I Think You Meant to Say, ‘Thank You’

philly-marchTo those who saw the Women’s Marches around the country and — damn — around the world and didn’t “get it” — try harder. To those who called the rallies “protests” and compared us to those who willfully and criminally broke windows, attacked the police and set a car on fire in D.C. yesterday — try harder. To those who don’t understand that our individual rights and freedoms are under siege — try harder.

You miss the point. And you will continue to miss the point, until you stop talking and start listening. This is not about who won or lost the election. This is not about Hillary or Bill. This is not about Barack Obama, or the bullshit birther movement you may or may not have supported. This is not even about retribution for the hypocrites who supported the Republican blockage in Congress over the last eight years.

This is about essential and foundational human rights. I say foundational because these are the rights that should be in place before we even consider fighting for things like the right to bear arms. These are the basic building blocks of a fair and just civilization. The right to call the shots on what happens within your own body. The right to get paid the exact same amount as a man, or colleagues with lighter skin color of either gender, for doing the exact same job at the exact same company. The right to love another human, no matter their gender, religion, or skin color, and even to enter into a legally binding marriage convenant with that person — with all of the same rights and protections under the law as any other marriage convenant.

Life lived by the Golden Rule is to treat others as you wish them to treat you. It’s so damn simple: Why does it even need explaining? Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do you want to be disrespected, unfairly paid, told you can’t love the person you love? Do you want to be treated as something lesser than, based on your skin color or religion, the way you choose to dress or a disability? Do you want your kids to be?

I’ve seen social media posts and “news” articles calling the marchers whiners and libtards and all sorts of worn-out and dated words and phrases. We were told to get back in the kitchen. It was suggested that we were bored housewives with nothing better to do with our time. In reality, we were men and women, young and old, black and white, employed and retired, students and teachers, dancers and scientists, small business owners and yes, even housewives.

You say that we’re not going to accomplish anything and we’re wasting our time. It may be true, but believe me, it’s worth the try. It’s worth the investment of airfare, bus charters, overnight hotel rooms. Because the time to act is now, even if it’s a continuous series of nows for as long as it takes. Later is too late. Speaking truth to power needs to be done before that truth has been so twisted by that power; so turned inside out and upside down that people start forgetting the real truth and believing the altered one.

I marched today to lend my voice to what turned out to be at least two million others, around the globe. We are, all of us, the last tiny voice in Whoville. Together, we will be heard. Only together will we be heard.

You blame us for the divisiveness, for the fracture throughout this country that has grown from hairline to compound. You tell us to unify, to accept, to sit down. We are unified in our love of our country, for a United States that was already pretty great, though it still had progress to be made. We are unified in our belief that this country needs to move forward into the bright future and not backward into the Dark Ages. We will accept no less than the U.S.’s promise fulfilled, not stilted. We will sit down only when that goal is realized.

Marchers today marched for peace and harmony for all. We marched for you. Whether you recognize it or not. Whether you ask for it or not. Protecting our rights means protecting yours too. Isn’t that fantastic? While you point your fingers and your scorn at us, we’re standing up for you and your kids and your kids’ kids. So, you can have your cake and eat it too.

You’re welcome.

Advertisements

87 thoughts on “I Think You Meant to Say, ‘Thank You’

  1. Thank you ! I posted my thank you on Facebook yesterday to those I know and love who participated. I say it again today to anyone reading these comments. I will say it again whenever I may encounter someone who marched. Wonderful, beautiful, awesome and amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for writing this! And a huge thank you to each and every woman who marched! The stereotyping is what has made me the saddest. I am a fairly fundamental Christian woman. A wife, mother and grandmother. I own my own business and am in the top 5% of income category for the USA. I am also a fierce believer in equality and freedom for all. Love is love and the color of your skin does not matter to me! I would gladly pay more in taxes if it went to better health care and education.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I LOVE the premise of the article. It’s something that needs saying most definitely. The writer however, made a critical error when stating who marched when saying “…yes, even housewives”

    EVEN? Women who chose to stay home today – housewives (a derogatory term in itself) are probably one of the most “liberated” groups of women. We, for the most part, chose to give up careers and lifestyles that we cultivated for ourselves. Upon having families, for whatever our reasons, we have chosen to stay at home with our children. Your comment that “yes, even housewives” marched makes me disappointed in you. As a woman. And as a woman who was there.

