Well, White Girls, We Really Did it This Time
White girls, are you happy now?
Donald Trump is going to be our next president. It’s not 100% our fault. In fact, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly why that’s the case. It’s a clusterfuck of misunderstanding, fear, and lack of trust in the political establishment.
But let’s focus on one particular reason why Trump won: because white women like me are acting like scared, coddled babies in so many ways.
Fifty three percent of white women voted for Trump. Of all the demographics in America, we deserve to feel the most embarrassed right now. He proved time and time again that he has no respect for women unless they’re model-pretty and willing to fuck him. Fifty three percent of white women voted for someone who would probably ignore them or treat them like dirt in the street because we can’t all be Ivanka and Melania.
I wish I could say I’m surprised by this, but after years of watching the white women in my life shy away from expressing opinions in public because they wanted to be liked, I don’t see how it could have gone any other way.
I’m not just talking about the ones who voted for Trump. I’m talking about the ones who think they’re above talking about politics in public and roll their eyes when the topic comes up. I’m also talking about the ones who exist in a liberal bubble where everyone with an opposing point of view is racist, sexist, subhuman and not worth speaking to. You know which one you are. The apathetic and opinionated among us equally failed this time around.
“I don’t like to talk about politics, but…” is not something I hear from the dudes in my life. It’s something I only hear from the women and it makes me feel like I’ve traveled back in time to 1955 every damn time I hear someone say it. It’s heartbreaking. Why don’t you like to talk about politics? Because you don’t want to offend people? Get over it and live with someone disliking you for five minutes so we can actually make some progress.
And if you’re patting yourself on the back for being one of the woke white women who supported Hillary and dutifully retweeted your faves’ endorsements of her, not so fast. Yes, I’m looking at you, Lena Dunham. Even those of us who consider ourselves politically inclined epically failed at understanding Trump voters.
As white women in America, we all benefit from privilege and are fucked over by sexism. And every last one of us has complex feelings about that. But acting like some of us are better at handling it than others because of our political affiliation is not how we’re going to make things better. Barring the actual crazies, your conservative friends and family members are dealing with the same shit you’re dealing with, they’re just processing it differently. Trump voters are not sexist scary boogeymen. They’re human beings who are scared and pissed off just like you and me. Repeatedly acting like we’re better than them for being more liberal is not going to make anything better.
White girls, I know you have friends and family who voted for Trump. It’s gotta be damn near statistically impossible for all of us not to. We are all close to a few Trump voters. That means we are the ones with the best shot at bridging the divide. If you know someone who is afraid of or nervous about people who are different from them, you are the one who needs to figure out why and help them learn better. You have the best shot at accomplishing this. Do not wait for LGBT people and people of color to do it for you. It’s not their job.
Not talking about politics is how we got into this mess. Creating a liberal echo chamber of RTs and endorsements that jibe with our own beliefs is how we got into this mess. Blocking, unfollowing, and unfriending people whose opinions are different than ours is how we got into this mess. Being afraid to have tough conversations because we’d rather keep the peace is how we got into this mess.
So after years of seemingly innocuous “white girl” jokes — omg, white girls, how funny, how cute, they get so drunk, they’re so ditzy — 53% of us have expressed, loud and clear, that yeah, we’re cool with that. We’d love to be lap dogs of the patriarchy, thank you for offering. No need to rock the boat.
Well, why the fuck not? Why don’t we try? Why don’t we take the risk that someone might *gasp* disagree with our opinions? Why don’t we take a real risk for once, beyond meticulously planning with our therapist, mom, and life coach the best possible way to ask our boss for a 2.5% raise instead of just 2%?
We need to stop demonizing our opponents. We need to stop focusing on microaggressions and little things and learn how to understand where people are coming from. Is it fair that we have the burden of explaining what seem like basic human rights to people who don’t understand? No. But that’s what going high when they go low is all about.