Donald Trump is the president of the United States. That is a fact, as much as I wish it wasn't. That means that a man who has bragged about sexual assault, said he wanted to punish women for having abortions, and regularly demeans and disregards women is the leader of the free world. His job is to uphold the Constitution in defense of every American; a job that I don't think he can do if he has no respect for half of the population. I am planning on attending the Women's March on Omaha. Not as an anti-Trump protest, but as a pro-equality movement in the face of a potentially disastrous administration for women.
In D.C., over 200,000 marches will come together at the National Mall for the Women's March on Washington. Over 600 women's marches are planned in cities around the world in connection with the main event. I am so excited to be able to participate in my local event, but I know some of you reading this are angry with me and everyone else marching. For some reason, protest as a means of political activism has turned into a dirty word.
"Why can't they just get over it?"
"Why do they need to block the streets and cause a riot?"
A peaceful protest is an essential part of responding to injustice. Our founding fathers thought that it was so important that they included it in the First Amendment.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
I don't know about you, but I certainly have some grievances as a woman in the United States of America. The Women's March on Washington has a list of Unity Principles that I think greatly address some of the concerns that I have:
1. Ending Violence
2. Reproductive Rights
3. LGBTQIA Rights
4. Worker's Rights
5. Civil Rights
6. Disability Rights
7. Immigrant Rights
8. Environmental Justice
Specifically as a millennial woman, I feel pigeonholed into being wrong no matter how I choose to address my concerns. If I write an article or make a Facebook post, then I am accused of "slacktivism" and not doing anything that can actually change what I am upset about. If I go out and protest, then I am out of line and need to sit down and shut up because what do I know about anything anyway? So, what's a girl to do?
I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I am going to print out my awesome sign and finally use some of that cardboard that takes up way too much room in my storage space. I am going to drive downtown, even though just the thought of it stresses me out. I am going to join thousands of my fellow citizens, men and women alike, and I am going to exercise my constitutionally protected rights. I am going to join hands in the face of injustice and stand up for what I think is right. For the right to choose. For equal pay. For parental leave. For equality regardless of gender. In a time when I have many reasons to be scared, I am choosing instead to stand up and fight. That is #WhyIMarch.