    I was an independant, self reliant, woman for many years before I got married and had children. Being a stay at home parent was NEVER something I aspired to. I grew up w a mother who worked. It was just natural to me that I would also be a working mother. But after we had our second child and I went back to work my husband was the one who brought about to me about giving it all up to stay home. You see, it was important to HIM. We discussed it and ( luckily) we could afford it so I AGREED to stay home w our children. We are not rich and we had some very VERY lean years. And believe me, I know what I have sacrificed.

    To to be included in your observation that yes, even housewives came to march is insulting.

    Like

    • Hi, Deneen! I apologize that you didn’t hear my sarcasm with that statement when you read it. I would never denigrate housewives or house husbands. I, myself, have been a SAHM and then a WAHM for nearly 14 years now. Whether we make the choice to stay at home and raise our child(ren) or have the decision made for us by circumstance, it is one of the most important “roles” we ever take on — Raising the next generation to be kind, empathetic, inquisitive, intelligent, and so much more.

      Like

      • Help me understand how these goals can be promoted when you have tons of women dressed like vaginas & with signs full of the profanity, that they are so offended by being yelled to be heard & seen across the world. The transportation & hotels & costumes could have funded a lot of help for women who are truly suffering horribly…

        Like

      • I don’t defend the profanity, but you obviously saw about .00001% of the marchers. Let me guess – press photos? If you were there, you would have seen a sea of humanity united in the common cause of defending our rights. Very little vulgarity in the crowd. While I understand what you mean about using the money for donations, I personally did both. There’s a time for silence, and a time to stand up and be heard. The time to stand up and be heard is upon us.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I understand where you are coming from, but I think Rachell was referring back to the suggestion others had made that the protesters were “just housewives with nothing better to do.” In that context I didn’t take offense to the “even housewives” comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you read it over. The writer was responding to people insinuating the marchers are bored housewives. It was not an attack on housewives. Hope that clears up negative feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Rachell. We (Sadie, Seth, Stephen, and I) marched in the Austin, TX sister march. It was an amazing experience! Thank you for articulating what so many of us have been feeling since yesterday.

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes! We march for you, too, Christy. We answer your calls to the domestic violence hotline. We teach your children. We take care of your sick. We staff the hospitals, schools, daycares, nursing homes and health clinics. We march for your rights to reproductive care, safety at home, work, school and in the streets. We march for your right to equal pay for equal work, for clean water and we march for nonviolence for all beings. It would be great if you were with us, but we are tireless so we will fight, we will win and we will celebrate equality with you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • There was a letter circulating on social media from a conservative women named Christy who never felt like a second-class citizen and obviously came from privilege, so she didn’t understand the purpose of the march. The entire post showed exactly why this woman needed to recognize that other people DID NOT have what she so obviously took for granted. But she didn’t recognize it at all and instead used her position of privilege to attack the marchers.

        Like

  6. Thank you so much for the eloquent statements of how I feel and what I have been experiencing since I marched yesterday in Madison WI. Family members and “friends” have questioned me so much about the march and some have been downright cruel in their remarks and commentary. It only proves that we need this March to continue on so we can unite us all no matter race, creed, color or any other label.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agreed with so much of this. However, I do think the use of the term “savages” in the opening paragraph might be reconsidered. Are we still putting wedges between different types of protesting? Is there some inherent bias and historical problems with the use of that term?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Savages?

    That term is deeply racist and quite problematic in this otherwise pointed and earnestly expressed address.

    Its careless use is also reflective of deep challenges that exist between those groups in the movement (which is not new) rarely have the benefit of forgetting marginalization and institutional maltreatment and those who by virtue of their privileges, may at times forget.

    Further activists don’t ask for “Thanks.”

    Like

    • Thank you for responding. As I’ve explained in another comment, I wasn’t entirely certain in my use of the word “savage,” because of its historical connotations. As an editor, as well as a writer, I appreciate that there are often many better ways of putting something. I have gone and changed it and then changed it again. As far as the request for “thanks”–well, it’s true that we don’t need it or ask for it. But I’d rather have that than the belittling and scorn. But no, at the end of the day, I don’t need anybody’s thanks to do what’s right.

      Like

  9. I am heart-warmed by how many of you agree with this message, because many of the people (women) I know who marched are a angry and bitter bunch who throw hatred at our new president and all Republicans, regardless of their station, their service and their integrity. So much angst and evil. Not all that you see is admirable.

