I was speaking to the gender balanced audience at Leadership Jersey saying how there’d never been a better time to be a woman, as we were standing at the edge of the watershed – a woman in the White House, not as FLOTUS but the first female US president.
Then the unthinkable happened and I need to revise my view; there was a better time to be a woman, it was just over 2 weeks ago!
What we learned on 8th November is a man like Trump can get away with saying literally anything and still be considered electable to the highest office, while a few ill-judged comments from a woman and the whole election defeat is placed firmly at her door.
The truth is of course this election was won and lost on so much more than just gender, but for those of us around the world focussed on a Hillary victory as our breakthrough moment, the defeat has hit hard.
We now have a choice, we can choose to protest, to blame and be a victim of Trump’s new American vision, or
we can use this moment to make conscious the unconscious biases that have existed prior to Trump and will continue to exist post Trump.
The unconscious bias in the patriarchal system that will let “a man be a man” but condemns a woman when she fights like a man – the collective unconscious stereotypes don’t forget her calling Trump supporters “deplorables”, while most of his outrageous racist and misogynistic comments get glossed over as “locker room talk”.
Many calls to action have gone out across America, especially amongst the younger generation, here are a few links to some of the blogs I’ve been seeing.
While so far many of the more traditional women’s movements have yet to comment.
At next week’s WDF in Jersey – 23rd November at the Royal Yacht – we will take a few minutes out of our programme to examine the reactions of the people in our audience to the Trump election victory and how this might impact the women of Jersey.
My big question is – can what seems today like a massive blow to the gender equality story actually turn into a positive?