Samantha Bee / Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube
When Donald Trump won the 2016 US election, my reaction was visceral. I cried. I stayed in bed for a day. I was genuinely miserable.
Maybe that was dramatic, considering I’m a white woman from New Zealand and nothing about this was going to have a direct impact on me. But that election was all encompassing and inescapable. It was on our TVs, in our newspapers, in our workplaces, in our conversations over wine and cheese and in our teary fights at house parties after too many vodka-Just Juice Bubbles mixers.
As a woman, it felt like a punch in the gut to realise that there seemed to be nothing - not countless accounts of sexual assault, not overt racism, not Islamaphobia, not homophobia, not sympathising with Nazis - that people hated more than they hate women.
As a human being with a beating heart and a normal grasp on empathy, I was devastated by how many lives would be negatively affected by the kajillion steps backward America had just taken.
It was lying in bed with red rimmed eyes that I began to look to YouTube for comfort. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the only late night show (at that time) to be hosted by a woman, already had a new video up, titled - “The Morning After (The 2016 Election).”
The video was angry and depressing, it made me cry again. But it also made me laugh for the first time. It made me hopeful - that we could fight this rampant uptick in white nationalism and right wing ideals. That there could one day be a female president. That my future and my little sisters’ future and my future children’s future didn’t have to be an ever devolving shit cyclone until we all exploded.
I spent the next 24 hours feverishly watching every video that had been posted to the Full Frontal with Samantha Bee account in the year leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Maybe it was somewhat masochistic of me, watching these hopeful videos from before we knew how it was going to go. To watch the people on this show working so hard to provide facts about issues that are almost never covered, to prove why Hillary was not simply “the lesser of two evils”, hoping beyond hope that a different kind of history would be made.
But all those videos gave me more hope. They encouraged me to try to do something. To volunteer for charities that would help disadvantaged people and donate money to the political parties that I believe in. They encouraged me to write, more than I ever had before, about everything that I thought was important and needed to be said.
Since then, I have watched Full Frontal with Samantha Bee religiously, learning a lot and finding no greater satisfaction in life than they way she (and one of the most diverse writing staffs on television) put into words the feelings that, personally, I can only express through screaming into a pillow.
It’s 2020 now. Whoever wins the democratic primary, I hope they beat Trump. If he wins again, I don’t know how I’ll take it. I’m sure I’ll feel sad and miserable and angry all over again.
But, if she has to, I know that Samantha Bee will get me through that, too.Support Villainesse