    Like

  10. I’m proud that I participated in March. But extremely disappointed and the response our so-called president. He treated it as I assume he treats women. He acknowledged it coldly then moved on to the numbers at the inauguration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Although on board with the general sentiment, I take issue with your criticism of more extreme forms of protest. You said there is a difference between peacful protest and “people who are willing to do damage violently”, however our society and its institutions are very willing to do violent damage to those not occupying spaces of privilege- considering this I would say that more extreme forms are sometimes what is necessary. (I am referring more to fighting against police etc than bystander property damage) In some ways peacful protest is a luxury of those with privilege and I think you failed to acknowlege that in your piece. Also, the terms “savage” and “wildling” both carry heavy racial connotation- I would reconsider their use especially when you are referring to those who are most often antagonized by the police, aka people of colour

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you! We also marched to support Real Journalism, Transparency, and lessening the effects of Climate Change. Only together will we be heard. Keep up the pressure ladies & gents!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes – thank you. I was there with 5 other friends – all representing diversity in race, color, religion, careers: unique individuals sharing the same fundamental human rights you so eloquently placed.
    Thank you for being my voice

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This really makes me irate. How about you thank those men and women in uniform that “march” everyday to protect your right to assemble and your right to free speech. How about you thank those that hold those ideals so dear and find them to be so precious and so inspiring that they choose to serve this great nation, choose to march everyday. I have seen plenty of posts from women who marched thanking each other and patting themselves on the back but not one acknowledging the sacrifices others have made that helped to secure them that right. So maybe YOU meant to say “Thank you”.

    Like

    • You make assumptions on things you know nothing about. A blog post is not a complete compendium of my feelings or actions and you have no idea who I thank and what I do other than this snippet of response to the vitriol and nonsense I’m seeing directed at the marchers. I chose to accept your comment rather than trash it to point this out to anybody who reads this, and hopefully you’ll come back and see it. I thank our military members continually. I have family members who serve and I have members who have served. I am proud of them, and I am proud of our country. It is that pride that makes me refuse to sit down and watch it get ruined. That pride that makes me exercise those rights that our valiant have fought and died for. And if you really support the military and are so thankful for their lives that they put on the line each and every hour of every day, then you should care more that this administration is working as hard as it can to make those lives lost mean nothing. Apply your righteous indignation where it is needed.

      Liked by 4 people

      • You assume that anyone that didn’t march, “doesn’t get it”, or, God forbid, disagrees with you about the future of this country is ignorant, menacing, close minded, and scornful. You assume that they don’t respect the diverse and beautiful people that make up this great nation. I get why people marched, I just don’t share their outlook.
        I support your right to march and blog and love who you want to love and live how you want to live. What I don’t appreciate is the supposition that, because I disagree with you, I am not dedicated to freedom’s cause or ensuring a bright and vibrant duture for this country.
        I value the ideals that this nation is built on, that are captured in the Bill of Rights. I hold them so dear, in fact, that I have spent my entire adult life in service to our nation, to protect your right to march, your right to be heard. So march. Please. But do not demand that I thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I come from a family of Armed Service members. My dad was a lifer, his service included WWII and 2 tours in Vietnam. He fought to protect the U.S.A and to fight for human rights across the globe.
      When I was a kid, I would watch my dad march his men out of the barracks and out for week long “maneuvers”. Years later, when I pensively came ‘out’ (of the closet) to my catholic family, my dad told me to get active to get equal rights, “go out and march Deb, just like the black people did, it’s the only way things are going to change for you hon”. I can remember saluting my dad, my hero everytime he left for work, went out on maneuvers, or left for WAR. And so when I see a patriot, I salute these women and men who marched and made themselves heard so that we sound an alarm, raise awareness and a call to action so that no one group is marginalized. For those that peacefully marched for hours, thank you for your patriotism, our democracy depends on it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sheila, Are you ever going to be done commenting? Your supposition continues to be one of defensiveness. This was written to those that are mocking and scorning the marches. My point was that instead of derision, they should be thanking us or, basically, keeping quiet. If this doesn’t include you, you can walk away. Bye.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your irateness comes from the fact that you are uncomfortable and you feel upset that two million people marched against your candidate. It has nothing to do with military service. You are pulling at strings to try to make an argument. Who ever said we didn’t thank people in service? This wasn’t a military march. I thank every person in uniform I ever see. Most of us are thankful for their service, but this wasn’t about them. This was about the inhumane things that happen WITHIN OUR BORDERS. One in five women is raped in THIS country. So if it’s not you, it’s your mom, your grandma, your sister, your daughter, or your niece… If you’re OK with that, then I don’t really know what to say. If you’re OK with Xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, racism, and all of the other things that we marched for… then I don’t know what to say. You obviously don’t get it. I hope you find it in your heart to reassess your stance and to hear what we are saying. If you still disagree with us after careful consideration, that’s completely fine. You are welcome to your opinion. But you will never convince me that I did a bad thing when I marched.

