As I type this, Donald Trump is hours away from becoming the President of the United States. In utter dismay, I scroll through my twitter and embrace myself for the inevitable. I try and find some comfort in memes, but they are failing. A bigot is going to become the most powerful man on Earth.
Yes, I’m an Indian. I am multiple timezones away from this man, he doesn’t have any (direct) consequence on me. And yet, I feel helpless and caged as I watch the this pathetic excuse of a human being being sworn in. Of course, I have my reasons. Reasons that you have been bombarded with over the months, reasons that have been countered and debated over. There’s those important, rational reasons. And then there’s the personal reasons.
Why should the American elections be personal? I’ve only ever been there for a month, about a decade ago. I can barely fake an American accent, and I hate nutella and Avocadoes. There is nothing, nothing similar between me and America. And yet, it’s personal.
It’s personal because the stories are similar, if not identical. It matters to me because I have friends from the LGBTQ+ community, both in America and at home, who are under direct attack. It hits home because I have witnessed and experienced racism to not understand the repucussions of this election. It scares me because some of my best friends are Muslim, who are utterly terrified of venturing out into public spaces. It hurts so damn much because I identify as a woman, and I have heard the future President contstantly degrade and humilate me.
It feels personal, even though it’s miles away. When he calls someone a fat pig, I am forced to look at myself in the mirror and feel ache and shame. When he talks about periods in disgust, I am reminded of that day in school where I had stained my skirt and had to hide it from the boys. When he brags about kissing someone and grabbing them by the pussy, I relive every single time a man has felt entitled to stare, touch, grope and hurt me. I go through it, again and again and again. For months I witnessed this man so casually joke about and dismiss everything that has left a scar on me. It’s a personal battle for me, and for millions of women.
And yet, he got away with it.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.
Oh, how I wish I could yell and scream at the world, warn them of what’s to come. How I wish I could burn those posters and billboards. I wish I could beg, plead for everyone to understand just what they are subjecting this entire world to.
But I am thousands of miles away and all I have are angry words punched into a laptop. So, here we are. Another insignificant rant, which won’t end up mattering, because I am not a straight white christian male.