I don’t even live in America, but I have spent the week stuck in the first stage of grief. Total and utter denial. I switched off the TV before the result was called and went and cried in the shower.
I am an angry white woman. I come from a privileged middle class background. Both of my parents had jobs, both are educated. I grew up in a solidly middle class area and in a very stable family. I faced no financial barriers to attending college and my parents were able to pay for extra classes for me to ensure I would get into my first choice of third level institution. On leaving college, while I struggled a little to find my feet, I was able to secure employment with ease and I’ve never been unemployed since. My parents helped me to buy my first home.
When I met my husband, one of the first things we had in common was our backgrounds. When we got married, we chose and were able to pay for the wedding we wanted. We were able to buy a larger home in an area we wanted to live in. We have incomes that place us in a privileged position relative to the national average. We’ve been able to take holidays, purchase luxury items and have a very good standard of living. We’ve been able to donate to causes that are important to us and can choose to attend marches and rallies knowing that we’ll be safe.
I know I am white. I know I am wealthy. I know I have not struggled against adversity to any great degree. I know it is probably a first world problem to have spent every hour since 7am on Wednesday in a daze, wondering what on earth happened, and how and why it happened. And if I, as a privileged white woman living in an entirely different country to the one that elected a fraud, a sexual predator, a man who mocks disability and thinks building walls are a good idea, I cannot imagine how those who aren’t as privileged as me living in America are faring this week.
I’m trying to figure out how I can use my privilege to bring about change of any kind. When I started my blog, I just wanted to write a bit and have a creative outlet because my paid employment doesn’t really allow for that. Campaigning on repealing the eighth amendment was the start of my wondering if perhaps I need to channel my anger. Because sometimes anger is a good emotion to have, and a necessary one too.