Dear Mr. Cheeto,
This week, you rescinded the Obama administration guidelines that allowed transgender students in public schools to use the restrooms that correspond with their gender identities. You claimed that this was a “states’ rights” issue (more like an alt-right issue, if you ask me) and basically claimed that “bathroom access was not a federal matter”. Now anyone with a half brain, including your beloved Betsy “Grizzly Bears Are In Schools” DeVos knows that-which is why you threatened to fire her if she didn’t agree with you. (Also, just FYI, this isn’t the Apprentice.) Anyway, I could rant on and on about your incompetence until I’m blue in the face. Let’s discuss the real matters here.
Your voters, many of whom identify as socially conservative feel that keeping transgender individuals “is necessary to keep our women safe”. Many of your cabinet members feel the same way. Many of your advisors feel the same way. But this is utter bullshit...and as a person who was registered as a Democrat for many years, I know you know that. But you want to act like a president for all people? You want to keep women safe? Here are 5 things that you can do, without throwing anyone under the bus:
- Give women access to healthcare: You talked about reversing Roe v. Wade and judging by how many conservative judges you appoint to the Supreme Court during the 4th Reich...oh sorry, I mean your presidency, you may very well undo the historic decision of abortion. If women can’t have access to safe abortions, at least give them access to birth control so that they can take control of their lives, and not have to have abortions. Give them access to Planned Parenthood so that they can receive quality healthcare at an affordable price. Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care, well women’s exams, and even STD testing (I’m sure you know a little something about that). Without a great organization like Planned Parenthood, many women will not have access to basic healthcare to take charge of their bodies. Access to healthcare, a basic human right, provides agency so that women can write their own narratives, as men have had the right to do for several decades, years, centuries even. When women talk about healthcare and rights to our bodies, the socially conservative interpret that as abortion. But women who live in poverty, typically interpret that as the things I mentioned above. And by repealing the Affordable Care Act, not only are you going to throw 20 million people off of health insurance, you’ll also make it harder and less affordable for the women who do receive Obamacare to be able to access and afford basic health exams.
- Stop bragging about sexual assault: It’s obvious you respect no one, but at least stop bragging about it? Your Hollywood Access tape is famous, but the least you can do is say “I do not condone sexual assault and violence against women”. Verbal violence is still violence-so even if you never actually sexually assaulted someone, you are still contributing to the rape culture that horrifically exists in our country today. Your supporters at rallies cheer when you brag about women you know being a “10”. And on that note...
- Introduce legislation that makes stringently punishes rapists/assaulters: Two words: Brock. Turner. That’s right. We, the American people haven’t forgotten. Improve existing laws, or put in new ones, that actively work to protect women against sexual assault and violence. Women face the threat of sexual assault in the workplace, at college campuses, on the streets, and sadly, even in their own homes. Or perhaps, as someone who has been assaulted by a male cousin, I should say, especially in their own homes. Sexual assaults aren’t limited to any time of the day, so if you really want to increase police presence and resources, increase them at college campuses so that we can all feel a little more protected in our day to day lives.
- Advocate for equal pay in the workforce: All right, I get it. You only said the abortion stuff to appeal to lifelong Republicans and maybe the Access Hollywood tape isn’t really who you are anymore, but remember that guy who was a registered Democrat from New York who ended up running on the Republican ticket in 2016? You! Yes, you! You recently held a conference, joined by the wonderful man himself, Justin Trudeau, discussing women in business. Great! I almost thought you finally took a step in the right direction. But then, no mention of changing legislation to include equal pay for work. No mention of increasing paid maternity leave. No mention of reducing child care costs so as not to financially burden working mothers. Your daughter is a billionaire, who never had trouble affording childcare. But not every woman is Ivanka Trump. Your wife and son can afford to continue to live in New York because her childcare is now paid for by me, the American taxpayer. None of this because you were busy tweeting and spreading lies about terrorist attacks that literally never happened. Oh wait, sorry, you were probably just tired from your 6 golfing trips.
- And last but not least, recognize that transgender women are still women: My last and final point: READ. MY. LIPS. Transgender women are still women. What you have done by rescinding the Obama administration rule on bathroom access, is effectively made it easier for an already extremely marginalized community, more vulnerable to violence. Now, in so many red states, transgender girls will be forced to use boys restrooms in schools, making them an even easier target for bullying. Transgender students have some of the highest rates of depression and suicide. And now, what you’ve effectively done is make it harder for them to exist in public spaces at schools. As an educator in the public school system, I know that children come to school, eager to learn. Each child has different abilities and different strengths, and as an educator, it is my job to recognize those strengths and abilities and use them to empower my students through education. It is also my job to make each child feel safe when they come to school. But rescinding the Obama administration guidelines have now made it harder for transgender students to exist in public spaces. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop fighting for equal rights for all children, because if anything, it makes me want to fight harder.
So, in summation, I’ll say it one last time for the people in the back. Stop using protecting girls like me as a smokescreen to validate and justify your transphobia. Transgender women are still women and they deserve to be protected too. They deserve their rights: to healthcare, to feeling safe, to equal pay, and most of all, to exist without any shame, as do all women. Women, regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, sex at birth, socioeconomic status, religion or race; all deserve the above mentioned things. Even if you do manage to do one of these things while being president, I might just find it in my heart to respect you.
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