To 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.