This Morning

This morning my daughter wanted me to make her an owl.  I cut out the body and two wings, setting them on the paper tucked up against the paper body.  Immediately she took them and set them outwards and said, “No, she is flying mom.”

I fell asleep late last night and like so many of us woke in the early hours of the morning to the shock of a reality I did not believe would or could happen.  I rose with a pit in my stomach.  I woke with deep disappointment in the state I grew up in, the Mormon state, the one who could have proved to me that they value my body, my voice, my daughter, over possible economic advantage, but they did not.

I also woke to something I did not entirely expect, as I read through my emails, texts and social media, I found words that did not spell defeat.  I saw words about love over hate, about bravery and action.  I read the words of friends who, although heartbroken, did not miss a beat in going to one another to ask, what now?  What do we do? We will do it.  If no one else will usher in our voices, we will do it ourselves.

I am positive my words will garner unkindness here in the comments, but can I ask today that you please don’t?  So much of our religion resides in the idea that we care for each other, that we mourn with each other even when we don’t understand the source of that mourning.  Let me be clear, as a woman, as a mormon, as a mother, today I mourn.  I expect that whatever our political views are, we are capable as a people of attempting to understand that.  If not, what good is our religion doing us?

This morning I am short on words as I process what these next four years mean for me, my daughter, my son,  my Muslim friends, the classroom of hispanic children I teach, my friends who belong to the LGBT community, the #blacklivesmatter movement.  I look ahead and feel a lot of fear and sadness, but also, when I take a moment to readjust my wings, to listen deeply to the parts of my heart that are broken,  I hear clearly my daughter saying, “No, we are flying, mom.”  We can be the ones to make things better.


  1. Bless you, Ashmae.

    Yes, it’s up to us. We have to learn to love better than we ever thought imaginable.

  2. hawleyberry says:

    Kind thoughts from one with tears in her eyes to another

  3. Standing with you, mourning with you, and determined to create change for the better with you. Much love.

  4. It was with a broken heart I greeted the day. So happy I became aware of this blog. While I do not know you, I am lifted by you.

  5. Thanks for this, Ashmae.

  6. Thanks for this, Ashmae.

  7. Love to you, Lady. I’ve been combing the interwebs for words that speak peace to me, and this is what I need today.

  8. Rape survivor says:

    I can’t find that kind of hope today. I feel this even more acutely waking up this morning the betrayal of every person who voted for Trump.

    Every person who voted for Trump voted for a man they knew sexually assaults women and brags about it. Every person who voted for him chose to high five the men who molested me as a child and raped me as a teenager. They looked rape culture squarely in the eye and said, “Yes, I want that to represent me.”

    There is no question of he said/she said to take cover behind. It is his own bragging, in his own voice that every voter had the chance to hear, and the votes from heavily Mormon areas of the country tell me that men and women who are “good Mormons” support the rape and abuse of women. This is rape culture that Mormons heavily supported. They chose to join the team that devalues eon, minorities, and those with disabilities. There are always consequences to elections. The Nov 5 policy told gay Mormons what value the church and it’s membership placed on them. This vote shows exactly what value women, especially those who are survivors of rape and sexual assault, exactly how little we are valued.

    Don’t worry though, it’s unlikely that the church will have to live with the victims. Especially if they lose their ACA coverage to the party who believes that those of us with preexisting conditions don’t deserve the right to have coverage, there will be no where to turn and we will join the many members of the Mormon LGBTQ population that are simply suicide statistics.

    I truly hope that your daughter is right, that there will be people who fly because of this. I just don’t expect that there will be any place for people like me to find anything close to people who will mourn with me. Overwhelmingly, Mormons chose to vote for rape culture in a way that is incompatible with even pretending to care about victims of sexual assault.

  9. All of this. The Utah vote hurt me deeply. I am so disappointed in my people. I am feeling like my religion is just words, not actions; and I was taught that was hypocrisy and blasphemy.😪
    I will be kind and soldier on, let’s stand together and give love and support.

  10. ashmae, you are awesome.

  11. Jack; unfortunately exit polls put Mormon support for Trump at 61%.

    We can try and pretend that Mormons were better than that (as some do for pornography), but the numbers tend to pin us down.

  12. Jack-those numbers are nicer, but I still feel betrayed. If Romney had that much support, why didn’t they listen to him now, he publicly condemned Trump. And worse, a prominent female leader endorsed Trump by praying at his rally. We women don’t have much of a voice, and it was used to degrade us. A male leader used his power and privileged influence, and it fell on deaf ears. That is disheartening indeed. Please, speak up for us until our voices can be heard by themselves–that will help us all.

