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What Comes Next?


I had such a different post planned for today. I was going to talk about that picture, the one of me in 6th grade wearing a pantsuit. And I was going to say that the dreams I had at 12 years old, the dream of equal pay and equal opportunities in the workplace, of the right to control my body, the dream of giving a presentation without being talk over by a man, the dream of thinking that I could be anything I wanted to be, including president some day, I thought today I would be saying that all of those dreams were finally in reach. I thought I would be celebrating that pantsuit and those big big dreams. I thought I would be saying that America finally viewed women as equal.

But I’m not.

Instead, I’m waking  up feeling sad and confused and betrayed. I’ll be perfectly frank and tell you that I cried a lot last night. I cried as I hugged my daughter and apologized to her that we didn’t get it right this time. As I realized in my heart that women are still not equal and are held to much different scrutiny than men. I cried myself to sleep thinking about all those women putting their I VOTED stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave stone yesterday.  And I’ve shed some tears this morning, too.

I know that we have a system of checks and balances. I know that I should look at this as an opportunity to talk about the hatred and divisiveness within our country. I know that it’s my responsibility to speak out against misogyny and lies but right now? Right now I’m shocked and sad and tired.

My daughter told me last night that none of this is my fault. She told me that I set a great example as a feminist and that I raised her to be a strong feminist and that some day we will see a woman as president of our country. And, while I love her enthusiasm and optimism, I still feel like I have let her down, just as this country has let me down and shown me, once again, that because I have breasts and a vagina, I’m just not worthy of the really important stuff.

You all know that I rarely (if ever) get political on this blog. It’s just not my thing to do here and I don’t enjoy doing it now but I think you also know that I process my feelings through writing and right now I’m having some very big feelings that need to be processed. I know that some of you reading this disagree with me – obviously – since the majority of this country voted differently than I did. I will just say that I ask you to respect my feelings, to respect the sadness I feel, and to leave any negative comments you may have to yourselves. I just can’t handle them today.

Instead, take a look again at the picture of me at 12. And remember the dreams we all had at that age. And reflect on how we can make those dreams come true for the 12 year old girls of today.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. I think there are a lot of big feelings today. I suspect they are the kind of feelings that will not be forgotten in 2018 & 2020. I hope that includes the people sitting in power for many years who have failed to do anything but the minimum. Because I’ll be voting at every opportunity, and I don’t forget.

  2. Was it Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Susan B. Anthony who said, “We are sowing winter wheat that other hands will harvest?” They were both at the ends of their lives and had accepted that they would never see women get the vote (or so many other rights), but they were still so passionate about the cause that they couldn’t give up. I am excited that a woman ran and was taken seriously enough to almost win—I am going to watch “Not for Themselves Alone” today and be grateful for even this small step forward. I’m really not trying to be negative, dear Carole—but progress in women’s rights has traditionally been made in tiny little baby steps, and we made another one last night. I think our great aunt Susan and her colleagues are looking down on us with pride and joy today—this just wasn’t the right candidate at the right time, but look at how far we have come.

  3. Carole, we feel exactly the way you do. Filled with dismay and horror and grief.

  4. Well said.
    When I voted about 10 days before the election, I got a bit emotional thinking I had just voted for the first woman president of the US. I’m so sad and confused today. You ran a good race, Hillary!

  5. I simply do not understand. It saddens me immensely that we live in a country that supports racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, violence against women and minorities, and has chosen a leader who seems to stand for all the worst in human nature. I did not cast my vote for him, but instead voted for a woman who has shown civility, reason, experience and hard work. My big feelings may temper with time, but for now I have only tears and sadness.

  6. I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened to our beautiful country last night. I cried last night too and I hardly slept. It’s going to take a few days to walk this off – it that’s even possible.

  7. I’ve never shed tears over an election before. I am in utter despair. I can’t even say his name… never understood how he could be an actual candidate, will never understand how he became our leader. I feel betrayed by my neighbors.

  8. I’m crying again just reading your post, Carole. And I couldn’t sleep last night. I am just . . . so tired. I had such confidence that the people of our country would recognize the flim-flam man for what he is: an ignorant bully buffoon. The fact that they didn’t? Well. It’s going to take a long time for me to begin to get my head around that one.

