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Living With Trump: What Do We Do Now?

15/11/2016 14:14
ASSOCIATED PRESS

So here we are. The most powerful office in the world is going to be occupied by a man whose history of abuse towards women is well documented, yet somehow doesn't matter to those who elected him. Millions of voters, including women, know what he has been accused of and chose not to care.

What kind of message does this send to anyone who has suffered a sexual assault? That it's ok to refer to grabbing a woman in an unwanted way? That the thirteen (and counting) women who have accused him of sexual assault should be ignored, or mistrusted? That these things do not disqualify a man from being handed the keys to the White House? A whole new world of misogyny and discrimination has opened up before our very eyes.

There are obviously dozens of reasons why a Trump presidency is an appalling prospect for many minorities, but as a victim of sexual assault, this is the aspect of his campaign that has scared me the most. I have found a lot of the media coverage difficult to deal with: it's not easy to be confronted with such attitudes on a daily basis.

So now the campaign is over and this is our new reality, what do we do?

I can tell you what we don't do, and that's do nothing. Now isn't the time to roll over and give up. For many of us it feels that politics is far removed from our daily lives, and we have little or no power over the world around us. I believe that now is the time to wrestle some of that power back. The struggle to make this world a fair and just place for all of us has to come from those of us that the likes of Trump seeks to marginalise.

Those of us who have the opportunity to make our voice heard need to do so, and we also need to speak up for those who can't. It's easy to accept the injustice that surrounds us, or think that somebody will else will change the world for you. That's the easy option. It's time to stand up and be counted. Go and join a political party (I have), or a movement for social justice, and fight for something you believe in.

Do you really want to live in a world where Donald Trump and Nigel Farage dictate the political agenda? I certainly don't. Those of us who are seen as 'other' for whatever reason need to try and make society inclusive for us all.

I've lost some of my belief in our society's shared values following Trump's election victory, and that's scary. But I'm not going to let 2016 be the year my hope dies too.

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