To the women of America: A letter of support from your Irish sisters
Now that Donald Trump is president-elect, women across the country rightfully fear what this means for our reproductive rights — but we are ready to fight. One of our readers in Ireland — a country where women are fighting for abortion access — has sent a letter of solidarity.
To the women of America,
I am sitting in my university library on a chilly autumnal day, and it’s difficult to actually comprehend the enormity of what has happened in America. A man who built a campaign off of sexist, racist, and homophobic ideals now has control over the most diverse and influential country in the world. And I want to tell you that I am so sorry.
I ache for the millions of immigrants who are now fearing deportation, for America’s Muslim community who will deal with even more undeserved hate and prejudice. I ache for American women who now know that more than half of the population does not value women. And I ache for the many sexual violence survivors who now must watch a man who has been accused of rape and assault become their leader, and threaten to punish any woman that chooses to take control of her reproductive rights.
You might ask what right I have to comment on this. As an outsider, it may seem easy for me to step away from my computer and forget about all of this. I don’t have to deal with the impact of Trump’s ignorance and hate. I live in Ireland.
We show it in small ways daily, when we stand our ground and do what’s right for ourselves, be it in our personal or professional lives. And we show it in big ways, too — like when we protest for our rights.
We did this by storming the streets of Dublin in the thousands to get behind the hugely successful “Repeal” campaign — a campaign to repeal the eighth amendment in our constitution that equates the life of the unborn to the life of a living, breathing woman.
In history, we have done the same.
Ireland has changed enormously in my short life time. We were once a nation that so brazenly violated women’s rights. We had little access to contraception, no possibility of divorce, and homosexuality was a criminal act the year I was born. I’m now 23 years old, and our journey inspires me. We are now the first country to have legalized gay marriage by popular vote, and we are in the middle of a battle for our reproductive rights.
Women of America, you have been dealt a devastating blow. The best woman didn’t win. It’s a slap in the face and a step backwards.
This is going to be a difficult four years, and I know you know that. But your collective future will be brighter, so long as you continue to fight, continue to educate yourself and those around you, and continue to remember you deserve better.
Your sisters from across the pond.