I hesitate to write about anything political here because I am past the point in my life where I reveled in contentious debate. I know that there are a handful of people who read this blog who I love very much whose strong convictions about the direction of this country are at odds with mine. But, I would not be true to myself if I did not share my thoughts on the events of this week.
I have not in my lifetime experienced such a people divided.
I could never have imagined the day when a misogynistic, racist, bigot would be elected to lead the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. It is a dark, dark time. People I respect and admire stand behind ideas that seem so fundamentally wrong to me it all seems like a terrible dream…
…. But, with all of this said, I’ve decided to focus on some of the positive things that have emerged in response to the incoming administration.
I have never seen grassroots activism rise to this level of participation. There are 1,200 buses bringing women to the march on Washington tomorrow (note: only 200 buses were registered to transport people to Trump’s inauguration) and sister marches are happening in every major U.S. city and in more than 50 cities around the world. The level of energy, communication, cooperation and organization that goes into the planning and execution of an event of this scale is monumental - and it’s happening not just in Washington, but all over the world.
The March has forced into light key issues that we need to keep in clear focus as we all step over the threshold of the Obama legacy and into the Trump administration. Contrary to popular confusion, the Womens March is not a bunch of women gathering to protest Mr. Trump taking office. Rather, the Womens March seeks to demonstrate that we demand to maintain the rights we have fought long and hard for. It's about CIVIL rights, fighting to end racism, elevating public education, improving public health and protecting women and women's bodies.
We are so, so, so privileged to live in this era of voting, getting an education, being free to marry whomever we want (including members of the same sex), the right to birth control and abortion… These are freedoms we take for granted every day but they are freedoms that are borne out of the suffering, sacrifice and hard work of many, many generations that came before us. It is our duty to treasure the gifts they gave us and refuse to let go of the rights they fought so hard to earn. As the organizers write, the March on Washington is about "the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”
I refuse to watch our rights be stripped away little by little as if we've all been squished into a time machine and jetted back to the 1930's unwillingly. I want my daughter to have all the liberties and advantages I have had and then some. We have come too far to regress now - and we still have a long way to go.
In this new era of Trump, we need to believe in the power of the people now more than ever. We need to demonstrate the strength and power of women and exercise our voice as loudly as possible. Margaret Mead must've foreseen this day when she said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
While I am not proud to say that Donald Trump is our president-elect, I will always be proud to be American. Today, I am particularly proud to say I am an American woman and that I am taking part in the Women's March on Philadelphia tomorrow. I will tell Daisy about this day when she is old enough and I will be proud to have been a part of this piece of history.
"We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.’ - Martin Luther King