An Open Letter to My Friends Who Voted for Donald Trump

My dear friend,

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, especially when you know it’s likely to be filled with sadness and anger. I know this is uncomfortable, but I also know that you care about me. That’s why we’re friends. Thank you for your respect; I will strive to show the same to you.

It’s easy to rant against Trump supporters in the abstract, but not against you, because I know you. I know you’re not racist, or sexist, or homophobic. I know you respect and care for me and others like me. And that’s why, as a woman, as a Millennial, as a writer, and as your friend, I have to let you know how your vote feels, and more importantly, how it functions, to me.

Donald J. Trump has now been elected to become arguably the most powerful person on the planet. He has been catapulted onto perhaps the largest and loudest platform a human can have. And I, as a woman, am deeply hurt by this. We have handed a gigantic megaphone clad in the stars and stripes to a man who repeatedly discusses women as having value based only on their sexual attractiveness to him. He attacks women who disagree with him not by dismantling their ideas, but by calling them “nasty,” “unattractive,” “very hard to be a 10,” saying they don’t “look presidential,” have “the face of a dog,” and asking, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”.

This is a man who has said that if a woman is sexually harassed in the workplace, it is her job to leave. A man who called a lawyer “disgusting” in court when she requested a medical break to pump breast milk for her infant daughter. A man who has insulted the appearance of his rivals’ wives to undermine their masculinity. A man who said of a ten-year-old girl as she left, “I’m going to be dating her in ten years. Can you believe it?” A man who explained sexual assault in the military as what happens “when you put men & women together.” A man who has bragged about sexual assault, not really apologized for it, and then ridiculed the women who accused him of the same, saying one “would not be [his] first choice,” that she wasn’t even attractive enough to assault.

He is teaching the young people of this country that women like me are worth less, that our ideas are secondary to the utility of our bodies. That I am a piece of meat and my value is tied directly to how much he wants to consume me. That everyone else in society is free to treat me in the same way. And that in treating me that way, in fact, “nobody has more respect for women than [he does].”

Donald Trump is about to become the face of our nation to the world. The president does not unilaterally pass laws, or strike them down, or overturn court cases. He does set the conversation and tell the world who we are and what we’re about. He does lead the process of executing the laws. He does not respect me, and he will not represent me. I do not trust a Trump administration to prioritize enforcing the laws that protect me, because he has never prioritized respecting me.

I cannot speak for the friends of color I know you have. I cannot speak for the friends with disabilities I know you have. I cannot speak for the LGBT friends I know you have. I cannot speak for the friends of different religions I know you have.

I can speak only for myself. And I am hurt and dehumanized by the man who earned your vote.

I have no intention of unfriending you, or ignoring you, or avoiding you. I will have whatever conversations you want that we can have with love. I am not a single issue voter, and I’m happy to talk at another time about why I think the vast majority of his other rhetoric and policy are also unacceptable, some of which I’ve expounded here.

But I am heartbroken by the message that treating me this way is not only acceptable, it may even get you the highest office in the land.

I’m not upset because my team lost, because states went red instead of blue. I am upset because this country told me that it is acceptable, maybe even “honest” and “telling it like it is,” to treat me and others like shit.

And I know that you don’t believe that. So let me say that voting for him doesn’t mean that you have to put up with the things that he says and does that you know are wrong. Protest isn’t limited to the “losers.”

I know that my writing a blog post is not dialogue, but I hope it leads to some. And if I break down in tears when we do talk, you’ll know one reason why.

With love,
Chloe

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