On the Election: What's Next

"Thank you from all of us. And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I have had successes and I have had setbacks. Sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It is. It is worth it. And so we need―we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives, and to all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion." - HRC

Oh, god. I have no eloquent "juice" left in me, my words may be disjointed, but my heart hurts and my soul hurts and the auras of my friends, family and hard-working idols have greyed, thinned out, and have left us all. so. tired. I want all of you to know you are not alone. This feels different, this feeling of disappointment, of experiencing the realization that no, not yet can we release the confetti, not yet can we shatter the ceiling, not yet can we look into the eyes of other minorities and tell them they are safe in the United States and mean it. 

We were so close. We were so close to looking at young girls and patting ourselves on the back for fighting and winning, for giving them a foundation of four years to be inspired, to be proud, to know that goodness wins, science wins, a women's right to her own body, wins.

Donald Trump is the president of the United States of America. 

Reading that, writing that, and subsequently subjecting all of YOU to read that, was hard. Somewhere after I read the word “is” my vision blurred, brain morphed from a globe of neurons to a flat plane, terrified at the prospect of our future as women, minorities, anyone who has felt victimized by people like this. The venomous rhetoric we had to sit through for the past two years was seemingly validated on Tuesday, though the majority of the American people voted against this being the case, the entire aura of America has been thrown into a blender, a mirror thrown up against your country yielding a shocking result.

And the terror I woke up feeling on Wednesday, the hurt in my heart imagining those younger than me, those too young to know there was an Obama presidency, to have remembered a woman was elected to run for the first time… I realized that this terror I was feeling, other minorities had dealt with for their entire lives. 

How was that ever okay? Why did we not understand the implications, the pain, the effects of this, sooner? 

I have plans to move back to New York City once I finish my studies in Canada. I have just recently changed this tense back to present after realizing that if anything were to change my decision, fear should never be anywhere on that list. This week, a WomensWearDaily article noted that fashion magazines aren’t noted for journalistic content, that their place is in the closet, the boudoir, the vanity. Fuck this kind of rhetoric. Our place is in our shoes, firmly planted, voices heard with just as much authority as Time, the Toronto Star and New York Times. Fact is, nobody is more equipped, more qualified, more motivated to discuss women’s fundamental issues and rights than other women. And women’s magazines happen to have hoards of eager, sharp, overly qualified female multipotentialites at the helm. If the rhetoric of this week is any indication, these women cannot be stopped. We - those who believe in equality, change, and equal opportunity - cannot be stopped. We are going to fight hard, with the fiercest weapons of love and compassion and inclusivity the world has ever seen. 

First, to these women’s magazines. Our job is no longer rooted in KPI’s, metrics, or the efficacy of click bait and celebrity gossip. This is no longer up for debate. Hard-hitting, relevant content is no longer something we can afford to do at the end of the day, once Dream Kardashian’s potential playdates are listed, page views achieved. We are going to have to change the entire system in which women consume media, the entire system in which women crave information. The good news? We are both the supply and demand. We know what needs to be done, now. We can do this. We must do this. 

To the people. The climate for Donald Trump to be elected president didn’t spring up suddenly, on November the 8th, as some of the political polling systems seem to convey. This culture existed last week, last year, last month, and the boiling point, the degree to which our political system failed us, culminated in the results of this election; with a country divided, scared, and desperate for change. As citizens of the United States, a restructuring from the ground up needs to happen, and it needs all of you; all of us. First, take a hard look in the mirror, at your life. Are you doing all you can? If you own a business, are you paying people what they deserve? Are you hiring fairly? If you work at a magazine, are you putting PoCs on your covers? Are you telling women how to lose weight, instead of speak up? YOU have the power to change this country. After all it is, and should be, by the people, for the people. 

Also, a note from a Canadian: We welcome anyone who wants to make our home, theirs. But don’t run away from Donald Trump. Stay, educate yourself, understand the core issues of government and run for local office. All of us underestimate just how powerful we can be. Women could have won this election. We didn’t, and now, we must lead the change. 

Looking for something to do today? See Here: 
Donate to Planned Parenthood
Raise your voice with girls' publications like Obsessee, Clover Letter, and here
Help the Trevor Project ensure it has the sufficient funds it needs. 
Look into your local level of government and fight to preserve the progress we've made. 

madison schill