      Like

      • I never said you did a bad thing when you marched. I just don’t appreciate the assumptions that are made about people on the other side of things. Again you make an assumption that I have never been a victim of sexual assault and that I don’t get it. Or that I am xenophobic and homophobic etc. I am not labeling you or minimizing your dedication to this country or to your fellow citizen. That kind of judgement is only being made on your end. The best evidence I have to support that fact I do hold dear the rights of others and the beauty of this nation is the fact that I dedicate my life to protect it. So I don’t appreciate when that dedication is called into question simply because I disagree with you.

        Like

      • My assumptions were based on the tone of your initial comment; you certainly didn’t come off to sound like you “get it”. And for those who “get it” but still chose to vote for Trump, or who still think the March was unnecessary, or criticize it for any other reason, then they may “get it” but don’t care enough to do anything about it – which means they don’t actually get it. If you’re not in support of the movement, you’re against it. Silence is acceptance. You made assumptions that we don’t thank our service members and I was offended by that. I am sorry if I have made incorrect assumptions about you based on your comment. However, you say you dedicate your life to protecting our nation, which sounds to me, if I can make another assumption, like you yourself serve in the military. I’ve never encountered a service member who asked to be thanked. But, thanks for your service…
        Recognize also that appreciation of “those who march everyday” and appreciating those who marched to support women’s rights are not mutually exclusive. Wouldn’t it in fact be a bit of a waste for people to protect our rights if we did not use them?
        I think the author of this post used the “I think you meant thank you” that to frame her argument. None of us who marched on Washington (or any other city) signed up to be recognized later. It’s simply a snarky way of giving pushback to those who are criticizing a movement meant to help all of us. Therefore I thought your comment was an overreaction.

        Like

  15. Your intent was good but Perhaps the maliciousness of a few over shadowed the good (profanity by some of your chosen speakers and threats to blow up the White House), there really was no need for those things and in many ways de-legitimized the whole march.

    Like

    • I was at the Philly March. However, I did see references to Madonna’s remarks in the news and agree that some things undermined the intent of the marches as a whole. Hopefully, people will realize that the 2-4 million (numbers vary) who marched around the world marched for a cause greater than profanity-laden speeches from a few.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jkzoie – I wholeheartedly disagree. I think it is high time people from all sides of every argument own the fact that there are nuts everywhere. Just like my republican friends do not like being grouped in with the neoNazis and KKK, we who marched should not be grouped in with the few who rioted. I was in DC where a million people showed up to a march that expected only 200k. I witnessed no violence. I have heard of no violence (this doesn’t mean I can say definitively there was zero.) There was rioting the night before, but that was not our group. Regardless, two million vs a small group of nuts surely does not negate the message we were there to send. If it did, then everyone wouldn’t still be talking about it. It is a flaccid argument used by some when they cannot come up with anything else to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because there was no option to reply to your comment above, I figured I’d reply here. Perhaps, yes my initial post was a bit of an overreaction. It stems from the fact that the tone of the blog post and the tone in general that I have seen from the people that marched is that they are the only ones who are dedicated to this nation and the rights of its people. I take exception to that. And I guess reading this post sent me over the edge. There were so many self-congratulatory, condescending, attitudes out there that I just felt like I had to say something.
        I do not serve because I want your thanks and by saying maybe you meant to say thank you I wasn’t really asking for it. I was simply saying “Hey you are not the authority on standing up for freedom and liberty. There are people that do that every day. People that your snarky ‘you’re welcome’ may rub the wrong way.”
        Not to repeat myself, but I don’t appreciate the characterizations that are being made about people on the other side of things. Even people that share your values towards liberties may not share your outlook for the future. I know that may seem contradictory and be difficult to understand but I think it is important not to label and alienate people, especially when your message is one of inclusiveness.
        I apologize for my overreaction but my basic message, as related in my subsequent posts remains.

        Like

      • Sheila – my one was done purposely. It was a reactionary post to the disparagement and criticism on social media, to the men saying that the women marchers should get back into the kitchen and make their husbands sandwiches and the women who were so quick to say they didn’t feel like they were missing any rights. I did NOT march for their gratitude, but I’m certainly not deserving of their scorn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a not-too-long-ago history, it’s that the time to stop something from happening is before it gets put into action. The minute those in power hint that they’re going to take away our rights is the time to fight it–not after it happens and it’s too late.

