If you find yourself in the wake of this election, feeling robbed of your right as a human being to be respected in all of your female or dark-skinned or Muslim or disabled or kind-hearted glory, do not shrink into despair.
There is a loud and angry segment of our population who made their voices heard last night. They showed up in record numbers, vehemently defending the ground they feel slipping away. They sense encroachment on their long-held control over women and minorities, our bodies and minds. They feel our numbers growing and their power slipping away as we become increasingly unruly. They feel us gaining ground and are hanging on for dear life.
This is a heartbreaking defeat, but it shines a magnificent, bright light on the misogyny and racism that still runs deep and quiet through our national veins… and light is better than darkness. It’s better to see than to be blind.
In response, we must remove the blue nail polish so optimistically applied earlier this week and paint our nails in bright, shimmering white. We must take off the pantsuits and adorn our bodies in blazing, unrelenting orange, fuchsia and blanco to make our presence known, to grow larger instead of smaller. We must speak as loud as we damn well please and stop trying to shrink ourselves to fit a male agenda of what female bodies should look like.
There is no telling what sickness of spirit is headed our way over the next four years, but our response must be to fortify ourselves, to strengthen our physical and psychological selves for the march ahead. The white, “conservative” slice of this country has declared that all bets are off, so let’s meet them where they stand, with their boots firmly stuck in the mud.
Our boots are made for walking, and that’s just what we’ll do. Our bodies and minds are our weapons, and the more fine-tuned they are — the more footloose and unhinged — the higher we will soar.
Do not shrink. Do not be silent. Do not follow the rules of decorum set so long ago for us lady and shady types. Take fierce, unyielding care of yourself and your loved ones and all of the beautifully diverse strangers that make this country the place we know and love.
This dance is over. Strip down to your skivvies, and lose the bra. Forget pantsuits. It’s time for overalls and tulle skirts, leggings and combat boots, with our daughters and sons hoisted high on our shoulders that they may breathe the fresh air up above.
This next bit of history has only just begun, and it’s ours for the grabbing.