This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilisations heal. – Toni Morrison
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the term systemic racism. I think we all have. 2016 has been a brutal year. But now that the election is over – and it is finally over - I am thinking about something else that this election highlighted to me.
I call it systemic misogyny. I don’t know if anyone else is using this term, but I think we need to… Our sisters don’t face a nebulous threat. They face a systemic one. I think the number of women who voted for Trump is a clear indicator that this is a systemic problem. I’m pretty sure that Hillary would agree with me too.
Why I like to call it systemic misogyny is because it manifests in so many other ways other than just a hatred - if hatred is even the right word - of women, but also in toxic masculinity, homophobia and transphobia.
Throughout this campaign, many people, artists and non-artists alike, depicted Trump as a man with a small penis. Because we all know that a man cannot be a man, if he has a small dick (as if no man with a big dick would ever be so vulgar as Trump!). We wanted to belittle him. And so rather than attack his actions, from which we had so many to choose, we went with what we were comfortable with, belittling him as a man and most specifically his manhood.
Hillary had the balls to win. Trump was a little man, who didn’t deserve to win. Think about that… We are so programmed to believe in these binary terms, that we think these words are also compliments.
Hillary deserved to win because she was infinitely more qualified than any president before her. Not because she had the balls. Not because bitches get shit done. Because she was the most prepared for the job at hand.
Trump did not deserve to win. I don’t even feel I need to explain why that is, but I’ll tell you one thing, it has nothing to do with the size of his dick. Because having a dick, whatever size it is, has nothing to do with your competency or lack thereof.
Yesterday, we told our sisters that once again, no matter how prepared you are for the job, it is more than likely going to go to a less qualified man. That is a shocking lesson that I imagine didn’t come as any surprise.
Now comes the difficult bit. My sisters, you are not a minority. I say this as a member of two minorities – black and gay. But you? You’re 51% of the world’s population! Continually victimising yourself as some helpless minority is doing yourselves an injustice. You have a voting power both my minorities combined could only dream of. But we have to get our houses in order and we need to recognise the ways in which systemic misogyny is ingrained in the way we approach these problems.
If we can eradicate that and work together - our newly mobilised sisters, LGBTs, people of colour and the disabled, we will be unstoppable. Because we will be the overwhelming majority. For the next four years, the fight is definitely on. And ultimately, we are on the right side of history.