Wednesday, November 9, 2016

If you asked me this time yesterday why I would be spending the whole night crying, why I’m in tears right now, I would have told you that I was so happy to see love win over hate. To see bigotry smashed by inclusion. To see that hope is greater than fear. To see our first woman president elected.

My mom, my greatest supporter and champion in my life, told me to be careful with what I say and what I post on social media. I’m sorry, mom, I am too angry, too scared, too disappointed to not raise my voice in solidarity with those upset about the result of this election. I am aware of my privileges — my citizenship, the color of my skin, my sexuality, my education — I am aware of the protections they afford me, and I am aware that if I stay silent now, I become complicit in a system that has failed so many. I refuse to let fear silence my outrage and my hurt.

I didn’t expect the outcome of this election to hit me so hard. Mostly that’s because I didn’t expect the results to turn out the way they did. I didn’t expect half of the country that I love to vote for ideals so contrary and abhorrent to my nature.

I know people who voted for Trump. Good people, kind people. I know they had their reasons. Dissatisfaction with the current administration. Voting for a party historically aligned with their religious values. They shoved Trump’s bigotry aside or even agreed with it, saying “so what” and ignoring the pain it caused other people, because they didn’t feel like those things affected them.

I know people who voted third party. Who, when faced with two options they hated, refused to vote for a major party, even knowing that their vote could help usher in a victory for hate. I know some of them hold no qualms voting the way they did because Trump’s hate didn’t directly affect them either.

I know all these things, but there’s so much I don’t know. Don’t and can’t understand. I don’t understand how such a highly qualified candidate can lose against someone with no government experience. I don’t understand how a platform built around inclusivity and the tenable fact that all are created equal can lose against a platform that not only wants to deport so many but also wants to build physical walls to further isolate and divide us. I don’t understand how a country’s hate for one woman could be so encompassing that it erases all the undesirable qualities of the man running against her.

I’m not saying that Hillary is perfect. I’m not saying that we don’t need political party reform in order to attract better and more viable main party and third party candidates. I realize the the ideological limits of a two party system and the frustration of backing a candidate, an ideal, a notion that has a slim chance of winning against establishment politics.

Our system is broken and needs change and reform, and I know that I will do what I can to help fix that. But right now, as a woman, as the daughter of an immigrant, as a member of a diverse and beautiful local and global community, I am worried.

I am worried for the rights of all women. I am worried for women in the workplace, under respected and under paid. I am worried for sexual assault and rape survivors, who are blamed and victimized in our society of rape culture and “locker room talk.” I am worried for everyone’s access to proper and affordable healthcare, including access to birth control and safe abortions for women. I am worried for the minorities in this country, facing injustices everyday to try to get their voices heard. I am worried for the LGBTQ community, afraid of a government against who they are and who they love. I am worried for people with disabilities and those who suffer from mental illness, unable to get the help and support they deserve. I am worried for immigrants, risking so much in hopes of finding a better life in America. I am worried for refugees with no place to go and no home to return to. I am worried for Muslim and Hispanic communities. I am worried for women of color. I am worried for my friends, for my mom, for my brother, for myself.

I am worried for a country so divisive that it neglects the ideals and hopes of half its citizens. I am worried for a country of people too blinded by their privilege to empathize with those whose beliefs are different from their own.

I am worried knowing that people I know — people who say they care about me — voted for a candidate who wants to take away my rights and the rights of so many of the people I love.

I’ve read a lot of things today, but I am perhaps the most heartbroken from the experiences of parents and teachers explaining the result to their kids. Explaining how a liar and a bully could become the president. I am worried for the kids who live in fear because of this result.

While I allow myself this day for mourning, left in the numb terror of a future that allows for the prevalence of hate, I know I can’t let my worry, my heartbreak, my disappointment, my fear bind me to inaction. I cannot stand idly by to see the rights stripped from those who need them the most. I refuse to expose my future students and my future kids to a reality of hate and hopelessness. I refuse to accept a future without hope.

Today, I reach out to the broken-hearted, to my friends, for comfort, guidance, support, and love. Tomorrow, I fight.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Readathon Results

This is a really quick update to my last post about Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon. I honestly didn't read as much as I hoped to. While I listen to audiobooks while commuting and working and occasionally read single issues of comics during lunch breaks or right before bed, I hadn't picked up a novel for pleasure in a really long time.

