A week ago, we marched.
I say “we” because I marched with my beautiful family and friends. I marched with hundreds of thousands (dare I say, millions) of men and women who felt unheard.
It was liberating, seriously.
It was *take your bra off and throw your pants on the floor*-liberating.
Liberating like walking out of high school after your last final.
Liberating like your two weeks notice being over.
Liberating; for me.
So, from my perspective, how could that be bad?
I’ve learned a lot and I’ve gathered that some folks didn’t feel welcome. This was astonishing to me. I kept asking and gathering information. How is this a thing? How was this not for everyone? But the truth is, it wasn’t, they were still unheard. Let’s unpack that.
What is it to be unheard? When my daughter isn’t listening, and I mean REALLY not listening, I shout. I shout and then she looks at me. When she looks at me I bring my voice down quiet. I speak kindly and show her that when she listens, there is nothing to be afraid of. When I am heard, I do not speak loudly. When I feel heard, I feel respected and my mind is peaceful. When she is unheard, similar things happen. She shouts and cries and acts frantic, sound familiar?
How many of us feel unheard?
The answer is embarrassing. It’s too many. The truth is, if you are reading this and interested in what is happening in our political culture currently, you probably feel emotional, frantic, scared. You may, perhaps, feel like you’re screaming and no one is listening. It sucks.
SO MANY men and women proclaimed that the march did NOT embody them. I’m truly interested in this. From my perspective, the march was for everyone. I beam with excitement when I see a picture of a friend with her anti-abortion signage. I had other friends with signs that had puns, proclamations of feminism, statements that embodied their fears, their feelings, their true thoughts. I was stoked to see #lovetrumpshate plastered with pink knitted hats and breastfeeding mothers. I loved the creativity. I loved the ownership and pride. I loved Ashley Judd. I am proud that my daughter held a sign promoting love and equality. This is a value that we instill in her. We love ALL people.
So, why? Why did so many of my friends feel the need to say “These women (and men) did not march for me”
Because some us
were out of line.
Some of the people at the march were assholes, apparently.
This infuriates me
How dare you, in your pink pussy hat with your #fucktrump sign, make my conservative friends feel that THEIR voice wasn’t welcome at the march. Who was it? Who was it that told women and men that their opinions didn’t matter. Every voice, every man, every woman, every kid deserved to march that day and I’m embarrassed that some of my friends with different views did not feel welcome. If I had heard it, I would have said something. I did not.
This goes two ways. If you didn’t want to come, that’s fine.
DO NOT belittle me for choosing to be heard that day.
Don’t make fun of the pink hat and tell me I’m victimizing myself, because that makes you the asshole. When our president uses the word “pussy” it sets a precident. Some decided that the anger, the fire that was sparked from that word, needed a place. If that place is a pink hat and a protest sign, so be it. That seems pretty peaceful.
Here’s where I draw the line: In a world where the right of a woman to wear pants is young, a women’s march should NOT embarrass you. If it embarrasses you that I marched, you should google “how to unfriend on facebook” because I’m about to get even more embarrassing.
I will not tolerate ignorance that racism exists, or that gay people are somehow broken and need fixing. We need to continue to promote rights, inclusivity, and equality. If you are fighting to ban, segregate, diminish and divide, we just can’t have a conversation because these are seeded in hatred, not in a difference of opinion.
When it comes to difference of opinion, I promise to listen. If you voted for our president and you believe he will do good, I hear you. I see you. I believe in you and I am stoked that you voted your heart. I ask you to hear me as well. I work to be an ally to all people. I urge you; reach out to someone who disagrees with you. Get to know someone with a different opinion. Keep your calm, invite them into your space. LISTEN to what they have to say. This is imperative. If I’m not listening, get loud. If the government isn’t listening, let’s get loud together.
Calling me a bitchy victimized snowflake does not make me want to sit down with you and listen to your fears and hopes. Me telling you that your voting preference bars you from marching isn’t effective either, and it makes me an asshole.
Bottom line: I’ll stand next to you and defend your rights if you’ll stand next to me in defense of mine.