  13. I am with rape survivor. I like white men less today. I respect them less. My husband even knows this and reminded me that he voted for Hillary. I can’t help it. My Mormon community, the people who I thought would stand up to defend women against this man who sees women only in terms of whether or not he wants to f them, have said they value something more than their women, wives, sisters, daughters, mothers. I don’t really understand what that something is, it can’t possibly be their own economic well being. Why would they then vote for a man who does all his manufacturing overseas? Being against a rich elite? Why would they vote for someone so rich? No, I don’t understand what they value more than women, but it doesn’t really surprise me. As a survivor of sexual assault, I already knew most men don’t care. They refuse to see the damage sexual assault does. They might have to examine their own privilege as men in our culture. And of course many women buy into rape culture. If they can convince themselves that only a certain kind of woman gets raped, then they feel safe that they won’t be raped. And I like them a lot less today too.

    Yup, I am having a hard time this morning not wanting to tell people what their vote really means, means to my lesbian daughter and her wife, what it means to a woman whose life is in danger due to a pregnancy, my Moslem friends who are afraid this morning to wear their scarves, my friends who were raised in Mexico, my safety as a woman. What their vote means for our constitution that they voted for a man who suggests will not follow that constitution and obviously does not know or understand our constitution. What their vote means for our earth, that they would vote for someone who denies that we have pollution problems or that there is any such thing as global warming.

    Maybe tomorrow I can be kind. But today I am in mourning for what I thought of my country.

  14. Mourning with you. It’s always us.

  15. “…value my body, my voice, my daughter, over possible economic advantage, but they did not.”

    Because your “feelings” are what’s the most important, right? Because the whole country is supposed to exist to make you feel good about yourself. Or, perhaps, feminism and Victimhood Culture haven’t completely taken over the church, yet. There is hope!

  16. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thank you.

  17. Thank you, Ashmae.

  18. Ann and Rape survivor: I’m deeply sorry, I’m grieved, and to compound it, I feel like my grief will do so very little to alleviate your pain or help fix the real problems you’ve faced and will continue to face. I’m grateful for the many people like Ashmae who are expressing hope at this dark moment, we need those voices. But yes, I’m also thinking about the people who can’t feel a modicum of that hope, at least not yet, and for what seem like very good reasons. (I reckon Ashmae is thinking of them, too.) I don’t believe many of the people who ended up voting for Donald Trump actively share the racism and sexism he encouraged, and that was shown by some of his supporters. Perhaps just as bad in terms of outcome, many of those who voted for him are perhaps either unaware of those things about him, or they don’t care about them enough to decide not to vote for him for other reasons. (And who knows what the 40%+ of Americans who didn’t vote at all are thinking.) All things considered, it’s an extremely difficult time, more difficult for some than for others. I promise to keep my eyes, ears, heart, and mind open as we all keep swimming in this. I’ll keep watching, I’ll keep.

  19. *Anna, sorry

  20. Anna, and RapeSurvivor, I’m so sorry. Please know that many are with you and want to make things better. Thank you for responding here so thoughtfully, even when you are hurting and these few words can’t make that any better.

  21. also, wrote that before I saw BHodges comment, but I agree 100% with what he says here and completely acknowledge and respect the fact that this hurt will take much time to heal, some even more than others. Blessings to you.

  22. Andrew, no thank you to your unkind reply and for perpetuating a culture in which women are shamed from speaking up. Yeah, turns out that “feelings” do matter, but that’s not what I was referring to in that sentence. No, this sadness is not about me. I’m not interested in engaging with you if you can’t even speak to me without making me feel the exact thing I fear will happen over the next four years. It is ugly.

  23. I woke up this morning wanting to DO something, but honestly, I don’t know how. I’m an educator, and an advocate for various women’s issues, and I try to directly serve people immediately within my community. But suddenly I feel like this is not enough. There are a whole lot of people out there who don’t care about the things I care about, but whose choices impact my life and the future of my country.

    So how do I approach that? In my day to day life, how do I reach out to people who feel and think so differently than I do, and perhaps don’t even live near me, to somehow bridge that gap? How can I help rectify the marginalization and poverty that drives some of them to feel so reactive or vindictive? And at the same time, how do I protect the people I care about, or people in general–be they gay, or black, or poor, or disabled, or mentally ill, or victims of violence, or Muslim, or female, or immigrant–whose basic wellbeing is being ignored or threatened?

    I have the energy and the will and even the money to do something more, but I don’t know what to do. I’m sincerely open to suggestions.

