FAQ – March Experience

By Puja

I had a hard time with this post. On the one hand Rashee and I just wanted to put a slideshow up here (attended the Women’s March in DC) so you can be part of the experience, and on the other hand, ya’ll know I have words. I decided to just compile the best questions I have gotten/heard and answer them because this is part of the SIL Blog’s historical record of the March/Movement and that deserves some context.

I hate this question the most, so let’s get it out of the way.

Why Did You March?

My genuine first reaction when I hear this question is ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME? Second reaction: the person asking this doesn’t know they are privileged. Third Reaction: (in my mortal kombat voice) FINISH THEM. Fourth Reaction: You ain’t got bail money; Explain it, but don’t justify yourself. Be Civil. Be Patient.

I am still salty that I have been asked this question, not out of curiosity by a fellow feminist, but by someone who doesn’t see the need for a march in the first place. WHY ISN’T IT OBVIOUS? This rankles because it reminds me of all the [white people] Facebook statuses I saw before the election that went something like this “If Hillary wins, I will go about my day as normal. If Orangemort* wins, I will go about my day as normal” and the ones AFTER the election calling for unity and giving the new administration a chance…

If that ain’t some bullshit. Are you asking people to just let tyranny happen? Hey there everyone but the privileged, bend over. That is what ‘giving it a chance’ leads to. Now why am I like this today but not eight (8) years ago? Because Barry and Papa Joe didn’t ride a false wave of populism to the White House.

Barry and Papa Joe are LIFELONG Civil Servants. Barry and Papa Joe weren’t perfect, but they had the knowledge, the willingness to keep an open mind, and most importantly cared about the ENTIRE NATION not just the bottom line of a few. So 8 years ago, I was kind of OK that people with the right intentions and resume were elected to lead this country. And if you disagree with that, with facts – actual facts the mainstream acceptable ones, not the alternative ones – show me where the vats of human excrement encased in orange and white flesh bags have the same level of experience and commitment that the last administration did. And no, I won’t wait for them to prove themselves or reach a point when they see what the job entails and for them to realize they have to govern everyone not just their special interest and high dollar donors. They have no evidence to show me that they cared about anything but their own self-serving agendas and pocketbooks prior to 2017.

Have you been in management before? I have. I hated it. People are the worst, but you know what you do when you have an employee who you ask ‘how did they get this job?’ As a manager, you have to spend A LOT of time training that person to do their job. A LOT. And what is the President if not an employee of the people? And this citizen wants him to know how to do his job. Because if he doesn’t, more than likely I will lose my job, become a street person, live underground with either the lizard or mole people, become their Queen and take over the surface dwellers. Do you want that? No? That’s why I marched.

Less flippantly, I marched because the following values (in no particular order, not a complete list) I hold dear are under immediate threat from a man who has no history of public service, only being a public menace, a man who’s reading comprehension I call into question (and he’s the lesser of two evils compared to the devil that is the VP):

  • Equality – ANY KIND
  • Voting Rights
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Education (Public and Higher)
  • The Arts
  • Scienctific Advancement and Achievement
  • LGBQT Rights
  • Immigration
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Gun Control
  • Healthcare
  • Financial Regulations
  • International Diplomatic Relationships
  • Being part of the Global Economy/Government
  • First Amendment rights
  • International Security/Homeland Security
  • Checks and Balances
  • Environmental, Energy, and Conservation Efforts
  • Bi-Partisanship (though…that isn’t a thing half of Congress seems to be unaware of)

I will stop there because I am an anxious person by nature, so that list can go on and on.

*I refuse to type his actual name. Yes, it is petty; and no, I won’t stop. I will resist normalizing him.

Why the DC March?

Before the satellite marches became a thing, I had already booked my ticket to DC. Truth be told, I probably would have gone out there to stand like the Silent Sentinels if there was no March. I wanted to ensure there was at least one more person at the March than there was at the inauguration. I wanted to be part of the epicenter of it all, the wave of people demonstrating on the front steps of tyranny. There was a lot of ‘know my face, know my voice, you will be seeing/hearing from me’ type of thinking on my part there. I didn’t even think about my crowd anxiety until I got on the plane actually. This is bigger than me. Our rights are bigger than my fears. No question I would be in DC for this.

How Was Your March Experience?

I will give you a break from reading here are some pictures from the DC March. All photos are my own and are exclusively the property of Sisters in Law Blog. I do have some audio, but I can’t figure out how to edit it down to get just the chants.

womensmarchcrowd2
WALL TO WALL MARCHERS
womensmarchcrowd3
Craft stores ran out of pink yarn…you can see why
womensmarchcrowd4
elbow to elbow
womensmarchcrowds1
March Route facing Capitol
womensmarchsigns
Sign Game on Point
womensmarchsigns1
People’s arms must hurt holding up these signs

Also I tried to make a photo sphere, so you can stand where I stood, but I don’t know that it looks like anything other than a jacked up panoramic photo. So here is a brief video instead.

 

So What? What Was The Point?

First of all, since our healthcare may be gone by next quarter, don’t ask me this in person unless you have burn unit money. Second of all, the point (at least for me) was two-fold; (a) the point was to be among people who shared my values and fears and to stand in solidarity with them and for those who couldn’t march and (b) HEY CONGRESS – WE INTEND TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE THE ACTUAL POPULISM IS WITH THE PEOPLE AND NOT WITH THE ORANGE NIGHTMARE-SICLE.

What is your Post-March Experience?

You can’t ride the wave of euphoria for ever. When I was boarding the flight home, there was Professor Umbridge un-ironically wearing a MAGA hat in line. I was prepared to deplane if she was sitting next to me. Luckily, everyone looked at her like she was a child-molesting leper. Like most things, the critiques started coming out. Not so legitimate ones like those men with fragile masculinity calling for a march for men’s rights…thank you Patton Oswalt for shutting that shit down (woke men are the best men). And legitimate ones like OK you call yourself an intersectional feminist, are you going to be at the next Black Lives Matter march? My answer to that last question is a resounding yes.

I cannot speak for other women and what they were marching for; but I marched for ALL of it. I am invested in seeing each American (or anyone who sets foot in this country) is treated equally under the eyes of the law and who’s right to exist is never questioned or threatened. I marched because human decency, ethics, experience, understanding, and collaborative problem-solving are my values and those values are under threat. Post-march is where the real work begins. Secure in the knowledge that soooooo many people marched in solidarity, I am digging in. I will call my Senators every week (if they aren’t keeping their voice mails full on purpose) so they know that I don’t stand for anything that runs contrary to our shared values,  support candidates who challenge the patriarchy and share my values, donate time and/or money to causes that champion services under threat (Planned Parenthood, ACLU, PBS,  etc) by this administration. I encourage you do do the same and also take your ass to the polls if your elected officials are out there limiting rights and services. Ya’ll if Betsy DeVos is confirmed on 1/31/17, you may have to say goodbye to me, it is my mission to make sure the Department of Education is not destroyed, I will be holding her accountable for every decision she makes. Finally, as the great Tammy Duckworth said, “I didn’t shed blood to have the Constitution trampled on,” I Marched to help her uphold it.

 


Things Keeping Me Sane This Week: I love Issa Rae. You may have heard of her from Awkward Black Girl (YouTube) and Insecure (HBO) and a slew of television and podcast appearances. If you haven’t heard of her…you need to revisit your media consumption habits. Some of her best work may be the musical critique skills, she lays some down in Ratchetpiece Theater. My favorite is episode 8. You’re welcome.

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