Featured Writer: Tara Beppel
The Election Edition
TARA BEPPEL talks about what it now feels like to be a woman living in the USA, and how November 8th will be marked as one of the darkest events in our country history.
So this is what it feels like to be Grabbed by the Pussy.
For the first time in my life, I feel persecuted for who I am.
You see, I am a white woman. I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in the beautiful suburbs of Philadelphia, went to an all girl’s Catholic high school, and was apparently never properly prepared for this. While raised to work hard, do my best, and to earn things, I was realistically never denied a single thing I could have asked for. I was privileged. I am undeniably, luxuriously, and painstakingly privileged.
I’ve never really understood what it’s like to struggle in life for reasons that are simply out of my control. I’ve never struggled in life simply for being who I am, or so I thought. Raised by generation after generation of passionate and outspoken feminists, I was taught to fight for my gender. As a result of my given environments, I never really had to exercise those commands that my Mother and Grandmother so adamantly engrained into my head. I was sheltered in ways that they were not at my age.
When I got to college, it became more and more evident to me—the inequality that women truly face outside of my tiny insignificant bubble in Ambler, Pennsylvania. However, yet again, Fordham protected me. It was my own bubble away from bubble that perpetuated the same values, but never really challenged me to truly observe and fight these now seemingly stark inequalities.
Then, I was thrown into the real world; a feminist, yes, but apparently an idealist as well. The challenges I would face in the past three years as a woman far supersede that of being catcalled on a New York City street. I have been sexually harassed at my work on more than a few separate occasions, I have dealt with condescending male counterparts, and I have most certainly lost jobs to lesser-qualified men.
November 8th marks one of the darkest events in our country’s history. A misogynistic, racist bigot has assumed the highest authority not only in our country, but arguably in the world. He is the man that now has control over my rights, and while some would say that Congress will act as a system of checks and balances, I think that coward Paul Ryan has certainly assured us that is not the case. I never knew before now how horrible it truly is to be attacked for being who you are, being who you were born to be, and told you are not good enough as a result.
My healthcare, my body, and my future is completely at stake, and I only fit one of the far less offensive buckets that Mr. Donald Trump has deemed unworthy. A friend of mine pointed out a disappointing yet true point to me the other day. As a gay Asian American, he asked that I use my voice specifically as a white woman to educate others. It’s sad, but other white folk are more inclined to listen to fellow white folk. While I might be feeling persecuted for my gender, there are people like him who are fighting multiple battles against Mr. Trump and “his” America. If I feel this let down by my political system and my fellow Americans, how does a young Black or Muslim woman feel, someone whose parents came to the United States so that she would not have to suffer the oppression that plagued her birth country? I can only imagine being a double or even triple target for the man that I might not like, but am theoretically supposed to respect.
Well, I assure you, Mr. President, I have not one ounce of respect for you in my weaker, lesser, female body. I have zero respect for you as a citizen of what seemed to be the greatest country in the world as of November 7th. And I sure as hell will never respect you as my president.
The holidays will be hard this year. The holidays will be lonely this year. If it’s just me and my brother eating a rotisserie chicken on the floor of his Bushwick apartment, at least I will be able to sleep soundly knowing that I advocated for what is right, that I stood up for those who needed it most. That’s something Donald Trump will never know, and something Hillary Rodham instituted.