It was encouraging to hear the organization beginning for the Women’s March the day after the Inauguration.
I wanted to participate, I NEEDED to participate, but as so many others like me, I had to work that day. I haven’t the luxury of taking time off work, as I live paycheck to paycheck. Since the election, I feel that is actually at risk. Some of my female friends have been laid off work, others dismissed completely. Can it be proven that is directly related to the election of Donald Trump? Probably not, but I do believe it is, at least in part, a contributing factor.
Since I live in a rural area, women have always been seen as “just the caretakers.” We have been relegated to teachers, nurses, secretaries, assistants. In the past year, I have been passed up for a job promotion, to a young man who had no experience at all in my industry. I applied for, interviewed, and was passed up for a Veteran Service Office position, despite my credentials and involvement with local vets, over a man who had never even joined a veteran’s organization. During the interview, it was alluded to that “vets have a hard time with women who were allowed into the service.”
In January, I quit my job, because a young man yelled at me that I was a “fucking bitch.” I was in my manager’s office, and even though the incident happened in front of the manager, nothing was done. When I gave notice, the manager was shocked that I would quit over such a minor incident. He forced the young man to apologize, and begged me to stay, which I agreed to. I did tell both of them if another incident like that ever happened again, I was taking them to court. Neither seemed to get that what happened was sexual harassment. It was all over their belief that as a secretary and the only female in the office, I should be happy to clean up their muddy messes. When I offered them the vacuum cleaner, I was attacked.
The young man was the same one last fall who couldn’t wait to vote for Trump, and laughed deliriously at the “grab them by the pussy” comment. The manager and the young man were a little shocked when I got angry that they were laughing. I have seen more and more disrespect, not only towards women, but also minorities, LBGTQ, and the disabled. It is like, somehow, we have turned from a polite society into a bigoted bunch of entitled babies, saying and doing anything regardless of consequences and who might get hurt.
I am sick at heart, and devoid of hope since Trump’s election, and inauguration. He is certainly causing change in Washington, just like he promised. It is not, however, the change his supporters anticipated. The man needs to be stopped. If that takes protests, so be it. I have tried to call my senators, but their phones have been busy. I have sent e-mails.
I have never felt unsafe in my community, my state, or my country. I find myself looking at everyone I meet, wondering who is now friend or foe?
The darkness and hopelessness in my heart grows daily against this despot, who calls himself President. He doesn’t represent me, or anyone resembling me. He is a dangerous man.