Why I Didn't March
Today, strangely, the need to express the present reality in longer sentences than tweets or Facebook posts, won’t stop gnawing.
This is due in part to the division in our country, but also in my personal life over politics.
It’s naive to believe our generation, our time, is somehow immune to the divisive nature of politics, the ever escalating rhetoric which inevitably leads to war. If history shows anything, it shows the human race prospers between war, but ultimately war is the ocean and peace the islands.
Believing that, I’m disappointed it comes as such an unpleasant shock to see people I love and respect begin to use that rhetoric toward me simply because I have differing opinions and ideas.
Words are powerful. It’s why we look to great historical orators for inspiration, we pledge out loud to our country and flag, and why Sedition Laws spawned. Historically, people in power understand the power of rhetoric and how it can be used to topple governments, used to both free and place in bondage.
It appears we can’t have it all. Meaning, freedom of speech and peace. Sure we can for awhile, as the dust from the Civil War settles and people are tired, focused on rebuilding the country, focused on unity. But prosperity sets in, and generationally people begin to have more time to focus on politics, more time to take things for granted, more time to plot and turn up the rhetoric.
Every person on the planet believes and interprets life through their experiences, traumas and beliefs. It’s why I am passionate about human trafficking and serving my community. I believe life is a gift from God and being an American is a blessing. A blessing I don’t ever want to take for granted, and am so thankful to have, it inspires me to build up, protect and help prosper its citizens.
Everyone can’t have the same passions, and that’s beneficial to our society as a whole. People passionate about cancer research, ending world hunger, business, whatever, imo brings out the very best in others (usually). And, makes the country a better place for everyone. People who are passionate about self on the other hand, tend to bring division, corruption and human rights violations.
Because of life experiences and beliefs, I can’t wrap my head around legitimizing things that seem harmful to our society, country and large groups of individuals. It doesn’t mean I have the market cornered on being right, or that I believe for a moment my thoughts are infallible. I’m constantly learning.
So, all of that to get here.
The Women’s Marches across the country (and world). I want to support them. There is something very inclusive and inspiring about a group of women working together to achieve better for others.
But this ain’t that.
I listened to speeches, watched the footage of events, looking for something, anything that would allow me to be part of this movement which was a sight to behold. If any men read this, here is my view on why women get excited about sisterhood and groups like this coming together.
It’s not a popular perspective, but it’s mine. (It’s broad stroked too!)
It’s exciting because it’s a rare occasion when women aren’t ripping each other apart. Women are hardest on each other. Even the Johns we arrest typically are less malicious about the prostitutes than some of the women who claim to “help” them.
In my trainings I show a little 10 year old girl who is being groomed by an adult man. Her dad finds out and publicly shames her on Facebook. Almost 3,000 comments, almost all from women, blaming the little girl.
Women complain about magazines that show unattainable bodies, and yet when you look at who is running those women’s magazines, generally it’s WOMEN.
Personally, I’ve never seen a group of females do well or achieve anything worth value if they didn’t have a focus outside of self. As a veteran, as a military spouse, as a student, as a nonprofit administrator, I can’t think of a single exception.
So yeah, when I see a large group of women getting together for something larger than self, it’s inspiring because it is not the norm. It is something to be celebrated and supported.
Despite how it appeared, it didn’t take long to realize this was little more than a unity party for like-minded women focused almost entirely on self. In the US, barring Texas, (which seemed to be the only truly inclusive march, more on that in a second), there wasn’t much substance. They marched for fear of Trump taking away their PERSONAL rights. They marched for abortion. They marched for issues that almost all centered on THEMSELVES. Not every woman clearly. Just themselves. Their group.
They spent time, resources, and energy on “don’t take away my rights. Me. Me. Me.”
I am not oppressed. Nor do I believe the majority of women in the US are oppressed. Certainly not the majority of women marching.
The list of attendees isn’t as telling as the list of groups who did not attend.
Do you know who wasn’t marching?
The 30 million women who marched to the polls and voted for Donald Trump.
You know who else wasn’t there? Men.
Why? What great achievement can women possibly think is attainable without the aid of men? Everything that allowed this great coming together was built for and created by mostly, you got it, MEN! The freedom to come together was fought and bled for by mostly MEN.
Who else wasn’t there? Pro-life women who voted for Hillary were told they were not welcome. In Texas a group of pro-lifers came out, but for the most part, agreeing with abortion was the litmus test on sisterhood for these marches. That’s because these marches were really about Hillary losing the election and hatred for Donald Trump. Even above the whole self-rights thing.
I’m angry, disgusted and disappointed.
Angry these marches weren’t more inclusive and honest about motives. To read their internet motives and goals, it sounded good and altruistic. But in the end, actions not internet propaganda is what matters.
Disgusted that it primarily was bellybutton gazing and whining about something that might happen in the future and losing rights THEY ALREADY HAVE while doing absolutely nothing tangible for the truly marginalized. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get people to actually CARE (defined as in taking action) about issues like human trafficking, child sex abuse etc? Do you know how many thousands of people I’ve trained and for the most part they walk away informed but inactive and more, unwilling to do mundane things like share something on Facebook about it, let alone give money toward housing and investigation. (Ironic that a lot of them were at or supporting these marches!)
Disappointed because despite personal life experience and observation, I still always hope for the best when women unite.
Not entirely blameless here. I’ve taken my frustration with the whining, the name calling, the self before country mentality, and lashed out in uncharitable fashion on social media. A good friend (who sees all this exactly the opposite, lol) reminded me that is not who I am. And she’s right. I’ve allowed the rhetoric to suck me in and responded in anger. I hate that.
I will try to do better by limiting the political aspects of the current atmosphere to more appropriate venues of discussion.
Try being the imperative there.