11 Millennial Women On How They Have Been Personally Affected During Trump's First 100 Days
For many of us, it emotionally feels like we've been living under our current administration for years. However, in reality, we've technically just reached the milestone of Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. From experiencing not one, but two executive order travel ban attempts to the failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, there has been a lot of controversy and, for Republicans, disappointment in the first 100 days.
However, in order to get a more personal view of the size and scope of Trump's first 100 days in office, Bustle reached out over email to a handful of millennial women to see the ways in which the Trump administration has affected the lives of young women.
Based on the women Bustle talked to, the effects of Trump's first 100 days in office have run the gamut of range and reach: sometimes manifesting themselves in mental health symptoms; other times, taking a toll on finances, health insurance, or immigration status. Perhaps one of the most consistent themes among millennial women Bustle spoke to is the ways the new administration has strained relationships, whether with coworkers, family members, strangers or romantic prospects, Trump-related anxiety in the U.S. has been on a steady uptick.
Each of the women that Bustle spoke with was presented with one open-ended prompt question: What is the largest or most noticeable way Trump's presidency has affected your everyday life in the first 100 days? Here are the results.
1. Gabriela Oh - Corvalis, Oregon
Last fall, I decided that 2017 was going to be the year that I make a major life change to land a job in Portland, move back to a city, get a higher paying job, and generally focus on career and life goals. However, following the election results and subsequently the inauguration, striking a balance in life has been a serious struggle. I've turned into a complete news/political junkie, getting it in all forms possible — TV, radio, print, and podcasts. I've spent countless hours having arguments in my head after reading articles and comment sections online. Over the last few months, my anxiety over the state of the nation has been high, and I've genuinely felt on many occasions that life will never be the same again. In short, it's been very difficult to put my life goals ahead what's going on in the country.
I equally spend my time focused on resistance efforts, through creativity, participating in Twitter walls or protests. I feel strongly about participating in strikes and protests when possible. This means that I've taken at least three days off from work, going without pay to participate in strikes and protests. I live paycheck to paycheck, so the loss of a day's work is actually significant to me. If I add up the loss of wages for participating in strikes, and the money for transportation and any lodging that might occur, I've lost and spent at least $350 on resistance efforts. This is likely a small amount in comparison to some, but it's significant to me.
2. Jourdain Searles - Queens, New York
Racism towards me on the internet has become much more gleeful and frequent. This is something I expected, but what I didn't expect was so much of media conversation being about identifying with racist white people. I'm from Georgia, so racism isn't news to me. But the media making excuses for racism and writing pieces defending the actions of racists, is. And the erasure of the black and brown poor in these narratives hurts my heart. I am poor and come from a poor family, but they didn't vote for Trump. For so many to continue to frame the situation as solely a class issue when the race issue is staring them in the face has been the most depressing thing about Trump's presidency. I feel excluded from political discourse.
3. Alysa Breen - Northridge, California
I think the biggest thing is the men in my life have become so incredibly EMBOLDENED. What is even more disturbing is that some of them aren't even Trump supporters or Republicans. They are men who identify [as] liberal in some cases.
4. Lillian Devane - Brooklyn, New York
By February, my boyfriend totally lost his patience with me. I hadn't realized it I guess, but apparently since the election all I'd been doing was a) crying, b) cry-screaming, or c) cry-screaming while looking at the news on my phone.
I've always struggled with depression and anxiety, but I've developed many methods to combat mental illness over the years. Before the election I was exercising regularly, not drinking most days, making lists, but now it really felt like nothing mattered. We had a huge fight, and he told me that I had to find a better way to cope with politics and life. I'd never thought about how a POTUS could impact my relationship. It seemed impossible to separate myself from the constant intake of bad news and not feel like I was selfishly escaping reality.
5. Jessica Hong - New Orleans, Louisiana
The feeling that's been sitting in my chest since Trump's election has been something like dread mixed with a weird amount of "I told you so." More than anything, these 100 days have affirmed what I've known for a long time: I'm not white. That may sound silly and obvious but one of the byproducts of deceptively positive Asian stereotypes is that it sometimes puts us in proximity to whiteness and to the uncritical eye, it can even looks like we're a included in it. I grew up hearing my Asian American peers say things like "I'm soooo white"; I've had white friends earnestly ask me why I considered myself a person of color. But this uptick of racial violence, particularly the instances where Asian people have been targeted, has just reaffirmed to me that we are still very much viewed as other. We are Asian, not yet fully American.