  24. Em, thank you for being so honest here. I think so many of us are in the Lia place. I would love to hear what suggestions people have. Maybe that would be a useful blog post itself?

  25. Sorry, typing on my phone. *that place.

  26. Frank Pellet,

    Re: Mormons and P0rn — check this out:

    Paints a very different picture. One that, I think, is far more realistic.

    Et al,

    While I’m one of those “Never Trump” conservatives and, therefore, share your disappointment to some degree, I find it difficult to process your hopelessness because of his attitude toward women. There’s no doubt that Hillary was complicit, in some measure, in her husband’s legendary philandering. IMO, the only man who’s had more women than Trump is Bill Clinton .. well … and Wilt Chamberlain, of course. And so my difficulty is: I don’t understand why you would feel so much more at ease with the Clinton Dynasty.

  27. Thank you for your post – I was so very hopeful that our church members would turn out to be better than what they showed with this vote. I was proved so wrong.

  28. Rape survivor says:

    Oh my God, Jack are you insane? I just can’t seem to think any more. You are rape culture personified in a way I find truly terrifying.

  29. Rape survivor,

    You should read more carefully and try to understand what people are really saying before you hurl such nasty epithets at them.

    I’m chaffing at the irony of this thread. Yes, Donald Trump is a philandering scoundrel — that’s one of the reasons I didn’t vote for him! But, Bill Clinton is no better a man with regard to women than Trump is. And yet, strangely, if Hillary, who was complicit in much of Bill’s behavior, had been elected I don’t think this thread would even exist. Why? Both the Trump dynasty and the Clinton dynasty are equally nasty with regard to this issue.

    And, by the way, I too am a rape survivor.

  30. There’s no doubt that Hillary was complicit, in some measure, in her husband’s legendary philandering.

    What the hell, Jack? That’s victim blaming and rape culture right there. The only one responsible for Bill cheating on his wife IS BILL.

    Again, though, the real issue is, why are we talking about what her husband did, when SHE was the one running for president?

  31. it's a series of tubes says:

    Someone pointed me to this, and I thought it was insightful:

  32. It is a series of tubes, I found that article to be minimizing things big time. I feel he is wrong of several counts. One of the main reasons Hillary lost is because she is a woman. But people want to deny that prejudice. Even women look at women who are ambitious and mentally say, “bitch”. This has been Hillary’s biggest problem. People see her as less competent than she is, because she is a woman. People see her as less honest than she is, because she is a woman. People are less willing to excuse her faults, because she is a woman. People are blaming her for her spouse’s faults, because she is a woman. She is not his sexual keeper. Her choice was to divorce him or forgive him, all look at how easily America forgives Trump. We impeached Bill, but we go ahead and elect Donald. And the Donald is worse because he has no shame about it. Bill at least had the decency to be ashamed of himself. That article was written by a white male who can tell us all “it ain’t so bad” because it is not the same kind of personal slap in the face to him. He found it good that 50% of Americans are happy about this, and to me, that is the most terrifying fact. 50% of Americans tolerate his behavior enough to vote for him. That scares me.

  33. There is a lot of danger in telling each other that everything will be all right. It’s how we come to tolerate increasingly bad things. When Trump started campaigning on his platform of hate, it was shocking. It was like watching a glitzy version of George Wallace, back from the dead. Mindful of Godwin’s rule, people hesitated to compare Trump to a Nazi, but the comparison simply could not be avoided. Then, as Trump’s act continued day after day, for more than a year, we gradually got used to it. When the time came to vote, millions of people found ways to overlook what had been shocking at first. Now we hear people encouraging us to calm down because, after all, we’ve been through this sort of thing before.

    No. We haven’t really been through this before.

    I know that this is not a message of comfort for people who are feeling traumatized. It’s not okay, though, to permanently tranquilize ourselves. Do what you have to do to get through this moment. But if you don’t wake up, what happens next is on you, just as surely as if you had voted for Trump yourself.

  34. Whenever Jack chimes in to blame women for their husbands’ sexual misdeeds, or to defend the good name of Christopher Columbus, or a number of other outrageous positions, I’m reminded of what my mother taught me: don’t feed the trolls. Goodbye, Jack.

  35. it's a series of tubes says:

    Anna, thanks for your comments. I understand and appreciate that the article I linked to is simply one of many possible takes, and there is ample room to disagree.

  36. Just wanted to add a word about Andrew’s comment. That word is “stop.”

  37. “…they value my body, my voice, my daughter, over possible economic advantage, but they did not.” Egotistical? Prejudicial? I would be willing to bet that freedom and the Constitution is the first concern. Without that we are slaves to the State and the elitist notions of what is best for us.

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