  9. The Journey is not over yet… and One day a woman will sit as President. This was a practice run, a woman for the first time in history became her parties nomination for president. It was a HUGE step for our Country and for our Daughters. and I love the quote that was shared above “We are sowing winter wheat that other hands will harvest.” It give me hope.

  10. I’m a Canadian watching in shock and you made me cry. Don’t lose hope. Thinking of all my American sisters today.

  11. The tears are flowing again as I read this post. And, in my heart – I fear that the usurper capitalized on the “dumbing down of America” that has been going on for years.

    I wish I were closer, I would stand with you and cry. For what we lost yesterday, and for what will be lost in all the tomorrows.

    And, then – after a day of tears, I hope that we women rise up and stand against this mocker and his tribe. Our voices will be heard.

  12. I feel sick to my stomach and I can’t stop crying. I am ashamed of my country and frightened of the future.

  13. This morning I performed one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever faced as a mother – and I’ve sent a son off to serve his country in Afghanistan during a time of unrest and war – I had to tell my 13-year-old and 11-year-old daughters that America made the wrong choice and supported a man who respects no one except himself. I sincerely hope that the man who will take office on January 20th surprises us all by rising to the occasion and governing with compassion and grace. Because this time, my friends, this time it’s going to be so much harder to work together as a nation towards peace and unity. I stand with all my disappointed sisters and say, don’t lose hope. Let’s believe that despite this setback, one day a woman WILL be President of the United States of America, and SHE will do her part to make it great, not again, but still.

  14. I feel exactly how you do and I’m shocked that he was elected. It means all of us will have to work harder to work towards peace and equality. I just can’t believe the people of this country have been so stupid!

  15. Carole, I am totally with you. You articulated something that many of us are feeling. I don’t even pretend to know what people were thinking. I do know that there are so many places where politics are avoided because of the deep schism we have in this country. I am fearful of 50 years of progress being turned back. it is disheartening that a campaign that was measured, not nasty for nasty’s sake, and issues driven is the campaign that lost.

  16. P.S. Loved you in your pantsuit! I am enough older than you to remember the pants rebellion at the office where I worked. The women set a day to all show up in pantsuits and changed the dress code for the better!

  17. I am only just finally able to cry. And I don’t have any bit of good feeling I can express. This has literally blindsided me, and I simply can’t see a way to anything good. Checks and balances are not in the cards – they voted in believers who will back him in his insanity. And I don’t care who I insult. I’m simply appalled. Carole you can delete my comment if you wish, and I won’t have hard feelings. But like you, I’ve got to vent.

  18. As I posted earlier on another blog, I read a lot of knitting blogs and I am amazed, pleased and proud of how unanimous knitters are in their distaste for trump. Just goes to show that knitting really does make one smarter.

    I hope with Jo-Ann that he will rise to the occasion and govern with thought for something besides himself, but I am not holding my breath. I’m scared too.

  19. I haven’t shed any tears until now. As fear seizes my heart, I STILL know I got to VOTE for a woman for President of the United States. She didn’t win, but a step was taken and I got to be part of that. We can mourn, but we cannot stop growing, believing, and we cannot stop being true patriots. We can still roar!

  20. I too feel sad today. I can’t believe that people voted for a person who stands for everything that they normally would be against. I still think Hillary is an inspiration to us all.

  21. I don’t think yesterday’s vote was against a woman president. I believe it was against a established party that has disappointed a lot of people. I think a woman president is coming, this just wasn’t the right election for it to happen.

  22. This post articulates my feelings so beautifully. Thank you.

    I agree with AsKatKnits- the “dumbing down” of America has been a deliberate strategy. Our culture has been demonizing and mocking intelligence and inquiry for a long time. We are reaping the consequences.

    This is a time of great sadness and it is good to know that I’m not alone in my grief for what has been lost.

  23. You’ve put a lot of my thoughts into words, here Carole. I am just so sad for the direction things are going; bigotry and hatred were not the values I grew up with, nor the ones I raised my children to believe in. Today, my son was sent home from work early because he stood up to a Trump supporting coworker who referred to his other coworkers using a derogatory term that starts with “N” and saying that their kind weren’t wanted here anyway.

