Why I marched

As I am sure many of you have heard, this past Saturday was the “Women’s March.” It was held not only around the United States but across many countries. I had the pleasure of participating in the one that was held in New York City. I originally thought I would head down to DC but my growing anxiety for large gatherings kept me in my home city. The thinking here was that so long as I am in NYC I know how to get home should I have an attack of some sort. Funny part is there were hundreds of thousands of marchers and I never once felt anxious.

I traveled to the march with two of my friends with the intention of meeting others but the crowds were so dense it never happened. We arrived at 48th and 2nd ave at 11:30ish. Packed in and talked to the people around us. It was very therapeutic to listen to other peoples thoughts and stories and find out how much in common you have with a stranger. The streets were so crowded that even though the march began we didn’t move an inch until 1:30. At that point we were told that 5th ave was moving so we went back in that direction and got to march up to 50th street. I have never seen so many people together before. There was a few hundred thousand people marching (last I heard the number was half a million in NYC alone). There were women, children, and men. People of all ages, races, and orientations. All peaceful. No fights. All around empowering day. I left there feeling great! 

That was until everyone tried to poo poo on it with their “I’m not a disgrace of a woman” post that was going around. No one said you were!

I am not a “disgrace to women” because I don’t support the women’s march. I do not feel I am a “second class citizen” because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is “not heard” because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I “don’t have control of my body or choices” because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am ” not respected or undermined” because I am a woman. I am not a “victim” because you say I am.
I AM a woman.
I can make my own choices.
I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE.
I can work if I want.
I can stay home if I want.
I control my body.
I can defend myself.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.
I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don’t always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself.
I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice.
Quit blaming.
Take responsibility.
If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men.
If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways.
If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard.
Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive, no rights and must always be covered.
China and India, infantcide of baby girls.
Afghanistan, unequal education rights.
Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV infected and left to care for children alone.
Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation.
Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men’s crime.
Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages. Or the 7 year old girls being sold or married off to 60 year old men, Or the millions of women sold and bought into sex trafficking.
And that’s just a few examples.
So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don’t have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it’s like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there…
This WOMAN does not support it

The first thing I noticed when I read this was all those “I” statements. I think it is wonderful that these women who shared this status personally don’t feel marginalized but you cannot say that of every woman. Therefore, secondly, those women marching were not speaking for you. If you don’t feel like you are being hindered that is fantastic! I am thrilled for you I really am! Be that as it may… the march then did not apply to you. The women marching were doing it for themselves and for others who are afraid of losing the things they need. Others still marched in solidarity. I mean geez there were soooooo many men there. I am pretty dang sure they don’t need womens rights.

There is an excellent response to this post that I highly recommend reading because any rebuttal that I write cannot do it enough justice. Read it if you’d like 🙂

To Christy on Facebook, who doesn’t need the Women’s March

All I know is that you cannot compare your situation to other people who are not as lucky as you. I, like the woman who shared the above status, may not feel like all the issues that other women fear apply to me…. but that doesn’t mean they can’t at some point in my or any womens life. Honestly, I have no idea why this status was necessary. I suppose the person that wrote it is insecure that someone might think they approve just because they are a woman themselves? It is just all so ridiculous. You don’t agree with it fine… so shut up and deal with it like we are told all the time!

Seeing all the complaints took the winds briefly out of my sails but then I remembered why I was marching.

I held up two signs that day for very important issues to me. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the attempted gaslighting by the new administration (You may agree or disagree but I been there and done that and know the signs… they aren’t very subtle about it either).

Anyway this leads me back to my previous point. Our lives are fluid. One minute you are a woman who has everything she needs and the next you could find yourself needing all the help you can get. I am in the best of situations right now and I intend to stay that way for ever and ever. However, just over three years ago my life was in the shitter. So while I marched for the preservation of the VAWA, I personally don’t need the protections and legal avenues it presents. However, by the same token, I believe it needs to be saved for the many women, children, and even men, who find themselves in dangerous situations and need help. Additionally, there was a point in my life that I did need such things even though I was too afraid to actually do anything. I basically stuck around until he found someone else and released me from hell.

The VAWA was first established in 1994. It was the first “U.S. federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes.” It created a legal assist program for victims. Dating violence and stalking were included. Programs for communities to help prevent violence. As of 2013, the VAWA now includes justice and protection for the LGBT community, Native Americans, and immigrants. It also provides housing for survivors and protections for college students on campuses who experience violence.

