Last night, around 11 PM, I called my family who lives in California to hear how they were reacting to the election results. My father, a man who has strong conservative values and cares little for being politically correct, has been a Donald supporter from the start. He’s well aware that his daughter, who spent four years at an all women’s college and now works for a feminist non-profit, supports Hillary. I knew my father would be giddy with delight at Donald’s lead, but I called him anyways because that’s what I do when I’m scared. I call my dad.
With news emerging that white women preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, it’s tempting, if you’re a white woman horrified at what’s just happened, to start on a reckoning, or whatever one wishes to call that social-media self-flagellation that so many of us turn to when things seem horrible and we feel helpless at fixing them, as well as responsible, if indirectly, for the horribleness.
When my mom was eight years old, in 1963, her older brother wanted to be the President of the United States, and her boyfriend — also eight — told her she couldn’t be. She fiercely believed she deserved the same opportunities as both, so she decided she would be one day be Commander in Chief.
As I hope many of you did as well, I voted for Hillary Clinton this morning. I wish I could say that this was a moving, overwhelming, emotionally fulfilling experience. But… not so much? I was beyond excited to vote for Clinton – for someone with her experience, qualifications, and positions on numerous issues. But I’m not excited, exactly, about having voted for a first female president. Rather, I’m angry. I’m not angry that Clinton isn’t the perfect candidate — no one is! I’m angry that this is, in 2016, a “first.” I’m angry that it’s taken so long for a woman to be a major-party presidential candidate in the first place. I could see being excited, as a Jew, to vote for a first Jewish president, but ack, this isn’t the same. Women are not a marginalized minority. We’re a marginalized half of the population. I’m frightened of the possibility of a Trump presidency, but angry at the notion that I should feel grateful if a fellow woman wins.
Right-wing personality-shall-we-say Ann Coulter tweeted her wishes that “only people with at least 4 grandparents born in America” could vote, because then, Trump would, she believes, win the election. Coulter, who I will confess I’d mostly lost track of, in the blur of 2016 horribleness and 1990s revivalism, has evidently — see Cathy Young — reinvented herself as an alt-right anti-Semite.