Why I'm ditching the Trump circus
I've said it before and I'll say it again, in times of unrest the introvert in me likes to retreat and mull things over, try to make sense of what is happening, untangle my thoughts and process them.
I don't want to add to the chaos that is the Trump Circus but I have noticed a particular image (above) as well as others along a similar vein that have been circulating on a number of social media accounts, accounts that I've believed in the past share similar values to mine, namely accounts championing women's rights.
However I feel at odds with this image and ones like it because to me this image only adds to the hate perpetuated by Trump and his band of followers.
Words such as "men don't protect us anymore" encourage a divide, an "us" vs "them" mentality and do nothing to close the gap that Trump has pried open so forcefully.
When there are two camps that are so wildly opposed with such rage and fire as we've seen with this election, when things happen that we are so strongly against, there is a tendency to be extreme in our own convictions but we do it in a way that shouts "I'm better than you!" and in doing so we unwittingly give our energy to hate when really we should be wrapping our convictions in love.
And when we do this, it just feels to me like the haters are winning. It strengthens segregation and instead of moving forward and focusing on equality we throw our energy in the other direction. As soon as we start to pit men against women, blacks against whites we are giving strength to hate.
Now don't get me wrong, myriad emotions have rumbled through me this week - despair, dismay, anger, hopelessness - but upon further reflection I realise this is not the best way for us to go about championing our cause.
Sure, a certain number of men in America aren't interested in protecting women or blacks or the LGBT community but I can tell you now there's a shitload of men who are.
Trump and his cronies are not representative of every man. I for one am grateful to be surrounded by men who believe in equality, who aren't racist, who have strong opinions but don't feel the need to belittle those who don't share those opinions. I'm lucky to be surrounded by men who do "protect" women insofar as those women wish to be "protected".
And this is what I'm trying to take away from the events of this week. We can't change the narrow-minded views of people so set in their ways that their opinions and beliefs are to many of us beyond baffling.
My energy and your energy is not best spent hating Trump and his followers, it is best spent getting on with our shit and doing what we believe is the right thing to do for our cause, to continue to fight for what we believe in.
We can surround ourselves with people who support and champion equality and aim to help educate those younger than us, generations who will continue to fight for what is right.
I'm reminded of this daily when I interact with my 3 year-old-son. Though I've seen some friends make comments about how they are frightful of the world their children will grow up in, I instead like to feel confident and hopeful that my son's generation will get to witness and understand the true value and meaning of equality.
I feel as a leader in my own home a great responsibility to nurture and encourage compassion, love and an open mind and heart, to show my son that I will continue to speak up for women and to help and empower them at the same time as showing love and compassion for others.
I do this so I can lead by example so that when my son is hit with adversity his reaction will be one that comes from a place of love, compassion and with a great deal of understanding for what is in my belief a universal truth and that is equality for all.
So tonight I'm hopeful and I say "Bring it." I'll leave you with the words of activist Audre Lorde:
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences."