Please note that as a straight, white woman I understand that I have not faced many of the same terrible injustices that so many other minorities have and in writing this, I come from a place of pretty significant privilege as a result. I don't want to invalidate anyone else's experiences. Thank you!!
"There is nothing wrong with how women are treated in America."
"Liberal cry babies are just mad that their candidate lost."
"America voted for Trump. America wanted Trump. He's the president. There is nothing to protest."
These are all comments made by my more conservative-leaning peers on various social media platforms since the historic Women's March on January 21st. It seems to me that many of the people who have made these comments are genuinely confused as to why so many people marched together the day after the forty fifth president was sworn into office.
Unfortunately, I didn't go to the March in Washington, D.C., but I was one of the 175,000 people who crammed into the Boston Common and then poured out into the surrounding streets. Although this movement is far from perfect, I can honestly say that it was one of the most beautifully moving experiences of my life. As someone who did march, I thought I would explain why I believe there was most definitely a reason to do so, and why I don't plan on stoping any time soon.
I marched because on November 10th at 2:30 a.m., as I watched the final results of the election appear on my computer screen, my heart broke when I realized that hate had won, and that America had let that happen. I marched because I was so excited to see a woman in the White House and even though she won the popular vote, she hadn't won her spot in the Oval Office. I marched because this America is not one that I recognize or want to be a part of. I marched because "Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," and I believe that women should have control over their own bodies. I marched because love is love is love is love and because who someone loves shouldn't determine if they can get married or not. I marched because Black Lives Matter. I marched because the United States is a nation of immigrants and because the KKK isn't representative of Christianity so why should radical terrorism represent Islam? I marched because science is real and climate change is happening. I marched because broad generalizations of immigrants as "rapists" and "criminals" is painfully inaccurate and really damaging. I marched because all people deserve basic human rights. I marched because, as someone who is disabled, I find the mocking of people with disabilities really offensive. I marched for the people who I love who will likely be more effected by the new administration than I will be. I marched because people should be free to express who they are, without the constraints of the sometimes painful societal norms. I marched because I go to a women's college and because I believe that our borders should remain open for every single refugee that is fleeing war and poverty and needs our help, in spite of their religion. I marched because native people were here first, and the sovereignty of their lands should be respected, not ignored because of a pipeline. I marched because health care should be a universal human right. I marched because bigotry is lame and needs to be stopped, and because people need to understand that hate will never win. I marched because it's painful watching America implode on itself.
People can have different political views. That's fine. But, the millions of protesters across the world aren't marching because we are "cry babies." We are marching for valid reasons. We are angry. Furious, even. And we have a right to be. Many are absolutely terrified for what his victory means for them and their lifestyles. They have every right to be feeling this way. The President's actions and language are not those of a leader who is supposed to be representative of the people and he has shown that he does not value the rights or lives of many minority groups.
For people who do not agree with the protests: I might suggest checking your privilege. You're lucky if you are not afraid for what the next four years have in store for you. You are so privileged if you are not concerned for the future. For those who are not as privileged, the next four years look bleak and very scary. Please respect that the fears of others are valid. Understand that civil disobedience is an American right, and a pillar of democracy. We will not be silent and it is un-American of you to ask that of us. If you are bothered by us, prepare to stay bothered for the next four years, because we are not going anywhere. We will not stand by as this administration makes the United States unrecognizable and strips millions of people of their rights. I will be watching very carefully.
We will fight. We will resist.
I will fight. I will resist.