Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's still a man's world out there...but it takes a woman to give hope...

Flawed she may be...tell me, who isn't?...change is what the rust belt working class voters may have wanted...even if it was based on a divisive rhetoric and undefined economic policies...but I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that millions of college educated women, went into polling booths on November 8th and probably prior to that, to cast a ballot against Hillary vote for a misogynist...or maybe for a third party...either way, against her ...their votes just could have made the difference...whether we want to accept it or not, sexism exists...and let us not fool ourselves by trying to make ourselves believe that sexism originates and ends with the men of the world...the fact that it is still a man's world today and something like what happened on November 8, is still possible has as much to do with  women's perception of their place in the world as it has to do with the inability of some(or maybe most) men to accept women as equals.

A lot was at stake in this election...all of us know that...and no amount of reiterating what those stakes were matters now...but the statistic associated with college educated women is pretty startling...I would have expected a statistic more in the lines of 75%-25% or even better in favor of Hillary Clinton among college educated women, but as shocking as it is , the support she got in this demographic was significantly lower...essentially a significant number  of the college educated women chose to vote for a misogynist, someone who has demeaned women in all possible ways throughout the campaign, or they  voted for a third party candidate (which almost made their vote meaningless in the big picture)...

At times throughout the campaign I had heard sound bites from some women(fortunately just a handful in the part of the world where I live)...'oh she needs to demonstrate her vulnerability', 'she should start by dressing like a woman', 'all I care about is lower taxes', 'everyone votes along party lines', 'she is too ambitious'(a women's place is in the kitchen kinds)...I cringed at all these moments...but fortunately for me, there were  many more women around me who cared about what matters to me...'decency','graciousness', 'experience', 'advocate for children','advocate for women', 'advocate for minorities',
'advocate of hope', 'advocate of the belief in the greatness and the goodness of the  United States of America and all it's people', 'advocate of a woman's right over her own body', 'advocate of education', 'advocate for LGBT rights', 'advocate for the disabled'...never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that the former category of women existed in big numbers or that they would vote in such huge numbers against her...sad, but true...there may have been many factors in play in the election ...but given the stakes for humanity and women, I really do feel let down by this first category of women...these are educated women, many of whom are probably raising little women of their own...most of them are eons away from any economic calamity...most of these educated women have been blessed with the intelligence to understand the differentiate fake news from real differentiate manipulation from differentiate truth from lies...yet they chose to use their vote to endorse fear over take a chance with change, knowing very well that it could potentially be very dangerous's beyond what I can wrap my head around...

The day after the election, I woke up with a sinking feeling...I couldn't make myself watch the concession speech...knew I would tear I read the transcript instead...I wept nevertheless...for those who haven't seen or read's a must...and then yesterday, I listened to Hillary's first speech since her concession speech last Wednesday, where she spoke at a dinner for the Children's Defense Fund ...

Whether you like her or you don't, whether you voted for her or you did not...listen to this and the part where she speaks about her mother...and I will quote here..."And then finally, as some of you heard me say during the campaign, I draw hope and sustenance from another person who influenced my life and still does every day, my mother. I have talked about her difficult childhood. She was abandoned by her parents when she was just 8 years old. They put her on a train to California all by herself in charge of her little sister, who was three years younger. She ended up in California, where she was mistreated by her grandparents, ended up on her own, working as a housemaid. She beat the odds. She found a way to offer me the boundless love and support she never received herself. I think about her every day and sometimes I think about her on that train. I wish I could walk down the aisle and find the little wooden seat where she sat, holding tight to her younger sister, all alone and terrified. She doesn’t yet know how much more she will have to face and even suffer. She doesn’t yet know she will find the strength to escape that suffering. That’s still years off. Her whole future is unknown, as it is for all of us, as she stares out at the vast country moving past her. And I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms and saying, “Look, look at me and listen. You will survive, you will have a family of your own, three children, and as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a United States Senator, represent our country as Secretary of State and win more than 62 million votes for President of the United States""...

I wish this gives you hope and the resilience to get back up  whenever you feel down and out...

Yes in her own words, "We haven't still shattered the highest/hardest glass ceiling. But someday, someone will. And hopefully it will be sooner than we may have imagined"...

To me, the mother of a 5 year old little girl, Hillary Clinton embodies resilience, graciousness and hope...and irrespective of what your political views may be, as flawed women of the 21st century, let's give her the respect she deserves for reaching as far as she did...for being the trailblazer for our little girls...

I am fortunate to have a husband who is a passionate advocate for women's rights...and as uncertainty prevails, basic human rights stay threatened, women's rights remain at stake...'H' inspires us to
choose hope over fear, love over never give continue to fight for what seems right ...

We can only hope that in our lifetime, we will be able to see many more instances of people choosing love over hate, hope over fear, togetherness over divisiveness, facts over rhetoric...and choices like the one made on November 8 are anomalies rather than the norm...


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NetworkedBlogsByFacebook said...

Preetam Rajkhowa:

Great writing!

Jhum Rajkhowa: Lovely piece of work Chintu!God bless U.S.A❤️️❤️️


Lopamudra Bhattacharyya: Really well written,Chintu!


Vidya Sabesan: Nicely written Priyanka.


Sukanya Bora: Her speech last night was profoundly inspiring

Priyanka Rajkhowa Yupp Rims...


Barnali Bezbaruah: Very beautifully written Chintu


Sangeeta Bhatia: Beautifully written Chintu....I too felt very bad when she lost....the unfairness of it all and the sense of hopelessness.But also a great revealation to the world and people like us about the reality of the great US of A!!


Priyanka Rajkhowa: Thanks folks!

Prerona Chakravarty: Thanks Priyanka Rajkhowa for sharing this. You have given me the courage to finally admit what I have been trying to deny thus far. I went to bed early that night hoping the craziness of that evening was just that -"craziness"-and that the morning will bring good news. I saw my husband's wooden face in the wee hours and knew the worst had come to pass. I wept in the car on my way to work as I heard Hillary's concession speech. My cynicism has reached new heights and I can't help seeing a white colleague at work and wondering if he or she too believes in what that win represents. I worry about my son growing up in a country whose baseline has been downgraded thus. After all wasn't this what I was trying to escape when migrating to this country? Feels good to finally say it out loud in a public post. To be honest I no longer feel comfortable speaking up seeing what it has done to others in an authoritarian regime. Hope my fears have no basis and I am just being paranoid!
Priyanka Rajkhowa : Prerona: These are tough times and writing this has been cathartic...honestly I have felt much better since penning this down, but please don't let cynicism bog you down...these are the times when you need to keep faith in the people around you and choose to believe that there are more people around you driven by love, hope and positivity than by fear and negativity...while the question of why just 'more' and not 'most' or 'all' will always haunt us, just remember this has been the greatest country in the world for a long, long time and this has been primarily because of it's people . So please try to have faith in the fact that these good people will carry the weight of the country and will help ride over the wave this election has brought about...let's hope , pray and have faith that this will be sooner rather than's the zig zag path of progress and and hugs!!===================================================================================

Ankita Deka: Nice Priyanka Rajkhowa