Today was an emotionally difficult one. I woke up like so many others this morning with a heaviness in my heart and gut that’s not likely to disappear for a while.
A lot of folks have written long-form pieces on the misogyny, white supremacy, xenophobia, and entitlement that have fueled the Drumpf campaign; that’s not what I want to write about here because so many people are speaking about it more eloquently than I can.
But I can speak to this: with a vice president coming into office who has done everything possible to roll back Roe vs. Wade in his state, reduce women’s access to contraception and reproductive health, and who has tried to criminalize miscarriage – now in a national position of power with no one to check that power – our reproductive rights are genuinely in a precarious position.
In Indiana, minors must have parental permission to get a prescription for birth control. Sex education isn’t required and if it is taught, abstinence must be stressed. Teaching about contraception is NOT required. There are no anti-discrimination laws or anti-bullying laws in schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and there’s no statewide hate crime law.* Much has been said about Indiana’s draconian measures to restrict abortion and its attempt to encourage discrimination against same-sex couples; this is the man who will be tasked with helping to choose our next secretaries of health and human services and education. Who will be partially responsible for nominating the next Supreme Court justice.
Furthermore, knowledge itself is dangerous to Drumpf. The more educated people are, the less likely they were to vote for him. As an educator, I’m nervous not only about the future of teachers’ unions and science and history textbooks, but about an administrative attack on higher education and knowledge as a whole.
There are many who joke about leaving the US for greener pastures; I certainly sympathize with that sentiment. I’m swimming upstream, though. After seven years of living as a resident alien in another country, I’m coming home. I was already planning on this well before the election, but after yesterday, my feeling that now is the right time is much stronger. I can’t make my voice heard from South Korea. I cannot march, I cannot organize, I cannot be an advocate or active ally for young people and communities who lack access to resources. There are trying times ahead, and it’s time to jump in with both feet.
*This information comes from Sex, Etc., which I highly recommend you check out for state-by-state information on laws concerned with birth control, abortion, and sex education.