Two students embrace at the Women in Solidarity event on Thursday.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Two students embrace at the Women in Solidarity event on Thursday.

November 10, 2016

Women’s Groups Fear Trump Victory Will Validate Abuse, Backwards Progress

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In the wake of the 2016 election, Cornell’s women’s advocacy groups are afraid that women in America will face more blatant sexism and a cancellation of their rights under Trump, many joining together to address the fear and sadness present on campus.

Vice President of Programming for Consent Ed Jenna Zitomer ’18 said she is concerned that Trump’s presidency “will have a negative impact on the discussion around consent on this campus.”

“I fear that students will become afraid to call out their peers on offensive language and inappropriate behavior, and that such rhetoric will be tolerated on the college campus,” Zitomer said. “The second this behavior becomes conventional and even fashionable is the second I begin to fear for a larger and much more frightening resurgence of sexual assault on and off the college campus.”

The Executive Board of the Society for Women in Politics said in a statement that members are afraid of the impact that Trump’s policies will have on marginalized groups.

“We are afraid that a Republican Supreme Court will disenfranchise many minority groups, repudiate reproductive rights, and cut back affirmative action, among other actions,” the Executive Board said in a statement. “Perhaps more frightening is Trump’s general attitude of superiority and disregard towards women and marginalized groups.”

The SWIP Executive Board anticipates rapid and harmful political and social change as a result of the election.

“We fear the loss of the progressive environmental strides that the country has made,”members said. “We fear for hardworking, decent immigrants who now consistently must worry about being deported, we fear for minorities and women who will be targeted much more frequently, and we fear for the economy.”

To address these fears, the Women’s Resource Center co-sponsored the event, Women in Solidarity, with Jennifer Mandelblatt ’17, who organized the event. Women in Solidarity invited people to “come together to preserve, reinforce, and strengthen our caring community,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

“Right now, there’s definitely a lot of confusion and pain in the results of the election, but this is where we are as a country,” Mandelblatt said. “When you’re ready to keep working to protect each other and fight for each other, just know we are here to advocate for equality, we are here to work for equality, and we are here to achieve equality. That’s why we’re doing this.”

Kim Herbert ’18, speaking at Women in Solidarity, reminded the group that progress is still possible.

“We were so close to making so much progress, and I think a lot of people were really expecting to keep moving forward,” she said. “Right now it feels like we’re taking a step forward and ten steps backwards, but something that’s helped me to think about is that women haven’t gone extinct. We’re still here and we’re only going to keep getting stronger. ”

Zitomer said that she believes this election “taught us that we cannot allow hatred to win.”

“Today more than ever, I have seen and heard about students and young Americans around the country making plans to mobilize and stand together as one cohesive unit,” she said. “Every generation has their fight, and this damn well is ours. No, we cannot change the outcome of this election over night. But we can, and we will, make our voices heard, because let me tell you … our voices are loud.”

  • Abe ’19

    Could you not find a single woman who supported Trump? 53% of white women voted for him. White women make up more than 53% of Cornell, so we’d expect to find someone.

    • Alum12

      1. Not the point of the article
      2. Cornell is 51% female and 42% identify as white per Forbes colleges report. Your numbers do not make sense.

  • Franie Leung

    After the election,I was talking to two white guys at the bar (I am an Asian American). They probably voted for Trump. They told me that they did not understand why Mulsims in the country should worry about Trump since Trump was only talking about Muslims who wanted to come into the country. I looked at them and said: You won’t understand because you have never been a minority and you don’t understand the anxiety of vulnerability being a minority. Being of Chinese of descent, I have sub-conscious empathy with Japanese Americans during the Second World War. I looked at their history and said to myself, if USA starts a war with China, will I be sent to a camp for protection? They still did not seem to get my message.

    • wana

      It is called “extreme vetting” … do you let just anyone into your house? Why do you have a front door? Why do people have fences on their properties? Why does the White House have a fence?

      This has more to do with ensuring laws are enforced and safety of citizens is enhanced.

      Immigrants are most welcome to America … just not the criminals and those who seek to do harm.

      How to identify such? Extreme vetting.

    • Election

      “They probably voted for Trump.”

      Did you ask them? Would it bother you if they assume who you voted for based on your skin color and perceived gender?

      And do these assumptions help the country come together to fight threats to our liberties in a helpful way?

    • George

      Since the Japanese actually (not theoretically) abused the Chinese for decades, why do you not fear the Japanese? Trump said nothing negative about Asians but Asians have decided they are at risk. What a bunch of shit. Save your complaints until something real happens.

    • nameisunrelated

      As an Asian myself, I respect your choice but I couldn’t understand your logic behind it.
      Fact: there are Muslim people.
      Fact: there are terrorists.
      Fact: based on statistical data, many terrorists are Muslim (don’t give me any PC shit, I’m simply pointing out the fact).
      Solution: more investigation (or to use the word, extreme vetting) is to be adopted, because, statistically, there are higher chance that a terrorist may come in.

      Tell me dude, what is wrong with that? Reality is out there, and you liberals just choose not to look into the direction and bury your head in the sand?

      If you don’t find the solution to be humane, what will be your solution? Tell us, and we are listening – unlike liberals who are immersed in their only fantasyland.

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