In the past few months there has been a lot of negative thoughts and comments about President Trump. I openly admit I sit way left of the current US Administration, and yet I think their comments, promises and action have the potential to be an enormous gift to women.
Since the 1960’s the women’s movement has been divided. Before then women’s groups and other civil rights groups like those representing black or indigenous peoples had a lot in common to fight for. Since then their interests have diverged. I don’t believe this was intentional. Each group focussed on what was most important to their interest group and what they saw as the greatest inequity against them. Completely understandable but it weakened the women’s movement. 51% of the world’s population identifies as female. These women are black, white, Hispanic, Asian as well as as lesbian, bisexual, straight. They are transgendered and cisgendered and able bodied and persons with disabilities. An unfortunate downside to the progress we have made for the rights of all people has divided the support for women’s issues. As a white woman who grew up in Canada and who has had access to education I recognize that I am not in a position to comment on whether a person identifies as someone of their race or sexual orientation or ethnicity or culture or level of abilities before or after they identify as a woman. Understandably this debate has thwarted the woman’s movement for decades.
Enter President Trump. His attitude, his comments and his actions have lowered the feminist response to one not focussed on how many women are in boardrooms or if a glass ceiling still exists to more basic rights of opposing sexual assault and reproductive health. President Trump has come to power at a time when his style of leadership and political views fan the flames that inspire Black Lives Matter movement. They enrage the immigrant rights groups on the basic freedoms not afforded to many people who have lived and worked and created homes in North America. They infuriate the LGBT2 community many of whom suddenly find themselves suddenly fighting for access to washrooms. All of this seems like a shift in priorities to me.
I am hopeful that 2017 is looked back on as a year of unification. I am hopeful this time is looked back on as the moment that finally balanced the power across gender, race, sexual orientation and identity, and ability as well as a time where humanity embraced its differences and recognized the beauty in our uniqueness and our common ground.
I am hopeful that President Trump will be remembered as the man who united women and underrepresented populations to band together and fight for the rights and recognition they deserve. To end the dichotomy faced by women unsure if they want to declare themselves as a woman of colour or as a black/Asian/Hispanic/Indigenous woman.
Pussyhats off to you President Trump! You may very well be the person able to unite western women! Our struggle is real and we will unite to ensure our basic right to live free of violence and the threat of violence and to enshrine our rights as equal members of this planet with all of those in power and without. We can unite to ensure the rights of all people are advanced. We will succeed in ensuring a fair, equitable, and balanced future for North America and hopefully positively impact on the rest of the world as well. Thank you President Trump for uniting us! Thank you for showing us that there is too much to fight for to be divided! We shall overcome! We can do it! Viva la revolution! It takes a nation of millions to hold us back!
MLK may have been the best but he wasn’t the only one with a dream…