Or Why I attended the Women's March
First let me list two reasons which, though they brought other women, did not bring me:
1. I did not go to protest President Donald Trump. I am not thrilled that he won, but I support him as my president, and I feel glad that I live in a country where we can mostly agree to disagree. I was disappointed in the window breaking people.
2. I did not go to support the pro-choice movement. I take a nuanced pro-life view, in that I think women who are victims of rape, incest, or other crimes, or whose lives are endangered by their pregnancies should have access to abortions, and make those decisions with care providers. I call my view pro-adoption, because I don't consider this as black and white of an issue as many people do.
Last night, as I contemplated going, I had to decide why I was going if not in protest of the president. So here are my reasons:
1. Feminism is not an F word to me. While I have in the past identified as feminist, I now consider myself a Soft Feminist, because I value and honor the unpaid work women do as much as the paid work they do. I accept that their self-sacrifice and unpaid contributions to society cause them to be paid less over their life-time, and that many of them are willing to make that gift to society.
I also feel like Serious or Hard Feminists sometimes reject pro-lifers out of hand, and that is not for me. But I support women of all ambitions, whether their ambition is to raise and rear children, or to conquer the business world, or be the best second grade teacher in the county. I support them. And this march was (for me) about supporting women.
2. I am disillusioned by the fact that anti-immigration sentiment has taken such strong hold of the Republican party. I support immigration. I think our immigration court system is struggling, and needs fixing. Many people who come here legally lose their legal status not because they are bad people trying to evade the law, but because our system is underfunded and failing to serve them.
I feel like locking people out because they look different from us (ie building a wall between us and Mexico, but not us and Canada) is wrong. I prefer to tear down walls and build bridges instead. I also feel like many policy makers and their constituents are making decisions about these issues based on fear. If we are making decisions based out of fear, doesn't that mean that the terrorists are winning?
3. I have never been to a march before. Sometimes I get bored, and a March? Hey. Novelty! My friends were going. It was fun. A guy with an exciting nose piercing behind me said, "This is the first time I have ever looked around me in this town and not thought, 'I hate everyone here.'" How often do I get to hear someone say something like that? I'll tell you. Not often. Today was my first time going to a march. I didn't break any windows. I did not behave like a three-year-old throwing a tantrum. I walked about a mile, smiled, and waved. Some people flipped me off from their cars. Others waved and honked. The sun shined. I liked it.
God Bless America.