In a statement congratulating Donald Trump following the results of the US Presidential election, Theresa May said:
Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.
As our Female Prime Minister, it would be fair to assume that Theresa May is a figure of progressive British society, an image of female equality and an inspiration to young women across the world that in the wake of Hilary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump, is a vital reminder that women are able and capable of achieving amongst a world previously dominated by male leaders. Which is why I nearly choked on my cornflakes to read her words of congratulations to Donald Trump in her statement released by Downing Street, see full statement at the below link...
As a leading female figure in world politics, it is shocking to me that Theresa May can offer any words other than utter dismay that a sexist, misogynist bigot has been voted into The White House. I recognise her responsibility to remain diplomatic, however, as Angela Merkel did with her statement, it is May's responsibility to address, in some way, the abhorrent remarks Trump has made throughout this campaign and to stand up for all British citizens in pointing out that this behaviour will not be accepted should the US and Britain wish to continue building upon a relationship "based on values of freedom". By politely ignoring the rhetoric that has led Trump to victory, she has instead allowed the behaviour to go unchallenged and given a seal of approval from Britain. The seal of approval from British women. The seal of approval from British Politics. As a woman, I find myself in absolute disbelief that she hasn't felt it appropriate or necessary to challenge this man's opinions of women, his casual approach to sexual harassment, his comments that admit to behaviour of sexual assault against women. (Yes, Donald, grabbing women by the pussy without their consent is sexual assault.)
Whilst, like many others, I am in shock at the result of the election, I appreciate that democracy must be upheld and that the American people have made their choice. I am simply gobsmacked that our world leaders are not standing together against the dreadful behaviour of this individual throughout his campaign. If a candidate had applied for a corporate job and said just one of Trumps insulting remarks regarding race, gender, disability, sexuality, religion, within the interview process, they would never be given the job. At the very least, they would be informed that behaviour like this will not be tolerated. How Theresa May and Marine Le Pen (I recognise that the latter shares a great deal of right wing ideologies with Trump and his supporters), as leading female figures in politics, can offer words of congratulations without addressing, at the very least, the insults that relate directly to their own gender, insults that should resonate with them on a personal level, is beyond comprehension. Even if they lack the empathy required to encourage them to stand up for the many other groups of people he has publicly insulted and hurt throughout the build up to the Election Day, the simple fact that they have not challenged the insults that they themselves have spent their lives, as with all other women, striving to overcome, is frankly ridiculous. I fear that young women everywhere are watching as May has spoken without comment on the degrading way he has talked about women. She appears to be prepared to overlook it, as so many women have been taught to. We are brought up to expect to be seen and spoken about the way Trump has. We are taught to ignore it, brush it off as 'boys will boys'. Taught to be careful of what we wear, taught to not get too drunk in fear of the danger WE put ourselves in. Taught that it's our fault, and it's just the way it is.
Well, No. I've had enough of that attitude and Theresa May should feel the same. I wish she could value herself more highly, and in turn show the many other women watching her response that they should also expect equality and not to settle for less. Instead, she has let herself down with that statement. She has let Britain down with that statement. She has let Women across the world down with that statement.
If at the highest level, we can not challenge this man's perception of women, the message she conveys is that we don't stand a chance in our day to day lives. That it is safer for women to choose the path of least resistance by not standing up to the male bully and pointing out that his attitude is unjust and wrong. The vote has shown that the bully wins. May's statement reiterates that the bully wins.
I am hurt on behalf of all the people that Trump has offended and am fearful for the socialist, peaceful, loving, equal, humanitarian world I hoped to live in. I refuse to believe that women should continue to shut up and put up. I am ready and prepared for the coming period of difficulty, I am ready to struggle against the voices of hatred that have been legitimised, I am ready to unite with my fellow socialists who want a fairer world. I have hope that this election will be a catalyst for progressive change, but this will only happen if we refuse to accept the behaviours of hatred and division. Get ready to challenge, speak out, kill the hatred with kindness, change perception by leading with a hope for a better future. Our leader has turned her back on us by declaring she is "looking forward to working with" this man who has proven himself time and time again to be sexist, misogynistic and divisive in his leadership... we will have to stand up for ourselves and each other. Unite in our quest for equality, all those who have felt the damaging impacts of Trumps campaign now must stand together. #unitewithlove @Unite_with_love. We are needed now more than ever.