As the founder and senior editor of a website striving to advance the interests of women in geek culture intersectionally, I’ve been thinking about what to say to this community since the states started flipping red on the map.
Through this election season, we as a publication have remained overtly left, championing acceptance over hate, but not tackling the political issues directly because it was a challenge and because those who do desire equality often felt disenfranchised and divided within our own movements.
No one pitched me a political post and I did not solicit any.
That was a mistake. It was irresponsible, and I deeply apologize to the community. Doing the right thing means making hard choices, owning our mistakes, and discussing our pain. We can’t advance without that.
So like Clinton, like the women that we have been conditioned to be, and with extreme sincerity, I will begin with that apology.
What Do We Do Now?
You are under no obligation to be reasonable when it is not a reasonable time.
Fear of publishing the wrong thing or going too far to the left or right or worrying about alienating readers: these are things I have felt, and they are a shameful way to lead any publication. It’s too safe. You should still self-advocate and we will still support you. Please tell us how.
The Geek Initiative: How We Move Forward
Starting now, The Geek Initiative accepts and solicits political contributions in recognition of the people further marginalized by this election and in remembrance of the activists and suffragists – particularly the women of color – who started us on this path.
Issues like equal pay have been seen as ‘political’ and not civil rights issues.
The worst mistakes I have ever made in my life involve letting other people tell me that my feelings or opinions are unreasonable. Whether you feel peace or rage, feel how you want to feel. If someone tells you something different, ask yourself what power they are seeking to gain over you.
You can see the changes happening when (some of) the men try to tell you how to deal with it or that you shouldn’t be afraid. It’s like they are different people than they were 12 hours ago. This is what happens when the gates to rape culture are wide open – they don’t even realize they’re doing it, and you’re just left there wondering if you’re crazy.
Moving Forward Personally
We all have our own personal stories. Some of us will just try and work and get through the day. Some of us will need the help of a suicide prevention hotline. Some of us may never speak to some members of our family again. All of these are legitimate, acceptable options. All of these feelings are valid.
In March of this year, I left an emotionally abusive marriage in which my health was not a priority. I decided to focus on my health and I am trying to get a diagnosis for an autoimmune condition that constantly attacks my body. I decided it was time to put my career ahead of other things and I even found a new job opportunity that would enable me to keep working while still focusing on my health.
I did that. Not my ex. Not a political candidate. Not a policy.
And not without support.
I was excited to welcome an era in which my contributions were seen as equal. This year, I initiated a divorce, moved to another state, changed jobs, experienced a decline in my health, bought reliable transportation, got into a car accident, lost my beloved grandmother, and started a new, nurturing relationship.
I did all those things you’re not supposed to do two of in the span of six months, but I did them all within a span of that time, mostly not by choice but necessity.
For obvious reasons, a Donald Trump presidency and three branches potentially able to legislate my body only add to those stressors. Each in its own might be tolerable, but all those issues together are not.
The Abuse Victim’s Experience
[Trigger warning for abuse victims in this section.]
Do you remember it? The moment you had the full realization of what you were going through, how you were used, and how you put in 90% of the emotional labor for 10% of the power? It’s still pretty fresh for me and it’s going to take a lifetime to heal.
If you’re like me, you may have the not-so-unique trauma of realizing exactly how much your future president has in common with your abuser. Please take steps to talk it out with empathetic individuals and practice self care.
I personally promise to contribute even more time, effort, and money to the efforts of this publication in support of the continual struggles of women, which are obviously still so great.
Are you with me?
“Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton in her concession speech