Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just Before I Vote

It would be really weird if, in twenty years or so, my posterity reads my blog and wonders why in the world I didn't write one post about this election.

So here it is.

In about an hour Chup and I are going to take our Erin and Iris to the Rec Center so we can vote early. Voting early is on my list of life hacks.

This is the first time Utah is considered a "swing state" although it's not really. It will go GOP whether that's Trump or Evan McMullin. Even still, we've had flirting from the DNC and that feels good. And weird. And exciting.

Because of this election I got to chat with Scott Simon on NPR and talk to NYC Mag's The Cut about being a Mormon feminist and being a Hillary supporter.

Oh yes, that's right, I'm with her.

Being with her in a state that has an unwritten pledge to hate all things Hillary Clinton means that you are in jeopardy of losing your social status in certain circles. I have sort of approached everything with a "burn in all to the ground" attitude. Sexism does that to me. Maybe it's my approaching 40th birthday and lifelong frustration with patriarchy, but this election has made me pretty bold.

I know she's a flawed candidate. I can see how people don't trust her. I get that she's not likeable (in the way you want women to be likeable). But her fight feels so personal to me. She's had to fight like hell and she's still standing--and that's important to me because I've never seen it done before. And I need to see it done. What will we gain from a nation full of women who fight and stay strong and don't give up until their voices are heard from the very, very top? We don't know. But I am willing to bet it's going to be radical, transformative and ultimately healing.

She understands women's health (in all its complications and strata) and children's justice, and cares about taking care of the earth. Those are my three things-women's bodies (all women, all consent, all bodily autonomy, all mental wellness, all body acceptance, but especially women who are marginalized, silenced, unseen and unprotected), children's access to resources (but especially children who don't have resources), and the earth.

Of course there are more, but everything pretty much boils down to those three things.

It's been lonely. I have a few dear friends, and a few family members here in Utah who I have been able to reach out to when things have gotten rough. Many times Mormonism has mingled with the political and that brings on a tidal wave of frustration for me. The sexism has been awful. The sexual assault stories have been hard to read (but important) because they reach for memories I've tried to leave behind.

It's time to look at our sexism, America. Time to stop defending patriarchal practices. Time to usher in the season of equality. Time to examine the racism and ableism we were all baptized in from generations before us.

I am going to vote for Hillary today,  but I am not ignorant of what that means. It means it's about to get messy in America. On top of the racial tensions burning already, we're about to add gallons of misogyny. And if we don't come out better and on top of all this, then maybe we really aren't the special country we always believed we were.

But I am a believer. I believe. And I am going to vote like a believer today.

And then I am going to get to work.