Since its enactment the VAWA has been a very effective law. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence

  • There has been as much as a 51% increase in reporting by women and a 37% increase in reporting by men.
  • The number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men, and the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 67%.
  • VAWA not only saves lives, it saves money.  In its first six years alone, VAWA saved taxpayers at least $12.6 billion in net averted social costs.  A recent study found that civil protection orders saved one state (Kentucky) on average $85 million in a single year.

Domestic Violence is not a partisan issue but as it stands now the VAWA is on Trumps cutting block for funding. Funding is currently not even enough to help all of those seeking assistance.

As found in the article How will President Trump handle violence against women in the US?

there were 12,000 inquiries for domestic violence services that could not be fulfilled due to a lack of resources; 63 percent were for housing/shelter. These inquiries included help needed for attaining safe shelter, legal services, transportation assistance and child care, among others. These vital resources assist domestic violence survivors in attaining safety, exercising their legal rights, and other fundamental needs of surviving. Further reducing access to VAWA grants will lead to poorer outcomes for survivors, including increased fatalities.

Simply put, cutting the VAWA or its funding will cost people their lives and as a survivor, and a fellow human being, I am not okay with this. It would be a complete devastation. So I will write letters and make phone calls telling my representatives my feelings on this daily. They will get sick of hearing my voice and seeing my name because currently the VAWA fact sheet on the White House’s web page is currently a 404 Not Found link. This concerns me. This is why I marched.

I did not march for the sole purpose of “not liking Trump.” My marching for that reason will get me no where. There is nothing we can do about it he was inaugurated. However, you can bet you last dollar I will do everything in my power to come together with everything in other peoples powers in order to combine our powers to hold him and his administration accountable. You see politicians do not work for themselves (I think they forgot this along the way). They work for us and it is our job to keep them in check. If I disagree with something I will call them up and let them know about it. If they keep ignoring their constituents then we must vote them out! The midterm elections are shaping up to be a huge year for us voters after all (yes I have tweeted this photo to many of those up for reelection… )

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By marching and calling I am doing my due diligence as an American to hold those in office accountable. I’ve also created a special Twitter account where I tweet Trumplethinskin and call him out on every single lie and gaslighting attempt he makes. I hold solace in the big differences between present day and Nazi Germany. Every one has a phone. Every one has a camera. Everyone has a video camera. Nearly everyone has access to TV or the internet. What does all that mean? We can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears the lies. It is going to be hard to gaslight all the people. I mean really the crowd at the inauguration was the largest ever?  Come on I saw the pictures. I saw many pictures from people that took photos of their TV screens (I didn’t watch the show).

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The inauguration was running on a less than stellar crowd. And you want to know what? Why does it matter. Why was that even an issue to discuss in a press conference? Narcissist trip that one is. All in all I take comfort that through our strength in numbers we can shut that propaganda shit down real fast.

Just look at this…

The PolitiFact scorecard

  • True                              15          (4%)   
  • Mostly True                40         (11%)
  • Half True                     51           (15%)
  • Mostly False               65          (19%)
  • False                              115        (33%)
  • Pants on Fire              62          (18%)

The man just can’t tell the truth. Yes I know media can be bias blah blah blah so put in the leg work. Research, fact check, don’t just accept or discard everything you read based on a headline…. and no a meme isn’t a news source. Am I saying I am perfect and know it all? Absolutely not!

Truth Matters… search for it… resist the lies… follow the money because it rules our government!

So these were my reasons to march. No where in there is because I am being a sore loser. I am fighting for the things I believe in and will continue to do so with or without peoples approval. Also. The protest was peaceful. These people are in no way affiliated with those that cause property damage. There is good and bad in every aspect of society. Remember that.

Finally I leave you with some of the many candid photos from Saturday’s march that me and my friends took. I won’t bore you with the picture after picture of the crowd. It was my first time participating in such an event and it won’t be my last! (I was also happy I found an opportunity to wear my Louise Belcher bunny ears!)

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Purple makeup under my to symbolize Domestic Violence

Essay 4/52

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15 thoughts on “Why I marched

  1. I’m so glad I read this. Been gone too long. This has to be my favorite of your posts. Simply empowering! That must have been amazing to walk in NYC. I think that one of the best things Trump is doing, is mobilizing us all. The apathy in this country has been going on for too long. Keep rising up and speaking up! As for the gal who felt she needed an excuse to not support her sisters, I’m glad she’s never experienced sexism, racism, or any other sort of “ism”. She’s either very fortunate, or living in denial. Thanks for the voter info. Keep putting things like this out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Domestic Violence is not a Partisan Issue

  3. Pingback: Women’s March | Family Empowerment

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