TW: mentions assault, racism, sexism, homophobia
Dear Gary Herbert, Chris Stewart, Mike Lee, Jason Chaffetz, and every other member of the Utah (and national) Republican Leadership,
Hey. We need to talk.
I’ve been watching a lot of news recently (big weekend, huh?) and I saw your statements. While I would like to congratulate you for finally getting onto the same page as the rest of us, I also want to point something out.
As John Oliver noted in his weekly show, you all had some similar things to say about why you’re no longer voting for Trump. I commend you for having wives. And daughters. And sisters. But simply claiming possession of these human beings is not enough to excuse the fact that your have ignored Donald’s sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and general awfulness for more than a year.
But I don’t even want to talk about that. What I want to talk about is why your “support” of women means nothing to me.
I am a daughter. A sister. An aunt. Someday, I might be a wife or a mother. But I’m here, on the internet today, to tell you that I am a human being first.
Now, I don’t necessarily blame you for your misconceptions on this point. Not only are your misogynistic notions of my humanity reinforced by the patriarchal structure of US society, but you also belong to a church that teaches that a woman’s power comes from being a wife and mother. It’s easy to see how you might be confused.
But as a human being, I deserve rights and am guaranteed these rights by the Constitution you claim to defend. Rights like access to the health care I need. Rights like knowing that people of color in our community can trust law enforcement. Rights like being paid what I deserve for the work that I do. Rights like the ability to marry whomever I choose and not be discriminated against for it. Rights like sex-ed in public schools to keep myself safe. Rights like knowing that if I am raped or assaulted my attacker will be prosecuted. (Isn’t it interesting that your condemnation of Trump had nothing to do with the fact that he was talking about sexual assault and everything to do with the fact that it was your women he might be touching? Curious.)
And, as you’ll see if you click on any of the links in the paragraph above, Utah has a pretty awful track records for ALL of these things. That isn’t on Donald and his comments this weekend. That isn’t even on his general awfulness. That is on you and your unwillingness to actually stand up for the rights of the people in Utah.
So I’m writing you this letter today to let you know that I registered to vote this morning. That this year in Utah I not only have the chance to vote for the first female president, but also for the first trans woman and youngest person ever for the senate, for a candidate for Governor whom I originally met at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, and for candidates who work with Equality Utah, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations that are protecting my rights against your attacks.
I want you to know that I am registered to vote; I am excited to vote; and I will not be voting for you until the reality of my– of our– HUMANITY is more important to you than which privileged, white man can claim ownership of my existence.