November 21, 2018

Why we are doing the Women’s March

I need to get a few things off my chest (I know it’s long but please take a couple minutes to read it anyway), based on comments and statements I have seen in relation to the women’s march this coming Saturday. This is not simply an anti-Trump protest. This is a MARCH, of people who feel passionate about promoting human rights for all. People feel that those human rights are under attack, and this is ONE way we can have our voices heard. My parents took me to pro-choice rallies when I was a child, and people have been engaging in peaceful “protest” for many generations.

Some are saying that this is not productive. So should we just do nothing to fight for what we believe? Do I think that by me showing up to a march, that some specific attack on human rights will be avoided? No, not really. But speaking out against injustice is a part of what makes America ALREADY GREAT, and it gives us a voice. It shows leaders that there are people who care and who will not be quiet, and over time it may have a small impact. Also, it makes us feel good.

Some are saying that we should just support our new president/administration and hope for the best, or hope for him to succeed. With all due respect, that’s bullshit. He or others in his administration are proven to be racist, sexist, anti-gay, pro-sexual assault, anti-choice, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, etc. He has promoted rhetoric for all of the above. So forgive me for having trouble hoping he succeeds, especially when it comes to policies or ideas like building a wall, requiring Muslims to register, punishing women for having an abortion, banning certain media outlets, banning refugees from Muslim countries, requiring funerals for a fetus (VP), supporting shock therapy for gay people (VP), disqualifying a judge based on his ethnic background, calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, and I could go on all day. Nope, I can’t hope he succeeds with any of that.

Some are saying that he won’t be able to actually achieve the policies or ideas he promotes. So we should just refrain from believing things he actually said that he wants to do? Also, ok fine so maybe he won’t be able to achieve everything… thank goodness. But what about the danger of the rhetoric itself? What about the fact that he normalizes talking about women that way (grab them by the pussy), normalizes being anti-gay (VP), normalizes being anti-Muslim or anti-Mexican or anti-Black, etc. He creates a culture in which people feel more comfortable spreading these beliefs and even acting on them. That is a big reason why we are marching.

Some are saying that it might be dangerous to go to the march, and there may be rioting and it disrupts traffic, etc. Well, there is a constitutional right to peaceful protest, and if people want to suggest otherwise, that is a very dangerous line of thinking. There are disruptive people everywhere who look for an excuse to throw rocks and break windows, but does that mean we should just never plan these types of events? The vast majority of participants in all events like these are peaceful, so don’t let the actions of a few change your opinion of the message and the importance of peaceful protest. Also this march has been heavily organized and coordinated with the city and police department. It is not a spontaneous protest (though I fully support people’s right to do that too). And…. if you want to stay 100% safe all the time, then you better not ever drive on the freeway or go to a party with alcohol or walk down the street or be admitted to the hospital or ride a bike, or do a whole bunch of other things that are statistically more likely to harm/kill you than attending a freaking march. The safety bubble does not exist for any of us, so let’s not allow fear to keep us from speaking out, or use fear-mongering to convince others that the march is a bad idea.

Some are saying that we should stop complaining that we lost. Again, peaceful protest is an important right we have as Americans. But this is not complaining. this is not merely a loss of an election. If someone like Kasich or Romney or McCain or Rubio had become our president at any point, I would have definitely been disappointed, and maybe I would have joined a march, but people would not be this desperate to speak out for human rights. People would not be this terrified.

You are entitled to disagree with me politically, but please do not criticize the passion of those who are marching on Saturday. If you felt strongly enough about an issue that was under attack, maybe you’d want the rest of us to support YOU in speaking out. I am not afraid to attend a march. I am deeply terrified of what the next administration will attempt to do to our human rights, either thru policies or more dangerously through the rhetoric and normalizing of hate. Thanks for listening, and thank you for respecting me enough to understand why we are marching.