OPINION: ‘Rise of Trumpism is bound to affect rest of the world’

The Sister March in light of Donald Trump’s election gets underway in Lerwick. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Emily Jamieson, from Cunningsburgh, was one of the 40-plus participants taking part in the Sister March last Saturday. As a GP, she gives her perspective on why the event was important.


Pain is something I see a lot of on a daily basis. Physical pain yes, but also a huge burden of emotional pain. Often that pain is as a result of some human interaction.

Many folk face extra challenges which makes life more difficult for them. Sometimes that will be obvious, maybe the colour of your skin or the fact that your body doesn’t work in quite the way other people’s do.

Sometimes a load is carried on the inside, maybe your memory might be going or you can’t read. Maybe someone hurts you at home. Or maybe you can’t stay off the drink. Maybe your first sexual encounter was one that you didn’t have much say over.

If society has treated you well, it can be difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I consider it one of the great privileges of my profession to have shared in and been educated by some of the most profound moments of life. It can be amazing, but it can be pretty tough. We live in a relatively affluent society, but truly it still is an unequal one.

In Shetland I regularly see women who have experienced a range of mistreatment from men – from subtle gender put downs or letchy comments to full on physical and sexual abuse.

I, along with many women, have had conversations where the other party can’t remove their eyes from my chest. But really, for me, it has been at its worst frustrating, I am lucky.

When we marched on Saturday in solidarity with people from the seven continents of the world, we marched in support of a more egalitarian and compassionate society, here in Shetland, in the USA, in Saudi Arabia, in Afghanistan in the Philippines, in the DRC.


One of the precious freedoms we have here in the west is the right to peacefully protest, to express our opinion, to march. EMILY JAMIESON


We marched in support of equal rights for all human beings all over the globe. We marched to show our support for a world without racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and to protect the precious freedoms and rights we have for our children.

The rise of Trumpism, with its predominantly inward looking agenda, is bound to affect the rest of the world. Yes, he was democratically elected, and yes those who marched have to take that on the chin.

But surely one of the precious freedoms we have here in the west is the right to peacefully protest, to express our opinion, to march – something those in Saudi Arabia, Iran and the DRC do not have.

Those oppressive, tyrannical regimes will be looking to Trump in the west and thinking that his election vindicates their misogynist agenda.

There is a casual flippancy to the way the so called leader of the free world has disregarded and degraded people who do not fit his world view, often some of the most vulnerable in society, those carrying their burdens of a different skin colour, sexual orientation, nationality, gender.

His Twitter feed reads like a crib sheet for some of the charming individuals who chose to troll those of us who marched at the weekend. But hey, it’s just a bit of “locker room” humour.

Why is it so controversial to try to stand up against this, to remember we all carry some hardship and treat one another with an equal dignity and respect? I do not want my children to turn to me in adulthood and ask me why I did not stand up for the rights of their generation so hard fought for by my forebears.


Add Your Comment
  • Kathryn Kelly

    • January 28th, 2017 17:49

    I congratulate everyone who marched around the world on the 21st January. In addition to all of the points you made so well, this newly elected president and his colleagues are making a habit of spewing “alternate facts”- why they aren’t referred to as lies I do not know. A teacher once told my mother, many years ago, that if you hear something often enough, even if you know it is incorrect, it will begin to sound believable, a truth. We all know people believed, and probably still believe, in the “birther” movement in respect of President Obama’s birth, people who do not believe the Holocaust happened, even people who believe the horrendous Sandy Hook massacre of the children and teachers in the US was fiction – made up. We cannot allow this administration to convince us that what we see and hear is not real – is an “alternate fact”. We must trust in ourselves, believe in ourselves, and stand up for the rights we all deserve.

  • James Sinclair

    • January 28th, 2017 19:50

    First,let me say that I hold no brief for Donald Trump or those who bully others on whatever pretext. However,the writer also correctly asserts that they must take the US vote “on the chin” but then goes on to attribute virtue only to the losing side. This is to repeat the “deplorables” libel.
    Do not Trump voters have love and compassion also? This is not a world of black hats and white hats.Trump’s election was a repudiation of “business as usual” politics that had left a swathe of Americans feeling disregarded.Rather than put up a fatally compromised,entitled,self- regarding candidate and instead of knifing Bernie Sanders,the Democratic National Committee might have served themselves and their country a bit better and we would have been spared all the self indulgent weeping,wailing and keening.

  • David Spence

    • January 28th, 2017 21:35

    I fear that ‘ Mental illness ‘ will only get worse in the near future as a consequence of the Conservsatives, privatising the NHS.

    People suffering from mental illness will only escalate because people will put money for food, heating and family well ahead of seeking help for their condition.

    In fact, I would go as far as to say ‘ Mental illness ‘ will increase as people find it more and more difficult to cope with a ‘ market/profit based healthcare system ‘ which, in essence, will give very little in for form of treatment and care (unless, of course, the health practices are in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry, which they will be – basically, your doctor will be nothing more than an agent for the drug companies) unless it involves charging those suffering extortionate fee’s for useless amounts of drugs as part of their treatment.

    Mental illness under a market based healthcare system will increase immensely, people taking drugs (illegal as well as legal) will increase, people suffering from alcohol addiction will increase and the overall state of people suffering from other mental health conditions will also increase.

    Why? Because making profits is more important.

  • Sandra Brooks

    • January 29th, 2017 14:31

    I agree with everything that is written in the above article, and would have taken part in the march myself if I had been in Shetland at that time.

  • Haydn Gear

    • January 29th, 2017 23:09

    Kathryn Kelly made a number of points with which I wholly agree. So very well put Kathryn. There must surely be many more people like you who choose to to remain silent.

  • Janet Johnston

    • January 30th, 2017 2:52

    To my sisters in the Shetlands – thank you for marching against hate and bigotry, misogyny and discrimination. I also marched in California the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump. My daughter marched in Washington D.C. It is so good to know that as far away from each other as we all are, we are united in our desire for acceptance, compassion and equality. Thank you , Dr. Jamieson, for organizing this.

    Janet Johnston
    Santa Cruz, California.

  • Johan Adamson

    • January 30th, 2017 9:19

    Im vext I didnt know about it

    I think there would have been more people if it hadnt been so hastily organised

    As the great parliamentarian Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In 1968 the quotation appeared in the 14th edition of the seminal reference work Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.(google)

    Events of this past week or so have shown that citizens are right to have feared this president, why o why did the democrats not put up Bernie Sanders and more Americans might have gone out and voted?

  • i tinkler

    • January 30th, 2017 13:23

    Very sadly, the comments of Emily Jamieson, “When we marched on Saturday in solidarity with people from the seven continents of the world, we marched in support of a more egalitarian and compassionate society, here in Shetland, in the USA, in Saudi Arabia, in Afghanistan in the Philippines, in the DRC.” Were never advertised before the march, nor the noble sentiments, “ We marched to show our support for a world without racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and to protect the precious freedoms and rights we have for our children.”, Not a single mention of those sound principles on any of the advertising prior to the march. A lot of anti-Trump stuff, and the usual feminist stuff pertaining to the USA, but no mention of Saudi, Afghanistan and Sharia anywhere. If there had been I would have marched also. Very sad.

  • Margaret Gear

    • January 31st, 2017 0:48

    Many thanks to Emily for her thoughtful intelligent perspective. (I would have marched with you had I not been babysitting a lovely peerie toddler who fell asleep at marching time.)

  • Peter Jamieson

    • January 31st, 2017 13:06

    Along with Wir Shetlands idea of little britain, donald trump and brexit, not much hope on the horizon for shetland. the racists are winning.


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