This 18 month long and polarizing American election has been truly surreal+absurd. One of the truly strange effects of this election is that certain of my female friendships that had endured for decades- through good times and bad times. Through career highs and career failures. Through personal disappointment. Through joy, happiness and the thrill of victory and personal achievement.
Through marriages, children, divorce, sickness and even death of loved ones or partners. Basically, through life- the good, the very bad and the truly ugly.
Could not withstand this friggin election. These long time women friends of mine. Two childhood friends. Two college friends. One such college friend, over time, post college, became a lover of mine.
Now, malhereusement- an ex lover. Another woman friend of mine had a fling with me over 4 decades ago. In our teens! Years later she tracked me down on Facebook. We reconnected. We Facebooked. We made plans to travel across the country to see if that decades long spark was still there. Then Hillary and Trump happened.
All these great and wonderful women. Blocked me. Unfriended me. Unfollowed me. Facebook Siberia. The Spry (Guy), Who Was Thrown Out in the Cold. Wow!
Apparently, I am not alone. A recent poll published by the Public Religion Research Institute and reported in the Washington Times, concluded, that a significant number of Democratic women reacted to Hillary Clinton’s unexpected election loss by blocking, “unfollowing” and “unfriending” people on social media who expressed opposing political views.
Specifically, 30% of Democratic women reported cutting off online communication with someone for political reasons since the Nov. 8 election., Such Democratic women were more than twice as likely to blot out dissenting points of view from their social media timelines as Democratic men, who reported doing so at a 14 percent rate.
I get it. My generation, especially, my contemporary female friends came of age with Hillary. Her many struggles- both personal, professional and political- were their struggles. My Democratic female friends became and were heavily and emotionally invested in the Hillary. They both identified and self-identified with Hillary. Hillary ran in 2008 and now 2016 as the first female US president. Her slogan, “I’m With Her” baldly implied, I am a women. You are a woman.
You have a deep sisterly obligation to vote for me, because a vote for me is a vote for all women. Conversely, if you don’t vote for me, you are being disloyal to all womanhood. You are letting down our gender. You are letting yourself down as a woman. Shame on you, you ungrateful “b”.
Added to this emotional mix is also the fact that studies have shown that self-identified liberal women
were even less tolerant of opinions that strayed from their preconceived notions, with 28 percent acknowledging that they had shunned at least one online political adversary, compared with 11 percent of self-identified moderates and 8 percent of self-identified conservatives.
Female Hillary loyalists. I sense your pain. America is ready for a female president. It has been ready for decades. America should have a female Commander- in- Chief. But as to the heavily flawed Hillary. I Am Not With Her.
I was not alone. Younger female Bernie women shunned Hillary like the plague. That should have been a sign. But female Hillaryites turned a blind eye to that sign, together with multiple signs throughout Hillary’s scandal-ridden and heavily flawed political and public career.
My final point, to my ex long time female friends. True friendship should transcend transitory politics. Hope and changey hero today. Gone tomorrow.
True friendship and the free and open discussion of diverse and conflicting views should be a higher good, than toeing the party line and speaking and writing just to the converted. Ultimately, time passes. Time heals. I hope some day we could become non unfriends.