As the child of South Korean immigrants, I've been very aware for a long time that my parents' ability to choose to make a life here in American is in many ways happenstance: their family happened to be on the "right" side of an arbitrary border. Those that live north of that border speak the same language my family does and look a lot like my family does but their lives are vastly different because of where they happened to live. I've always resented the comical and cartoon depictions of North Korea's dictators because it always felt like it was a smokescreen for the real human suffering that has taken place for decades. Even now as the threat of attack gets more real, I can feel the way that the image of the silly dictator makes that threat still distant and easy to dismiss.
6. Andy Iwancio - Seattle, Washington
As a transgender gal living in Trump's America, this first 100 days has been rough to say the least. Empowered by the man who's in office, more and more legislation limiting the rights of transgender folks has appeared. It's like seeing a map of the country that keeps getting tinier by the moment as my peeing becomes illegal.
I guess, outside of my rights being stripped and my existence questioned by the government, I'd say I am mostly done with "dudes telling it like it is."
7. Lauren Vino - Brooklyn, New York
I work for a men's site, and there's a segment of our audience that gets mad at me just for being a woman. I'm pretty sure they were always there but there's been a noticeable shift in how vocal they are. We get called cucks a lot, too, which is fun.
My office kept working. We're a state agency, so no one was overtly happy but you could tell who was drowning and who wasn't. My immediate team and I went out to lunch and felt angry together, which was nice.
I seriously felt relief in grad school circles where I had previously been established as the volatile race-baiter, because now, after Trump's election, they were shocked and afraid. A little vindication. I felt close with [my] boyfriend, had more sex. I've coped by doing more things with less hesitation because the red-baiting is inevitable.
9. May Wilkerson - Queens, New York
I've had an anxiety disorder since I was a kid, which means I get panic attacks and avoid all kinds of situations and life experiences out of fear. I know it's pretty common, and I live with it and medicate it. Since the election I decreased my meds by half which seems counterintuitive, but I'm paranoid and I want to be alert and in touch with my "feelings" and instincts.
It sounds paranoid but I don't want to be numb to anything. I used to worry about small stuff, like "Does everyone like me?" and bigger stuff, like paying off debt and making some kind of creative mark on the world, and not getting murdered by an OKCupid date. Now, I worry about the biggest stuff: nuclear war, my friends getting deported, (more) people getting shot by cops, people (including myself) losing access to health insurance, global warming getting worse faster, etc. So I'd say Trump winning has shifted my perspective a lot, which in a way decreases anxiety and forces me to take action instead of just stewing in my head. Which is probably a good thing but not worth it.
10. Aashi Rao - Chicago, Illinois
It really brought it home when those two men in the Olathe bar were shot, mostly because I'd been to that bar before. After my best friend got married, the whole bridal party went there for drinks. Of course, it never ran through my head that someone might murder me when I was there; but now, I realize that traveling in America is a little unsafe for me. I worry a lot about my dad (he travels for work a lot.) Do I take that roadtrip? Do I ask that white man for help? Will I ever be able to move out of a big city?
In Trump's first arbitrary months, I've found that more people feel permission to carry out heinous acts. It's not that Indian Americans are being mistaken and targeted; it's that white racists have now decided to take their racism out of their mom's basements and off Twitter and off Reddit and have decided, instead, to fabricate some imaginary war that they're hell-bent on winning. Which means brown people [and] women become targets in a way that feels new and invigorated.
11. Aniela Coveleski - Brooklyn, New York
As an artist and someone who volunteers with an organization working to bridge social and artistic gaps in a very gentrified community, this presidency has made working to protect and promote the arts very difficult. In this type of work, trust is very important and takes a very long time to build for many valid reasons. Trump and his policies have put everyone on edge in a way that is extremely counterproductive to progress that we have made in the past. The trickle down effects of the public fear that is being promoted and enforced is leaving most of our community members with a sense of broken trust and helplessness. When people feel helpless and defensive, they retreat into themselves, and then our strength as a unified force almost disappears. The arts are empowering and powerful forces, so we must work very hard to promote safe spaces of creation, no matter how hard it may be to do so.