What It's Like to Be Set Up For Failure

As a female approaching thirty, I proudly protest any potential policies that might threaten my rights. As a Generation Y-er or Millennial, I feel it is imperative to show discontent and absolute disdain for the injustices done by the GOP in their efforts to keep me poor and silent. As a decent human, my only option left is to support my fellow comrades in maintaining what progress we have made over the past decades. I’m not even considering moving forward, because the fear of falling behind is so debilitating. This Saturday, I will march with my comrades,  not only because I’m a woman, but because it is women who carry the only hope we still have: a future.

I know I am not alone in the struggle and frustration I feel on a daily basis. My reality is as follows:

 via CNN.com

via CNN.com

  • I work two jobs: one for bills and one for leisure, which could itself be considered a luxury. I am financially comfortable for the first time in my life, but it has come at the cost of my mental health and quality time that could be spent with family and friends.

  • I currently have health insurance, but no guarantee that it will hold out. It is also the most basic—doesn’t cover dental or vision, so I’m hoping that I don’t have any major health scares or need dental work.

  • I have no guarantee of receiving Social Security benefits when I retire.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE:

  • I can’t seem to commit to a relationship because I have trust issues with men, like many women who have been sexually harassed or worse in a culture that enables rape.

  • I have insecurities about my body due to the overwhelming pressure to be a perfect women—a pressure that is enforced by society, by the media and by my peers.

  • I have had dietary issues that led me to therapy where I realized I will forever battle with food because it is the only way I know how to push my feelings down when it does not seem okay to do so healthily.

  • It is very difficult to talk to people about feelings since no one seems comfortable with human emotions thanks to the century-long practice of believing emotion equals weakness. Compassion has become a hard thing to find and even harder to teach.

  • I will be followed around by student debt for years to come, thanks to the societal pressure to complete higher education which supposedly leads to job security and comfortable compensation. This is a myth.

  • I would love to have a family. I would love to own a home. Due to my student loans, this would take years of saving, which has been impossible. Neither of my degrees have enabled me to find lucrative work.

  • Having a child is one of the most expensive events in a lifetime. How can I procreate to expand humankind if I can only afford a child by working more hours than I would raising said child? This is assuming I could find a baby daddy, and if not, then I suppose there are other ways to have a child or adopt—all of which require lots and lots of cash and would still have the same result.

  • While it would be fiscally irresponsible to bring a child into this world, my right to preventative measures are being threatened. I can’t afford to have a child, but it is unnatural for me to protect myself from such a fate if it should occur. It is a popular belief amongst our congress majority that I, as a female, am incapable of making the best decision for my life in regards to my reproductive health and activity. 

 So to summarize, I can't afford a child, but I can't prevent having one either. Yet, if I do happen to have a baby, then I get to consider childcare costs which are astronomical, the constant shortcomings of our current education system, and the general lack of federal support for young families and actual humans once they've survived their nine-month incubation in the womb. 

This is why I supported Bernie Sanders. Many of these facts are why I voted for Hillary Clinton. The really sad and unfortunate thing is that given all these bullet points, I am still considered privileged and middle class. I cannot speak to those who have had it harder, of which there are a great many. With the inauguration approaching, the overwhelming and all-consuming feeling of denial no longer cripples me. It is fear. It is the loss of hope. It is the idea that minorities will be oppressed, hated, and harmed and there is still a faction of people that will rejoice in their handed-down, unearned, and undeserved place of power. It is the possibility that our nation will be more divided financially, socially, and racially. While I still worry about climate change and the fact that I live in a major American city which is sure to be a target should nuclear war ever come to pass, I feel most concerned that these next four years could dictate the rest of my future.