        The outlook for the future is already upon us. Besides the immigration ban, there are several states exploring ways to legally forbid marches and protests, even though the right to peaceable assembly is a pillar of our nation.

        Like

      • I get that. My main concern is people seeing issues and not caring to do anything about them. Choosing ignorance. I myself haven’t posted anything self-congratulatory. Perhaps celebratory about the energy of what is now being labeled a movement by Time magazine. It felt really good to be a part of something bigger. I generally try to understand all sides. I get a bit impatient when I feel like others make it only about candidates when it’s about civil rights. I appreciate this response as I think it helps to bridge the gap to understanding.

        Like

    • Just so it doesn’t get clouded by my initial post, I do not serve in order to receive gratitude. I do it in order to show my gratitude. To give thanks to the men and women who served before me, men and women like Deb’s father. He certainly seems like a man that served both his nation and his daughter well. So thank you to him and thank you to Deb for sharing her post.

      Like

  16. It take’s time to read your blog and also all the comments bellow. I’m not in us right now that’s why I don’t have any personal information about what happen all information I have is from the news. So, reading your opinion base on your experience you all did a great job. Just keep it up 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. My family (husband, son, and daughter) and I rallied in Chicago with over 250,000 others. It was invigorating for us all to see so many women, men, and children taking a stand together. The next day, still feeling the enthusiasm from the rally, I opened my computer to find that there were women taking a stand against us on Facebook. Apparently they feel comfortable enough in their own lives that they need to denigrate others who haven’t been so fortunate. My heart sunk because, as you say, this is a fight for foundational human rights. How anyone can be against that is just beyond me. Thanks for sharing your post and let’s keep fighting for “America’s promise fulfilled!”

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What I’m being told is “if you ‘don’t understand, you need to try harder'”. OK Picture this. I’m an 11 year old, in 5th grade math. The teacher writes on the board “the exponent tells how many times the base is used as a factor” . I say “I don’t understand” . The teacher says “if you don’t understand, you need to try harder” . No, no I don’t. You have something to teach me, I have expressed my willingness to learn, and my confusion. I am not challenging you. I am saying,” I don’t understand. You have presented this important lesson, and I am not following, please help me”

    Like

    • Cecil – I appreciate this (and my mom was a math teacher, so I REALLY understand the analogy). The idea for the March(es) came about when the Republican party was just making noise about the laws they wanted to pass–many of which restricted assorted rights–or overturn–many of which protected assorted rights, and became solidified after Trump and Pence won the election. Pence already had a history in Indiana of taking the side against LGBTQIA rights, women’s rights, etc., including the Marriage Equality Act. Trump is currently poised to sign a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that could lead to insurers refusing insurance (including private insurers through employers) for pre-existing conditions, even when a person is paying their own money into the insurance premiums. Or to forbid abortions for people paying their own money into their insurance premiums. I’m pro-choice, which means I support your decision to keep your baby and I support your decision to have an abortion. Either way, it should be your decision–it shouldn’t be legislated away from you. When Congress says it wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, it means they don’t want you to have that personal decision–they want to make it for you. I apologize that this explanation is all over the place, because there’s so much to say. But the intent of the March(es) was to say, “Hey. We’re here. And we’re watching. And these are our individual rights and freedoms you’re trying to take away. DON’T.”

      I’m hoping other people may help add to this. But my recommendation is to go out and try to read some unbiased news sources to get up to speed. You can find pending and proposed legislation at congress.gov.

      Like

  19. “We are unified in our love of our country, for an America that was already pretty great, though it still had progress to be made. We are unified in our belief that this country needs to move forward into the bright future and not backward into the Dark Ages. We will accept no less than America’s promise fulfilled, not stilted.”

    So much of this. My mind has been running all week, reading the news stories and posts from back home, and hurting because of my love for America. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “I say foundational because these are the rights that should be in place before we even consider fighting for things like the right to bear arms.”

    Yes! So basic and true, and yet so elusive to some.

    Along these lines, when people talk about understanding Trump voters and their pain (that is, the voters who don’t identify as “alt right”), I think, isn’t trying our damnedest to stop a fascist standing with them? As frustrated as I am with these people, I don’t want to see more suffering. My first concern is with the most vulnerable, but I can also hope that we all live in a peaceful, safe world.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s