Please Don’t

Voting in a presidential election gives us an opportunity not just to choose a new leader, but to show the world what we stand for as well. Utahns have a choice. We can choose to demonstrate that Utah is a state where all industrious spirits are welcome. Or we can choose to support the man who has spent much of his career abusing and fighting against diversity.


Hello.

I’m writing today on behalf of the Beehive Startups editorial team.

We would like to discourage you from voting for Donald Trump on November 8.

One of my favorite things about my job as a Beehive Startups writer is the opportunity I have to speak with female entrepreneurs from around the State. I’m inspired by these women. They’re using technology to create a better world. They’re pioneers in a predominantly male industry. And I’m so glad they’re here. But we have some work to do if we want to keep them here and attract more women, as well as other brilliant innovators currently underrepresented in the tech industry.

Last year I wrote a series on women in tech. I discovered there are a number of reasons that so few women choose to work in the industry, and not least among those reasons is the feeling of isolation many women experience in a community largely made up of men. They often fear, like many women in the workplace, that they are not respected.

Friday’s release of the Access Hollywood tapes, wherein Trump describes and brags about sexual assault, confirmed the fears many women have. And the defense from Trump supporters did little to provide comfort. “It’s just locker room talk,” loyalists say, as though knowing that men enable objectification and perpetuate violent behavior while putting on gym shorts should provide any sort of comfort. It’s not how all guys talk. It’s how men who have no respect for women talk.

The women discussed in the conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush were these men’s colleagues. The conversation took place during a work event. Trump describes how he moved “like a bitch” on Bush’s co-host at the time whom Trump knew was married. Then, once Trump sees the actress with whom he will be working that day, he declares that he just can’t keep himself from kissing beautiful women. And then he explains that women let him grope them because he’s a star. This man held himself in such high, delusional regard eleven years ago when he was nothing more than a reality television personality, that he actually believed his female co-workers would welcome his violent advances. And now we’re on the verge of making him president. I fear the message that will send to women in the workplace.

Of course the tape is only the latest in a long, terrifying list of offenses committed by Trump that have alienated nearly all walks of life. He’s proven himself to be a racist and misogynist who incites violence, and who has managed to illuminate the ugly underside of America wherein dwell the citizens whose hate is fueled by fear. Fear that Trump continually feeds with lies. This underside of our nation is inhospitable to anyone other than the white male. I pray that Utah is not a part of that nation, but our current polls suggest otherwise.

Voting in a presidential election gives us an opportunity not just to choose a new leader, but to show the world what we stand for as well. Utahns have a choice. We can choose to demonstrate that Utah is a state where all industrious spirits are welcome. Or we can choose to support the man who has spent much of his career abusing and fighting against diversity. I don’t imagine many women or people of color will jump at the chance to join our ranks if we choose the latter.

I hope we choose the former.


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