Today is the first day of a very trying weekend. Regardless of political affiliation, the next few days are crucial to the foundation for the next four years and our TGS team encourages everyone to take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally.
Putting Friday’s inauguration aside, today we are talking all about Saturday aka the Women’s March. While the main march is taking place in D.C., (our own Allison will be attending!) many of our writers will be at the sister march in Los Angeles. Showing up at a big protest march with tens of thousands of people is a lot, so again, please remember to take care of yourself. We hope to be marching right alongside some of you for the things that are extremely near and dear to our hearts. If you can’t make it or choose not to because of anxiety, self care, or any other reason, know that your reason is valid and you are no less a part of this movement. Below are some of our thoughts on the march itself, what it means to us and why we are participating.
The Women’s March signifies to our nation that we are organized, unified and demand equality. I am marching because we have a right to display our power. I am marching because I am afforded so many of my rights today by women who took to the streets and demanded to be heard and to be equal. I am marching because I believe empathy and sisterhood are more powerful than fear or hateful rhetoric. I am marching because I deeply love this country and our founding principals. I am marching because it is my right and no one will ever take that away from me or us.
Washington D.C. has pretty much shut down for the inauguration. Rather than buzzing with excitement, the days leading up to Friday have been quiet and melancholy. Today as I walked down the street, I noticed a group of white men in their 30s stop to ask someone for directions. I glared at them and wondered if they were one of the many out-of-towners who traveled to DC for our impending day of doom; those who voted for a man with no political experience and throws Twitter temper tantrums rather than a woman with more grace, poise and qualifications than any politician in history. I mentally kicked myself for judging these men when I clearly don’t know them, but then reminded myself that there are many men judging me, my rights, and my needs. From defunding Planned Parenthood to overturning Roe vs. Wade to repealing the Affordable Care Act (which will lift the mandate that health insurers must pay for contraception), straight, old white men are ripping away essential and often lifesaving services. I’m marching with Planned Parenthood on Saturday because regardless of who those strangers were on the street, there are millions of men trying to tell me what I can and can’t do with and for my body, health, and well-being. I want them to know we aren’t taking this sitting down, but instead standing up for ourselves and marching in droves all around the world.
I’m marching for everyone who has marched for my rights in the past and all who will do so in the future. I will not let my sister’s and brother’s trials and tribulations go to waste. They marched and protested so that I could live a better life and I want to pass that on to my future brothers and sisters. Now is the time to speak up and speak out. “We the people” means ALL OF US and I will not stop until every single American is equal.
Come Saturday, I won’t be marching. Not because I don’t support it, or because I don’t deeply and passionately stand for what it represents. I’m not marching, because marches/rallies/protests aren’t for me. After the election I went to an anti-Trump rally and had a panic attack. While Trump is aggressively not my president, for the sake of self care, I will not be marching. And if you’re anything like me, give yourself guilt free permission not to as well.
Instead, I will be spending the next two days (inauguration and the Women’s March) surrounded by supportive friends and reminding myself that no mater what the sentient cheeto says, I am loved and valued. I will spend the next two days moving my few pennies from B of A to a credit union, coming up with a 30 day action plan, which will include actually volunteering, creating a list of books written by women and people of color and most importantly, taking care of my soul. This election hurt, in a deep and real way, a way that I still don’t really understand. However, the thing that I am finally understanding is how to take care of myself, and in healthy ways, protect myself from the devastating blows of the world.
So, come Saturday, March with fierce, ferocious power. Or don’t. Either way, come Monday, be the person Trump and his Trumpettes fear the most. Be loud, be bold, and fight like hell!
I am marching for immigrants because without my grandparents, I wouldn’t be here today. I am marching for women because without my mother and grandmothers I would not be nearly the woman I am today. I am marching because love is love is love. I am marching because I hate being told what to do and my body is my choice. I am marching for the worldwide sisterhood of those who have come before and those who will come after who demand to be seen and treated as equals. I am marching because I am constantly inspired by those who choose to be loud and demand fair treatment. I am marching for those who cannot be loud and cannot demand fair treatment. The list is truly endless and I am so proud and excited to be surrounded by so many fierce and passionate advocates on Saturday morning.
I’ve heard a lot of reasons not to march. Too dangerous, what are you actually accomplishing, causing a public disturbance, etc…but here’s the thing, we all have very real reasons to march. We have a president now who did not win the popular vote and his favorability numbers upon entering office prove just that. That alone is one reason to march.
But on top of that. I am marching to show that we will not make the next four years easy. Do we wish for success? Obviously. Success is in everyone’s best interest. But I sure as hell don’t want success in defunding Planned Parenthood or creating a Muslim registry. THOSE are reasons to cause a public disturbance. Those are the reasons to put yourself in danger. If we can remind Senators across the board that we are not with his policies, then that seems like we’re accomplishing something, doesn’t it?