I am a woman and I voted for Trump

Kia Feia (‘19)

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I am a woman and I voted for Donald Trump. This week I have cried in two of my classrooms because my professors have made it abundantly clear that I, as a Republican, am not welcome at Luther College. My peers have refused to sit next to me, speak to me and have called me racist, sexist and a bigot. The statement has been made that my choice as a woman is, “startling, confusing and saddening,” although I stand with 45 percent of American women. Claiming that I do not care about the implications of women’s rights and sexual assault is completely false.

I am on the founding executive board of Norse Against Sexual Assault. I care about women’s and minorities’ rights; however, I do not believe they were the focus of this election. In reality, neither candidate’s policies involve the removal of women’s rights, LGBTQ rights or freedom of religion. This election was about healthcare, foreign policy, jobs, immigration reform and the Supreme Court. According to CNN’s exit polls 70 percent of voters believed the Supreme Court was an important part of the election and only 46 percent of those voters supported Hillary. The polls also indicate that 69 percent of voters are dissatisfied with the current government. Americans voted for the candidate they thought would best evoke change.

If you disagree ask the 60,526,852 Americans that voted for him. To say that we are all racist, sexist, xenophobic pigs is simply small-minded. I do not agree with many of the comments Donald Trump has made. I voted based on the policies both candidates endorse. While I do not expect the members of this campus to agree with me, I am appalled that you refuse to respect my right to an opinion.

Three of my professors on Wednesday alone blatantly made comments bashing Trump supporters. When 51.8 percent of Iowans voted Republican, I am not the only member of this campus who felt violated in my own classroom. Our faculty continuing to alienate students for their right to think differently is shameful.

I am particularly shocked that this campus continues to claim to be accepting of all people. All ethnicities, religions and gender identities are welcome, but those who chose to align with the Republican Party are not. Harassment and hatred are poured on conservative Luther students and this campus looks the other way. I love attending Luther, but my confidence in the values of this institution has been shaken to its core. It is my hope that we as a community can let go of the small-minded stereotypes that have led to so much hatred on this campus. If you voted for Hillary, please know that I respect your right to an opinion. I do not agree with the character of either candidate.  While I chose to focus on the policies they support, and not their character, not everyone did. It is my hope that we, as a community, can love one another as a part of humanity.

I have been told that I don’t understand how afraid the members of this campus are, but I too am afraid. I am afraid of the hatred pouring out of my teachers, friends and peers. I am afraid of my best friend who told me she hates me when she realized I don’t agree with her. I am afraid of my peers who called me an uneducated embarrassment to women because I didn’t support Hillary’s policy. I am afraid of the girl who refuses to sit next to me in class because she knows the way I voted. I am afraid of the judgement of people who have said the harassment is my own fault for deciding to attend Luther College. I am afraid of the hatred I have already experienced. But more than anything, I am afraid for the divisiveness a lack of respect has caused.

Signed,

Kia Feia (‘19)

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