Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After the Election

Yesterday, I woke up bright and early to get to the polls in the morning.  I waited in line for over 75 minutes to get my ballot and punch in my votes.  As I worked from home, I kept an eye on the news, waiting anxiously for 5PM to come, for the polls to close.  Our household gathered after work, watching the results of the election come in live.  Like the rest of the world, we were glued to our screens.  We watched the electoral votes come in with sinking stomachs as the outcome we had neither predicted nor wanted solidified itself.  

I don't ever discuss politics on Lumière & Lens — it's meant to be a place of light, not controversy.  However, it's the day after the election and I am still reeling from the events of last night.  This is less a political essay and more of a post-election catharsis.  Last night, I had hoped that the United States of America would make history by electing Hillary Clinton as our first female president on the heels of our first Black one.  Instead, the presidential glass ceiling remained intact and she delivered her concession speech this morning with grace, dignity, intelligence, and composure.  

I am angry.  I am in shock.  I am in disbelief.  But, mostly, I am filled with sadness and fear for women, the LGBT community, people of color, and the nation.  This was an extremely divisive election where it was clear that education, race, gender, and sexual identity played huge roles in the votes.  The New Yorker dubbed the election results a tragedy and it certainly feels like one.  I had hoped that we were living in more progressive times, but the nation has elected a figure that appeals to the deep rooted racism, sexism, homophobia, and misogyny in the bowel of America.  This very act is frightening because having a person in power who built a campaign off these values normalizes hatred and imparts tacit permissiveness for people to act on such sentiments.  

This election was a huge step back in progressiveness.  I shudder at how many people cast their votes because they didn't want a female president or because they harbored xenophobic beliefs.  Or how much power the uneducated truly have in our legislation.  The age old adage "Knowledge is power" was completely upset last night.  Election night was terrifying proof that a man can openly admit to sexually assault and still win the presidency while a woman's transgressions are never forgiven.  Hate, ignorance, overt sexism, and discrimination overwhelmed and won this election.  

As a woman in science and non-white entity, I can't help but feel like I have a target on my back.  I fear for the future of women's rights, racial and gender tolerance, international relations, and scientific progress, to name just a few issues.  And at the moment, I am not sure of what to do with that fear.  At the same time, I've never felt more grateful for my education or the rights and privileges I still retain.   

This morning, I received and sent many messages of love and support.  Separated by hundreds of miles, loved ones reached out to one another.  I want to believe that love trumps hate even though the numbers have proven otherwise.  I want to hold on to the gratitude I have for the goodness that is around me.  I had a choice when I voted and  I can choose how I want to carry on.  I refuse to take part in hate, discrimination, and intolerance.  I REFUSE.  Push to spread love, unity, and support, not hate.  Be kind.  Educate yourself.  Be greater than the masses who supported hate and bigotry.  Create the better future.  

"Never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. [...]
And to all the little girls who are watching this,
never doubt that you are powerful and valuable and deserving of every opportunity."
- Hillary Clinton, 11/09/16



  1. I think it is just insane that Trump is there. Honestly, I always thought it was such a joke but alas he is here where he is...

    nat // dignifiable

  2. I'm still with her, too. Beautifully written, JXL.

  3. I wasn't that shocked if I'm honest. The fact that he was still allowed to run just proved how racism and sexism exists just as much as it did 100 years ago.

  4. Like Nat, I can't believe it actually happened. The fact he was elected is terrifying, hopefully there's not too much damage done in the next few years.

  5. Well said Alyse....I think the world felt the same fear, anger and trepidation. We have to remind ourselves, it's not 1 person who runs the White House but a whole body of people, who we can only hope have America's best interest at heart. xx

  6. I was tuning into the concession speech at work, and I still wasn't able to process the outcome like so many others. It's scary, and honestly I daren't imagine how everything will be from now on. I hope there are competent enough people in power to make sure everything doesn't fall apart, and undo what's come a long way for the last 8 years...

  7. Our last general election and 'brexit' have made me wary of paying too much attention to the polls, but I still had belief and so much hope. But now we must stand up for what we believe in, find light in the darkness and love each other, because we all deserve so much better than this.

  8. I'm still shocked as well. Can't believe that this happened. I'm sending all the love your way. Stay strong, America :) xx

    - Leta | The Nerdy Me

  9. i still want someone to shake me from this horrible dream. 2016 has been a big joke. you will persevere, alyse. love trumps hate. continue to fight /sending hugs and kitties and puppies and lattes <3

  10. I was pretty dismayed at the news too, but can only put hope that we can stand together and that the bullying, racism, and sexism will not be the majority. History has shown us that social progress is usually not linear, so though we hope it to be, we do have to try to look at this setback with a positive attitude and try to continue to spread love.

    Characters & Carry-ons