backed Hillary Clinton, is correct when she tweeted after the election. "The revolution is coming," and "Rise up."

I can feel that revolution approaching in a thunderous roar from millions of wonderful, nasty women.

It's up to you, Syd and Alex, to be part of this coming revolution of young women who will finally change the world for the better. I know it will happen.

Your Uncle Jeff and I can't wait to see what you do.

Love, Uncle Matt.

No comments:

Post a Comment