Note to Self on Inauguration Day
Well, it’s Inauguration Day. The heretofore unthinkable is becoming a reality and later this morning, Donald Trump is being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
There were many things about Trump’s candidacy that revolted you, from his overtly racist rhetoric to his seemingly off-the-cuff policy decisions to how he so casually and rudely put down his opponents. At every turn, you found yourself saying, “this guy has no right to be running for office.”
But of all the things that made Trump a reprehensible candidate, it was his treatment of women that vexed you the most. Simply put, you consider him to be a misogynist. You honestly think that Donald Trump sees men as being superior to women. And that is unacceptable in the Oval Office.
So, as we collectively lurch and tumble into four years of a Trump presidency, I want to charge you to do these three things:
First, care for the women around you who are threatened by a Trump presidency. That includes the single mothers in your neighborhood who worry about what will happen in the wake of his promised Obamacare repeal. That includes the women in your life who are repeatedly offended by Trump’s comments and actions. And that includes your daughters, who are going to have to grow up with a president that you wouldn’t trust to babysit them. Care for these women by listening to their concerns, by offering encouraging words, and by modeling a different brand of manhood.
Second, use your male privilege to empower women whenever possible. From Trump’s cabinet picks alone, it seems clear that he is not going to be the kind of president who goes out of his way to empower women, so you must do that in even greater measure. Look for opportunities to sponsor women into greater leadership, in your church, at work, in the soccer club, and in every other situation you find yourself in. Before you say “yes” to anything, ask yourself the question “is there a woman that I can invite to take this on instead of me?” Because you’re a man, culture gives you power; put it to work on behalf of others.
Third, pay attention to what he says and does. And speak out when he crosses the line. Donald Trump is a creature of twitter, so tweet at him. Every time he says or does something to further push women to the margins, have at it. The Bible talks about speaking truth in love. The “love” part comes easy for you; you’ll need to focus on speaking truth where it’s needed.
Rob, commit yourself to these three things, and more.
Now is the time to practice what you preach.
Now is the time to be the best version of yourself.