When Hillary Clinton conceded the presidency to Donald Trump in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, there was a sound rising around the country that was just as loud as the cheers of the Trumpsters. It was the sound of women sobbing.
When Brenna Curti, 24, watched Donald Trump take the stage and accept the presidency of the United States at about 4 am on Wednesday morning, she began to tear up.
“I was crying inconsolably. I was emotionally distraught. I actually felt physically sick to my stomach,” she reveals. “It was the worst feeling.”
For Ali Stagnitta, 22, a HollywoodLife staffer, the tears came multiple times. “The first was after Trump won Florida and my mother texted me and she said, ‘You need to start to manage your expectations. I think a lot of people voted for Trump who didn’t admit to it in the polls.” Stagnitta found herself weeping again when she woke up the next morning to a shocking text from a friend — which had arrived at 3:48 am — “White, racist America has spoken.” Then, her roommate came to her door, crying also, and said, “Seventy- eight years ago today, Kristallnacht happened in Germany — this is America’s Kristallnacht.”
Kristallnacht, for those of you who don’t know, was the first night of several organized attacks on Jews who lived in Germany and started on Nov. 9, 1938. Now, that’s a pretty intense comparison. However, many women confessed to HollywoodLife.com that they are genuinely feeling frightened by Trump’s presidency and the very real effects it could have on their lives and on the lives of their friends, families, coworkers and employees.
“At first, Donald Trump’s election was almost impossible to believe. It was a shock. It was almost like a death. I didn’t see it coming,” confesses Olga Vidisheva, 31, and the CEO of Shoptiques, an international shopping site, which she founded.
Vidisheva, now a US citizen, immigrated to America from Kyrgyzstan, in Russia, and the prospect of Donald Trump truly terrifies her. “We need safety. Where I grew up, there was violence in the streets. When I came to America, I felt safe as a woman,” recalls Vidisheva, who admits that she has cried more than once since Trump was elected. “Donald Trump makes me feel unsafe. He defies basic respect for women. He grabbed women.”
She also fears the consequences of Trump’s vow to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade — the court ruling guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion. “It’s scary for me that if a woman gets raped or accidentally gets pregnant, she might not be able to get an abortion — to have control over her own body,” confessed Vidisheva.
Vidisheva was so upset on the day after the election that she gathered female and male employees into her office who wanted to talk and cry together. “I’m a workaholic, but I couldn’t focus that day.”
For Sydney Levin-Epstein, a 21-year-old senior at George Washington University, the tears began when the reality of Donald Trump’s election started to sink in around midnight on Election Night. She was with a group of people watching the results come in, and when Florida was called for Donald Trump “people started wailing.”
Several of her fellow election result-watchers were new American citizens and some of their families are still trying to become citizens, and the reality, that that the door could be closed to them was devastating. “I had the realization that hate had won this election and I fear now what my life will be like as a woman. No matter how hard we fought we didn’t win. The man who said it’s okay to ‘grab women by the pussy’ won,” despairs Levin-Epstein. “The horror of that made me cry.”
Young women tell HollywoodLife.com that they feel overwhelmingly discouraged that a woman — especially someone as accomplished as Hillary Clinton, still couldn’t break the ultimate glass ceiling. “I’m sad that Hillary had a resume and a plan. She laid it all out, while Trump had no plan and he still got elected,” points out Stagnitta.
Brenna Curti, who works for a non-profit, has remained inconsolable and fearful. “I cried myself to sleep after Donald Trump was elected and I felt genuinely afraid when I woke up. My office on Nov. 9 was like a funeral. Men and women — we all cried during Hillary’s concession speech,” she recounts.
“I’m afraid for my rights as a woman. I’m afraid that the guys who assault drunk women at parties can look at the president as someone like them and think that it’s okay,” explains Curti. “I’m afraid for my dearest friends who are gay and lesbian and we have a VP (Mike Pence) who wants to send them to conversion therapy. And I’m afraid for my minority friends who will be the victims of racism and will have hateful things said to them.”
Fear is a new and unwelcome emotion for America’s young women. “Many of these women have personalized Hillary’s defeat. If she couldn’t accomplish her goal, they think — ‘What about me?'” explains relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle of drgilda.com. But she warns them not “to crumble because of this. You shouldn’t self victimize. You have to keep fighting for your goals and rise above this.”
That’s exactly what most of these young women plan to do. They are already donating to Planned Parenthood, which fights to protect women’s reproductive rights and healthcare needs, and also to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) which will work to protect minorities and the LGBTQ community from racism and bigotry.
So HollywoodLifers, don’t cry anymore — channel your grief and fear into action. Volunteer for and donate to the organizations that will fight any and all attempts by Donald Trump and Mike Pence to take away your rights. Here are their websites:
And so many more!