My softball career ended the day I refused to wear a cage on my helmet. Two games into the season, I took a ball to the face. I walked off the field that day with a swollen and bruised eye while my parents – and coach – stood by the dugout laughing. I was not raised in bubble wrap. I was never greeted with bandages or hugs each time I fell off my bicycle. I was raised in an environment which, logically, should teach most kids to be tough. For me, it had the opposite effect.
When the final Electoral votes were tallied around 2 a.m. Nov. 9, and Donald Trump was announced President-elect, I cried so much I couldn’t go to school the next day. I am what the alt-right has deemed a “snowflake.”
According to Merriam-Webster, “snowflake” originated in the 1860s as an insult for those who opposed abolition, but in our current political climate, someone who claims the Confederate flag is “heritage, not hate” is more likely to be the one calling someone else a snowflake. Even more ironically, those who relish in calling liberals “snowflakes” have been deeply offended by a Hamilton show, a Saturday Night Live segment, a Star Wars movie and a Coca-Cola commercial.
From my experience, there is not a single point liberals can make that won’t provoke the “snowflake” dismissal from Trump supporters.
“Don’t feel safe in a public restroom?” Queer snowflake. “Black lives matter?” Un-American snowflake. “Affordable healthcare for all?” Socialist snowflake. “Rape jokes aren’t funny?” Triggered snowflake. “Everyone deserves human rights?” Special snowflake.
The right has to do better if ad-hominem arguments are all they have to offer in defense of the racist, sexist and xenophobic views they defended this election cycle.
If believing the LGBTQ+ community deserves to have rights, or that women deserve bodily autonomy, makes me a snowflake, then so be it. If acknowledging the institutional racism, xenophobia and bigotry that undermines our nation’s past and present makes me a snowflake, then so be it.
When Trump called women “nasty,” we owned it and put it on our T-shirts and protest signs. It is time we own the “snowflake” label, too.
Internet personality Jomny Sun recently tweeted, “A group of snowflakes is called a blizzard; an avalanche; a force of nature.” If my belief in equality, empathy, compassion and love makes me a “snowflake” – winter is coming.