Last week someone asked me, “What are the women marching FOR, anyway?”
While the march's organizers have posted an official mission statement online, the truth is that every woman (and man) has their own personal reasons for participating in today's march. And in the two days it took me to drive from Chicago to DC, I had time to reflect on what my reasons are for participating in the Women's March on Washington.
1. To let Trump know we are watching him - It will be clear, both in the Women’s March in DC and in the 673 registered "sister marches" across the globe, that despite winning the electoral vote, he holds no mandate.
In its purest form, democracy is about honoring the voice of the majority. Without the skewed lens of the electoral college, the truth is that 3,000,000 more people said “no” than said “yes” to Trump’s rhetoric. You want to limit religious freedom? Chip away at Roe-v-Wade? Curb the freedom of the press? Sell our children’s education to the highest bidder? Pretend science isn’t real? You’ll have to deal with us, first.
2. Because Trump will not tell me what patriotism looks like - That inauguration speech was creepy. Prejudice will go away if everyone just blindly commits to a nationalistic and unquestioning patriotism? What does that even mean?
No sir. Tomorrow I will show you what patriotism looks like to me.
3. To defend our democracy - I think we can all agree that this is an unprecedented moment in American history. For the most part, I understand why and how it happened. I can even get behind a few of the issues that aren’t fueled by the ambitions of the white power movement.
But I am really worried about American democracy right now. (And I'm not even talking about Russia. Yet.)
For because this childish billionaire promised to bring back jobs, the American people sacrificed standards of decency that we would normally demand from the principal of our child’s school. Or an aide to care for our elderly parent. Or the leader of the free world.
And now, before he has even taken office, he has already begun chipping away at some of the most fundamental principles this country was built on, all because he finds them inconvenient. (Including but not limited to "the freedom of the press.")
Any structure without a strong foundation will eventually fall, and I will fight to keep that from happening. (See #2)
4. Solidarity - Right now I need to know that I am not alone: not in my greatest fears, nor in the great fight ahead.
5. Posting political memes on Facebook doesn’t change anything - Action does.
6. I want to defend Obama’s legacy - Obama accomplished some noble achievements despite eight years of unapologetic obstructionism by the GOP. Certainly there were missteps, but lives were improved and lives were saved because of President Obama's vision and perseverance. I will honor his efforts by defending his accomplishments.
7. I want to show my young son what a peaceful demonstration looks like - I could not be more pissed off about the people who chose to protest in destructive ways, yesterday, here in DC. Their actions helped no one and changed nothing. If anything, it hurt the cause.
I am beyond hopeful that today’s march will be powerful, peaceful, and full of pussy hats.
8. Trump is seen as a global threat- When was the last time we took to the streets to protest the results of an election in a foreign country? Hell, England voted to leave the EU and we didn't even leave our house. I don't even think there was a viral hashtag campaign about that one.
And yet as of 1:30 AM EST this morning, 80+ official "sister marches" were registered around the world. People in Bulgaria, Bolivia, Belarus, Ecuador, and 77 other countries are so opposed to President Trump that they, too, are taking to the streets in protest.
Something is horribly, horribly disturbing about that.
9. I want to be on the right side of history - I fear that when and if we ever learn the full contents of that report on Russia’s influence on the election, we will understand what prompted John Lewis and 60 other Democrats to skip the inauguration. I do not believe this refusal was the petulant act of 61 sore losers.
I’d love nothing more than to be wrong about this.
10. I want to take lots of cool pictures - I'll be posting them here.
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thank you for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...