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What Next For Women In This Fearful New World?

11/11/2016 12:48

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I never dreamed Mr T would be the next president of the US of A. I expected after the election to be talking of finally being able to stop holding my breath because sanity had prevailed.

Not that I had that much time for Mrs C. But she seemed a darn sight less awful than the man who will now have his finger on the nuclear button and goodness knows what else!

But I probably should've known better after the Brexit vote. Like the UK, whole swathes of the US were out to give the establishment a kicking. The parallels are scary. But the outcome of the US election is Brexit on steroids. Who knows where we'll all end up.

One thing I have realised is how polarised views in both the US and UK are. And how out of sync urban centres like London, New York and Los Angeles are with the rest of their respective countries. And how out of touch the media and pollsters are too.

Opinions are poles apart. And each side stares at the other in disbelief.

And that peace, love and understanding thang just doesn't seem to cut it with the majority.

So how do we change that? How to we get to acceptance and inclusion? How do we get to empathy? How do women shatter that glass ceiling?

I believe women are the answer. And it's time for us to rise up.

Women generally, I think, have a different approach. And particularly women in midlife and beyond like those in my Mutton Club. We don't diss women because we are one. We don't diss the elderly because we know we'll be there before too long. We don't diss the LGBTQ community because, even if we're straight, we may have a child in that community. Same with the disabled.

I personally refuse to diss the refugee community because I was in Beijing at the time of the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989. And I saw how the UK welcomed refugees after that ended in bloodshed. My first husband was an immigrant. I will always fight racism because that's the right thing to do. And my son is half Chinese. So it's personal.

So what next?

I'm still mulling it over. I used to have a Green Card so I have a lot of love invested in the US. My American friends are asking if I have a room for them. I tell them we're not so welcoming to immigrants in the UK anymore post Brexit.

But I honestly believe now is OUR time. I mean us, women.

I think maybe this was the kick in the teeth we needed for women to finally and unequivocally step into our power, find our collective voice and say 'enough with this bullshit men have given us!" This is not the world we want.

(I'm trying to process the rather alarming statistic that more white women voted for Trump than did for Clinton. I wonder if they will live to regret that choice.)

If nothing else, we owe it to the women and girls who come after us. As Hillary Clinton said in her very gracious concession speech, "And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity to pursue and achieve your dreams."

We all have the power to bring about change. We just need to believe we can and be prepared to try. As a member of our Flock said, "we need to keep fighting for kindness, for love, for honour and for dignity."

I hope we will. Are you in? Let's get to work.

The Mutton Club is an online magazine and community for smart and feisty women in midlife and beyond.

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