SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE DARK PLACES WITHIN: FURTHER MUSINGS ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY
The inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United Stats has the potential of waking us up to parts of ourselves we haven’t seen or refused to look at. By this I mean our own racism, bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, one-up-man-ship and narcissism. We have, whether we like it or not, elected a man who is a reflection of our culture in many ways. Many will balk at what I am saying here. “No, not me…never have I been racist or homophobic or xenophobic.” But how, then, did this happen? Whether we voted for him, refused to vote, turned our back on others because of our own self involvement, tolerated the growing disrespect for women or ignored the huge percentage of young Black men who are incarcerated, we all participated in the election to office of a man who is, in my professional opinion, a narcissistic sociopath.
Our cultural proclivity toward crudeness, vulgarity and profanity; our willingness to degrade ourselves as women and call it power, has allowed a man who brags about sexual assault and speaks of women as sex objects to become, arguably, the most powerful man in the world. If our female entertainers grab their own crotches in public as part of their “performance”, doesn’t that give men who are so inclined, permission to do the same thing? Why does a seat at the news anchor table or in the boardroom require beautiful legs if you are female? How have we let this stand? How did becoming a professional sex worker to finance college or get a few extra dollars become legitimate and “empowering”? I have read that 53% of white women voted for Trump. Is this not internalized misogyny? It saddens me deeply that women still have so much self loathing. This is a dark place that all women need to look at and have dialogue about. It has become so politically incorrect to speak of these things that we have actually gone backward politically! Ironic. I am not talking of a return to the virginal prudish female that is stereotypical of an earlier time (if there ever was such a time). I am speaking of women who respect themselves, respect their bodies and reject the notion that our highest value lies in our sex appeal and attractiveness. Now that’s an old-fashioned notion; one that I thought we fought to overcome in the earlier days of the women’s movement. Evidently, we have much more work to do.