The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. With the results of the presidential election, I’m sure many of us have experienced some if not all of these feelings.
Denial. Telling yourself there is no way this man will be president. This has to be some sort of cruel joke.
Anger. How could these people be so stupid? I hate this country so much.
Bargaining. Okay, so if we have another election right now and make every single American vote, whoever wins can be president for eight years instead of waiting four years for another election.
Depression. While crying and eating copious amounts of ice cream, you think about just taking a nap for the next four years.
Acceptance. This is the most important step.
We as a country need to accept that this happened and we’re going to have to live with it for the next four years. If this blows up in our faces, we can use it as a learning experience and make sure our country never goes down that path again.
How did the American people let the country get to this point? The overwhelming power of the rich, old, straight, white man in our patriarchal society had something to do with it.
In her blog post for the American Philosophy Association titled “What Feminist Epistemology Would Say to Donald Trump,” Villanova Philosophy Ph. D. candidate Miranda Pilipchuk, looks at why Donald Trump is able to be so sexist and racist and still gain a following for president.
Epistemology is a philosophy term essentially meaning the study of knowledge. More specifically, it is the study of who is a credible knower and why.
“As a white, rich, heterosexual, cisgendered, abled man, Trump occupies both the most privileged social location, and the most advantaged epistemic position,” Pilipchuk wrote.
Trump’s credibility is not called into question because of his status; he is automatically considered a credible knower.
“When Trump speaks, his audience is more likely to believe that what he says is truth, and less likely to challenge his right to speak at all,” she continued.
Since he is in the highest position socially — and now the highest position politically — he is often supported without having the validity of his arguments called into question.
Donald Trump has been in the media for most, if not all, of his life. He is clearly a sexist. There is a video of him telling Billy Bush he can “grab women by the pussy” because Trump is a celebrity and of him explaining that bragging about sexually assaulting women is just “locker room talk.”
Our next president is sexist, which is a big step back from Barack Obama who has fought to get rid of the wage gap and address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.
“In the context of an epistemically privileged position such as the one Trump occupies, the central concern … is not objectively establishing what the truth is, but rather defending the right of the epistemically privileged to speak ‘the truth,’” Pilipchuk wrote.
This idea of epistemic privilege or epistemic authority makes it less likely for people to think Trump is lying. So instead of Trump justifying his arguments, he defends his position as a figure of epistemic authority.
Pilipchuk’s blog post was meant to point out that even though it has been proven that Donald Trump has lied or doesn’t have the authority to speak about certain issues — Hillary Clinton’s sex life or Republican debate moderator Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle — he is forgiven for saying anything offensive because of his position as a “white, rich, heterosexual, cisgendered, abled man.”
Our next president is sexist. It’s okay to be upset or angry about the result of the election, as long as you come to accept that it happened. Fighting against the results of the election and making your opinion heard about what he tries to change are completely different.
Acceptance does not mean you like it or agree with it. Acceptance is a promise to continue to push forward in the feminism movement and other movements for social equality to continue to better the country.