If you are a person who pays attention to the news you have probably heard of the Women’s March on Washington. Both right and left wing media has been covering it with different purposes. However, if you somehow missed it entirely, it’s a March on the capital the day after the inauguration to send a message to the newly inaugurated President that women deserve equal representation in our society. And if you know me, I have strong opinions about everything and this march is without exception.
There is nothing wrong with the mission of the march. I firmly believe women are equal to men and deserve equal representation in business,government, health, education and social causes as well as equal pay for equal work. My reasons against the march lay elsewhere.
In the mission statement, the organization recognizes that the past election cycle produced rhetoric that was frightening to the most marginalized of this country and yet the person spewing that rhetoric still became the next President of the United States. That has left many fearful for their futures in tangible ways.
I remember immediately after the election thinking what is going to happen to everyone I know that has DACA? What is going to happen to my Muslim friends? What is going to happen to the women that need access to a safe abortion? What is going to happen to everyone who loses their insurance? What is going to happen to the rest of us that benefited from the provisions of ACA (like insurance until 26, the right to pump milk at work (other than in a bathroom), and not being excluded for pre-existing conditions). There were the people who said everything will be fine. Those people didn’t know my friends or have a temperature check on how severe the situation can get to be legitimately fearful.
And that’s where my issue with the march lays. The mission is to send a message about gender parity, but what about tangible demands for everything else? Is the only issue that matters is that women deserve equal treatment to men? Is this something that people can check off their box as having done something for humanity and then not have to do any real work elsewhere?
Did we forget that not only did this election cycle put fear in hearts of many, but it also denied the truth in front of our eyes when we had proof otherwise? Did we forget that OUR PRESIDENT apparently doesn’t understand what sexual assault is? Do we understand that the president promised to drain the swamp” and then continued to nominate people to his cabinet with inadequate experience and special interests?
I understand if the march resonates with you and you feel like joining in solidarity by marching to D.C. or joining any of the local marches. That is fine, but make sure you’re doing all the other work that creates change for the other marginalized communities. You know like making sure you’re registered to vote and vote at your next local, state and presidential elections. Or like volunteering or donating to places that advocate for victims of sexual assault, supporting news outlets that haven’t stopped fact checking and calling BS for what it is, asking friends how can you help, lifting up the voices of those least heard in the work place and outside, writing or calling our local elected officials, and supporting financially and physically causes that are creating tangible change in the lives of those marginalized.
Michelle Obama asks us not to be fearful. And I am not afraid. I don’t have time to be afraid. WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO BE AFRAID. I am however frustrated, angered, and especially so to those who seem so apathetic to others. So I finally decided to put action and money where my mouth is.
I hope that all those speaking at the March will use the platform as a call to action for tangible change. I hope that buzz around this march emanates over to the other issues we need to address, I hope that these issues aren’t pushed to the side as less important, and I hope that as a result more people understand how to sit down and talk with the other side.
March if you feel strongly about it, but I have already decided how I’m allocating my time and money and I find it better suited elsewhere.