However You Feel About Trump, It's Time to Get Back to Our Work
Predictably, I was not a Donald Trump supporter during the election. I have all the hallmarks of someone who would not be one:
- Don’t like being groped by strange men
- Believe that people are people, even if they don’t look like me
- Can and will read more than a meme
When Trump won last night, I saw at work the tax on women. I take the tax of being “X” as the amount our society pays you in relation to the family favorite—in this case the white male. In the U.S., the gender gap on pay is widely taken as 20 percent, meaning as a woman, I’ll make 80 percent of my male counterpart’s pay. In my CEO role, my counterparts are almost universally white men.
Hillary Clinton simply wasn’t more than 20 percent better. That 20 percent encompasses the misogyny that made her held to a higher standard for years, that caused us (both women and men) to question her when we wouldn’t have questioned a man, that made her look “not presidential.” And that 20 percent affects me every day, too, as it does every other women out there. For women of color, the number is even higher.
Most men reject this idea, because to accept it would be to accept that you are only 80 percent as good as you think you are. Likewise, most women also tax other women that 20 percent—just because you’re female doesn’t mean you aren't biased in the same way. And, counterintuitively, women who have somehow surmounted this obstacle tax other women even more than the average 20 percent—call it the Ben Carson effect. On a typical day, I would have studied and included references and hyperlinks to all the studies supporting this paragraph. I am just too disheartened to do it. I leave you to Google. I’ll be better next Wednesday.
So, this morning, I was sad. I was dejected. Everything I stand for, and everything I am, the majority of the American public rejected. There are few, but significant, bright spots for me:
1. I am married to a guy who is white, 6-foot-10 and educated. He knows he walks through life with an advantage due to his gender, skin color and even height. Articulating that does not threaten him. He uses his advantage for good.
2. I have two sons who also know they enjoy the advantages of being male, white and educated. They use their advantage to make the world a better place.
3. I work in nonprofit with you.
Each and every day, I get to work with people who believe in diversity, saving the planet, curing diseases, improving quality of life. I get to agonize over copywriting, figure out statistics, devise strategy. I get to laugh about success and cry about failure. I get to say the names of people I help.
Regardless of who sits in the White House, we still get to do our work. We get to do that.
Katrina VanHuss has been instilling passion in volunteer fundraisers since 1989 when she founded Turnkey. Otis joined in the fun in 2013 as Turnkey’s resident human behavior expert. One thing led to another, and now as a married couple, they almost never stop talking about fundraising, volunteerism and human decision-making, much to the chagrin of most dinner companions.
Through their work at Turnkey, the pair works with the likes of the American Lung Association, Best Buddies, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, using human behavioral tendencies and recognition to create attachment and high fundraising in volunteers.
Katrina and Otis present regularly at clients’ national conferences, as well as at BBCon, NonProfit Pro P2P and Peer to Peer Forum, and are the co-authors of the 2017 book, Dollar Dash. They live in Richmond, Va.