Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday. It was one of the saddest moments of my life.
I marched in the Women’s March on Washington, in Phoenix, on Saturday and got over it.
Since then there has been, on social media, a plethora of photos and videos of the marches all over the world. The speeches, the chants, the singing, the sheer size of the crowds have been awe inspiring. The atmosphere at the marches has been, without exception, positive and empowering. I was, during the march and the hours I spent in the company of thousands of women, men and children, swept up in the positive message of love and equality for everyone. So, when I saw the posts from some women who were confused and angry by what they saw as anti-Trump rallies I was shocked. I was tempted to answer their posts in kind but decided to answer their question instead.
Why did I march?
I marched for my three daughters and my niece because there is legislation being drafted that, if passed, will take away their right to make reproductive choices that should only belong to them. I marched for women of all income levels who, if the current administration has their way, will lose access to affordable health care.
I marched for my son who has asthma because if the ACA is repealed with nothing to replace it, he will no longer be covered by my insurance till his 26th birthday. And that policy that he hopes he can get through his employer (he’s a musician and a part-time bartender) will no longer be available because it’s only available due to the ACA. Even if he could afford other insurance, he might not be able to obtain said insurance because he has a pre-existing condition. His meds? $900.00 a month. Each. He needs three of them.
I marched for my other son who is disabled. Arguably the most marginalized of all the marginalized. If cuts talked about by the current administration are acted upon, his great big whopping food assistance allowance and his SSI will be decreased even further as will his medicaid insurance. He wants to return to school. Grants? Yes. Cut. Did you know that all references to the office of the ADA have been taken off the White House web site?
I marched because we elected a man who thinks it’s okay to speak about women in a way that degrades them as people. I have dealt with misogyny since I was in 7th grade and two boys wrote a poem about me that started out, “Tits or no tits. That is the question.” When I protested to the teacher I got detention. In my first job after high school – at 17 – two men in their 20’s used to corner me daily for a “Lorie sandwich,” then proceeded to discuss how said tits looked that day. When I reported it to my supervisor and then the owners of the business I was told to “get along with people,” and, “boys will be boys.” One of those “boys” is now part of the Wyoming state legislature that is trying to pass a law that makes it illegal to punish a business for discriminating against someone if they are offended by that person or their “lifestyle” (e.g. gays, lesbians, transgender, interracial couples, disabled people..…) I was fired from a job when I was 24 because one of the supervisors made a pass at me and I told him I wasn’t interested and, in fact, was offended by his behavior. Two weeks ago, after assisting my sales manager and me in thwarting a would be thief, a police officer walked up behind me and ran his hand across the back of my shoulders and down my arm and told me to take good care “hon.” He shook the hand of the 23-year-old man who works for me. Make no mistake. These are only a few of the stories I could tell and they pale in comparison to what some women have dealt with. I – we deserve better. So I marched.
I marched for my nephews, married in October. I marched for their son, born a week ago. The current administration is intent on putting an ultra-conservative on the Supreme Court to pave the way toward overturning gay marriage rights. Though my nephews would still be married in Arizona, thanks to the forward thinking citizens who had the intelligence to make marriage legal for all, who knows what would happen elsewhere? Love is love so I marched.
I marched because I believe in building bridges not walls. I live in Phoenix and I love the cultural mix of the southwest. I am open to refugees. Yes, I want to be safe but holing up in our country in a nationalist militarized snit (and acting like other countries are going to pay for it) won’t accomplish that.
I marched because I believe that between Putin, gerrymandering and voter suppression this election was rigged. I never understood how important local elections are or how important correct zoning for the districts is before now. There are more democrats than republicans in this country. How did we lose?
Gerrymandering. Google it.
I marched because I understand now and will help make the next election different.
I marched because we are killing our home, our planet and I want to help turn that around. Because climate change is not a left wing conspiracy or a Chinese hoax. Believing in science is not a plan to sabotage anyone’s religion. Nature is my church and the fact that I belong to the earth, not the other way around reminds me that there IS something bigger than myself and I owe it to future generations to preserve the only place we have to exist.
I marched because I – we – had to start somewhere and by God we did and it was magnificent! I marched with my friend Toni in Phoenix. Her sister, Shirley, marched in Durbin, South Africa. My childhood friends Pat and Chris marched in Minneapolis and Washington, respectively. My cousin Calley marched in Los Angeles. We marched with women, children and men of every color, sexual orientation, level of ability and religion. We marched as one out of love. LOVE. We marched because SOMEbody and to DO SOMEthing.
So we did. We marched. Now we move on. 10 Actions in 100 Days. The first one is at Kimmy’s house on Thursday.