    You can delete my comment if you think it’s too negative. I just want to point out one more thing: It’s my understanding that Hillary won the popular vote, which means that we are not the minority. And I take some heart in that. (Link: )

  24. Perfectly said Carole! I’ve learned through this election that the friends I hold most dear hold the same beliefs that I do and that helps when I’m surrounded by others who don’t.

  25. I was so happy and proud yesterday when I cast vote. And today I am so sad and ashamed of my fellow Americans. I am grieving.

  26. I think a women president would be great for our country as well. But to vote for her simply because she’s a she would be just as wrong as voting for Obama because he is black!
    Her losing wasn’t because she’s a woman. Why would you make that assumption? Why would you compare yourself to her? You would never do the morally or ethically corrupt things she has made a habit of doing over her lifetime. That’s what sunk her not her vagina!
    I believe we will have a woman president one day but I’m holding out for one I can be proud of.

  27. I’ve shed my first tears over an election today, too. Not just because of a woman running but a supremely qualified woman. We must all remember this day and stand strong together.

  28. You’ve so beautifully put into words what I (and it sounds like so many of us) are feeling today. Disappointment, grief at the loss of what we thought America was becoming, a sense of betrayal from our own neighbors and fellow citizens. Although I was very excited at the prospect of finally having a woman president (my dad used to delight in having me tell adults when I was a child that I wanted to be President when I grew up and I even dressed up as one the state Senators I admired for Halloween one year), it isn’t just the loss of the opportunity to have a woman President that makes me so sad. It’s the fact that America elected an inexperienced, bigoted, narcissist instead of a supremely qualified, intelligent woman.

    But we are strong, wonderful women. And we will survive this.

  29. I totally agree with you and all the comments I’ve read here today. No one else I have talked to can make any sense of what has happened. I just don’t know what else to say. I think it will be at least a few days before things stop reeling.

  30. Thank you, Carole, for your beautiful, heart-felt words. I am proud to be your friend. and I do believe we’ll see a woman president – in my wildest dreams I hope in just four years!

  31. Thing is, the majority of our country voted exactly as you did, which is so infuriating to realize that we COULD have had the first female president if the people had prevailed. I was under a dark cloud all day yesterday, (having taken the day off in advance just in case I was in a fetal position instead of celebrating Hillary’s win), and I cried off and on all day. I’ve said “there are no words” so many times in response to trump’s behavior during his campaign, and that statement holds SO true now. There are no words. My daughter, with whom I sat on Tuesday watching our world fall apart, is being a bigger person than I am, encouraging me to join the fight, to not let trump win TWICE by taking away my joy, but for right now I just cannot rise above. I am not ready to make nice. I see strangers on the sidewalk and wonder if he or she is “one of them.” It is so more than sexism; it is bigotry, hatred, selfishness and ignorance. I am embarrassed and ashamed to be an American today, to live in a country that would have a man such as him as president. And I suspect that those feelings will remain in my heart for the duration of his term.

    I did not look at blogs at all yesterday. Today, I was so glad and relieved that you and I are, still, on the same page.

  32. I too turn to words to find solace in this outcome and I’ve turned again to the words of Teddy Kennedy.
    “The work goes on, the course endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” Thank you all for your words sharing your pain. My hope is that this pain will turn to will to fight on in each and every election in the coming years. I am 74 and my first Great granddaughter will be born at the end of this year. I will not give up my hope that she will live in the American we all dream can be.

  33. I just got here to read your post…which made me start to cry all over again.
    I sat there watching Hillary give her concession speech yesterday – and surprised myself by putting my head in my hands and just sobbing so loudly. I knew I was saddened, I knew I was disappointed beyond words. And the tears were there – I was just holding them back. But as she spoke, I lost it. She would have made an excellent President – was beyond qualified – and aside from that, she is kind and caring – for everyone – even those who would have voted against her. But now, we shall never get to see the way she would have run our country – the hope she inspired in me for a positive future for us all. But I will keep on being in her corner – and watching for the next great thing she accomplishes!!

    Linda in VA

  34. I’m still furious — at the people who didn’t vote and the people who thought a morally bankrupt candidate was somehow preferable to a supremely accomplished woman. I am so worried for the vulnerable in society — people who are physically or mentally ill, immigrants, Muslims, women (I don’t think of myself as vulnerable but we are), poor people. I hope this does not give people tacit permission to discriminate and hurt people based on their perceived “otherness”.

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