Anna Maria Hong, Philadelphia

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Ice melting

Squeaking and whistling, the ice is melting more quickly than anyone expected.

No, that is a lie; when the polar ice caps disappear, everyone who has access to the news will have been aware of the process for decades.

The United States are burning all over the place in more ways than one:


We find it self-evident that we and the other mammals will shortly be boiling in our own skins.

I would like to experience a female President of the United States before then. I voted for Hillary in the 2008 and this spring’s primaries, and I will vote for her in November. She has the capacity to govern better than she campaigns, and the salutary effects of even mere symbolism should not be underappreciated. I have not liked everything that Barack Obama has done for our country, and there will certainly be much to enrage, confuse, and disappoint in Clinton’s Administration, but I have also never taken Obama’s election for granted.

As a middle-aged Korean American woman, I would like to live in a society in which a female person’s experience and expertise are valued. I would like to not have to carefully consider how my words will be perceived after being refracted through sexism and misogyny. I would like to not have to deal with missteps being magnified to extreme proportions by men who admit no error and commit vulgarities daily. I would like to operate in a world in which repulsive men go to prison instead of being buoyed up to ridiculous heights. I would like to be able to walk down the street, go to work, and to the gym and other public places without fear of being harassed or worse.


In my lifetime, I have heard perspectives and lives represented in ways that I never expected them to be, as a young woman or child. Many of these changes have happened just in the last decade. I was never told that I could be President, and by the time I reached college, I was convinced that that would be an impossibility for a woman and racial minority, but I’m glad that other people of color and women were given to believe otherwise.

I would like to live without feeling like I need to apologize for everything, even my optimism.