I almost cried on the metro today. Someone bumped into me–innocent mistake, it was rush hour, it was raining so more people were on board than usual. But I was frustrated and tired. I’d woken up a bit before seven local time to friends texting me the election results. Everyone was in shock, myself included. Shock gave way to fear, to anger. Standing on the RER B, I stared at the ceiling and fought back tears.
It was more than the early hour. It was more than the election. It was this fight. This fight for equal representation, for equal rights, for equal respect, consideration, life. Not just for me. For my POC friends, for my immigrant friends and family, for my Muslim friends, for my LGBTQIA friends, for my female friends, for my friends raising daughters.
I’ve been thinking more and more lately about how tired I am. I’m young, but I am already tired. Sometimes, as a woman I feel like we were born already fighting. The fight isn’t always visible, but it’s constant. The fight is the boss in DC that paid me half what he was paying my male counterpart. The fight is the customers in Dallas who thought I couldn’t know how to work an espresso machine because I’m a woman. The fight is the men in every city that catcall, that make clear that I am only welcome on their street as entertainment to satisfy their basest desires. The fight is the teachers in high school that didn’t believe/care/think important that I was raped, that my rapist was in my life and wasn’t planning on leaving.
The fight isn’t always visible, but it’s there.
On days like today, when it seems like we are making no headway in this fight for equality, when our country has heard a man insult and threaten the safety of a significant portion of our population and elected him anyway, it’s easy to be tired. It’s easy to want to give up, it’s easy to want to turn my back on the country that has continually turned it’s back on the people I care most about.
But late tonight, I made a promise to a friend–a friend who is an immigrant, who is a single mother working so hard to raise a daughter, a friend who is terrified. I made her a promise that when her daughter is old enough to know what’s happening, we’ll be doing better. I promised her that we will be doing better than this racism, this misogyny. Her daughter will live in a better world.
So, tomorrow we wake up and we fight again. Even when it feels like we are losing, we vote every day with our actions, our words, our fight. We put on our armor–our sweaters, our tennis shoes, our pants suits, our everyday armor–and we fight another day. It is in these moments of darkness that we can be the light. For ourselves, sure, but for our daughters, for all our children. We fight another day.