Today marks the one year anniversary of the 2016 presidential election.
I’m sure you’ve all seen a million similar takes on how a white girl of a certain “liberal coastal elite” profile had a visceral reaction to this moment. A moment resembling a mix between full body convulsions and teenage heartbreak. So I’ll spare you the details.
Yes, I wore a “Nasty Girl” tee to work that day, smiling discretely at the other ladies sporting the same. Yes, I plopped down to watch evening coverage convinced I would witness victory for the first female president of the United States. Yes, I screamed at the TV and cried uncontrollably in the shower the next morning (and in my car before work listening to Hillary’s concession speech). Yes, this defeat was symbolic for me, giving an unwelcome voice and legitimate platform to past experiences of sexism and assault in my life.
But this post isn’t about re-living what happened that day. It’s not about politics.
There’s no denying that this moment sparked a third wave of feminism full of energy, new members, and new ideas. From the estimated millions of women worldwide who participated in the Women’s March, to the 3 million members of Pantsuit Nation, this defeat lit a fire under our “coastal elite” pussy-hat wearing rears.
As part of this feminist awakening, two of my best girlfriends and I had this crazy idea that we should create a game that not only empowers women, but also gives others an entertaining, raw peak into what a day in the life is really like. I threw myself into this venture and so far it has been an incredibly rewarding use of my time and energy (probably better than yelling at my TV every time Trump acts like an a** hole). We’ve found a fun way to unite with like-minded ladies.
But what about the 41% of women and 53% of white women who voted for Trump? How do you fit into this “Persist Game” empire we’re building? Let me give it to you straight my small government loving, fiscally conservative sister. You have an invitation to this party. We genuinely want you here.
This is a somewhat controversial take as I’ve heard and read several angles that argue “we don’t need the female Trump voter” to push for progress. And while I agree with this in a certain policy context, I disagree with it in terms of how we approach fighting the patriarchy as a whole.
How are we supposed to unite successfully to fight the patriarchy missing 41% of us? Even if we could get there, think of how much faster we would succeed if we found common ground and fought together where we agree? If we listened to each other, laughed together about similarities instead of hurling insults and assigning judgements?
I’m sure there’s a lot we’ll never agree on and constructive dialogue and disagreement is vital to a well functioning society. So is laughter. So is learning. So is connecting. Persist folds in all of these elements in a fun, non-threatening way. The Persist experience is like having a grown up slumber party with your best friends.
To my Trump voting sisters. I want you here. You are invited to this Persist party. We need to hear your side. You need to hear ours. Let’s find common ground. Let’s laugh about mansplaining and kid poop stories. Let’s cry about insecurities. Let’s learn about others’ experiences together.
Because if we can’t come together, well. Madeleine Albright said it best, “There’s a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.”