I started my morning off by reading two volumes of Bill Willingham's Fables, Volume 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers and Volume 5: The Mean Seasons. I've somehow been really dragging my heels reading my way through this series, but I really do enjoy seeing the cast of fairy tale characters cast in different lights. I think these two volumes really started escalating the threat of the Adversary even more, which was especially exciting.

The novel that I attempted to pick up was Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I only got 5 chapters in on Saturday, but I'm already enjoying it immensely. My enjoyment of it might actually be a contributing factor to how slowly I've been going through it; even though I know it's only the first in a trilogy, I still want to savor my reading experience. I loved The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin when I read it in college and gender dynamics are really fascinating to me in general, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they play out throughout Leckie's trilogy. Maybe it wasn't the best choice for me during a readathon, but, even with as slow as I was going taking breaks between chapters, I didn't want to switch to another book or even back to Fables.

I might not have gotten as much reading done as I wanted to, but it was really nice to carve out a day and dedicate it to reading. I'm definitely looking forward to set aside more reading days, especially as the weather gets warmer.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Readathon!

I'll be participating in Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon today!

I don't have a set TBR for it, but I will be updating my Twitter with my progress throughout the day.

I'm hoping to get through a few volumes of Fables by Bill Willingham and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

(Yet) Another Catch-Up Post

Hi blog, it's been ages. Let's do a quick catch-up post of some of the books and movies since my last post (one day I will eventually do more than catch-up posts). Ready, set, list!

Books
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill. When I first found out about this book on YouTube, it was pitched as The Handmaid's Tale meets Mean Girls. The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite books, so I was a bit hesitant to the concept from it adapted, but I was absolutely not let down.Only Ever Yours is a really grim, really pessimistic science fiction look into a future where patriarchy has no boundaries and highlights issues that women face in society right now. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of a Bitch Planet for a slightly younger audience — unapologetically feminist but with less cursing and nudity. I recommend it to everyone.
  • Asking for It by Louise O'Neill. I loved Only Ever Yours so much that I immediately raced to read O'Neill's other book right after. Though this one also deals with misogyny, I found that Asking for It gave a really powerful and personal look at how societal pressures affect and develop misogyny internally. Its contemporary setting deals a lot with the realities of rape culture in a really intelligent, though heartbreaking way that is, perhaps, a bit more depressing than Only Ever Yours given how real the situation is.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I don't know why it took me this long to read this. I love female protagonists; I love spy stories; I love unusual narrative structures. I loved everything about this book; I even loved how much it made me cry. I need to get around to reading the sequel. The end.
Movies
  • The Martian. Super enjoyable adaptation of a novel I really enjoyed. The effects were great; the editing was great; Matt Damon was great. Sure, some things were left out because of time constraints, but, overall, I couldn't ask for more.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I know The Force Awakens was basically A New Hope. Am I okay with that? Absolutely! I was so so so excited while watching this movie because FINALLY a female Star Wars! Not going to lie, I got a bit teary eyed in the theater because I was thinking about all the little girls watching it who were going to look up to Rey. I don't really understand all the fandom hype for Kylo Ren, who I'm basically regarding as the Star Wars Snape right now (btw, my absolute dislike for Snape never changed), but I love Finn and Poe and Rey and, of course, BB-8. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment (and Rogue One!).
  • Deadpool. Deadpool was basically perfection. It's really hard to pull off breaking the fourth wall without completely messing with the pacing of action, and the timing was absolutely on point. It was super violent and super crude, but then again, that's essentially Deadpool's character and you just have to accept that.
  • Zootopia. I heard some great things about Zootopia but still wasn't too excited to go see it. Oh man. It was sooo good. It's probably the most political movie Disney has done, but it was done in such a way that it never seemed forced. Zootopia dealt with some pretty big (and relevant) issues such as women in men dominated spheres as well as regional and racial prejudices, but the overall tone was so optimistic and heartening.
Well, there you have it. A quick update on a few of the things I've read and seen in the past few months. Hopefully, I can get into the habit of posting more sometime relatively soon!