Today, January 21st, 2017, is a historic day. Today- all across the world- women and their allies marched.
A vocal minority criticized these marches. They claimed to not understand the reason behind the protest. They called names and said that people were upset that their candidate didn’t win the presidency.
There’s a big difference between (what would become the Tea Party) protests of 2008 and 2012 and the Women’s March of today. The protests of Obama’s presidency had huge racial undertones and were fear mongering over promises Obama never made.
The Women’s March is a show of unity and strength.
- A man called an entire race rapists. Trying to make it “us” verses “them”. Still they cheered.
- A man stood in front of the world, making fun of a physically disabled reporter. Mocking his movements and speech. Still they cheered him.
- A man openly boasted that he could shoot a random stranger in the street and face no repercussions. Still they cheered him.
- Transcripts were read from a decades old divorce. A woman testifying to her husband’s brutal physical, emotional, and sexual assaults. Still they cheered him.
- A man laughed, on record, about sexually assaulting women. About not having to control himself. Grabbing her by the pussy. Still they cheered him.
- By millions of popular votes, we elected Her. But he still won.
There is so much, too much for me to cover that he has done, said, and promised. Unlike the unfounded protests of the last eight years, we have a very clear reason to protest this unqualified draft-dodging trust fund rapist.
Unfortunately, we live in a very rural area. No where near any of the organized marches. Due to me nearing the end of pregnancy, I am not supposed to travel.
But still, we had to do something. I wanted more than anything to bring my kids to one of the organized marches, but since that wasn’t an option we would still find a way.
I needed to do it so that years from now they would know we stood against the incoming tyranny. That we stood up for the disabled like Marshall. That we stood up for women and their basic human rights like Vi and Franki. The we stood with women of color, the LGBTQ community, the impoverished, the Muslims- and everyone else Donald has promised to whitewash from view. We- all of us- already make America great.
So we started by having a book reading marathon. We read The Story of Ferdinand the Bull (about peaceful protest), I am Rosa Parks (peaceful protest, fight for equality), And Tango Makes Three (Gay equality), Last Stop on Market Street (contributing to impoverished communities), The Sandwich Swap (different cultures coming together to celebrate one another), and One Family (all kinds of families to make the world go ’round).
After reading, I showed them live video feeds from around the country of the Women’s March. Marshall was in awe and Vi clapped, they especially loved when I showed them pictures of family and friends we knew at various marches across the country. (Thank you to those who marched, the kids loved seeing your pictures!)
I gently explained that some people don’t believe a girl is worth the same as a boy. That girls get paid less than boys on average. That it’s okay to hurt girls or think that girls are lying about getting hurt. That some people just aren’t good enough because of the way they walk, talk, look, or who they love.
My little empathetic Marshall was hurt by this. He can often be seen wearing a police uniform and proclaiming that he “protects people”. A born defender like his papa. So the thought of people not being worthy is very foreign to him. He was all too eager to march for his sisters and mama.
I asked him what he wanted to put on his sign and he came up with his own slogan. Dutifully writing each letter on his pink sign and carefully drawing the outline of a heart and filling it in. Vi scribbled furiously away, trying to copy her brother.
I ended up trying to take her hand and trace her little fist to make the Women’s Empowerment symbol as Marshall finished his sign. It reads: Love! Don’t hurt each other!
We bundled up to walk the slushy driveway and practice our First Amendment Right. I reminded the kids that rights have never been given, but have been fought for. Be it for Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, or LGBT Rights.
“It’s easy to say things when everyone agrees with you, isn’t it?” Marshall nodded in agreement so I pushed on “It’s a lot harder to stand up for what you believe in when others around you don’t agree. That’s what integrity is though, it’s doing what you know is right even when it’s not easy. Even when others aren’t looking or are disagreeing. Please, please always do what you know is right even when it’s not easy. Even if youre the only one.”
That’s what today was about for our family. We were living out one of our favorite mottos “Always stand up for what you think is right- even if you are the only one standing.” -Suzy Kassem.
Best believe that we will be standing up for what is right and just- both in our day-to-day life and on this blog- for the next four years. It won’t always be easy with the small town we live in, but that won’t deter us from standing. Even if we’re the only ones.