I went to the Women’s March in D.C. last weekend. Me, and 750,000 other people who felt compelled to stand up and say, “Everything you stand for is wrong, Donald Trump, and we will fight you every inch of the way.”
I could have marched in L.A., but I feel it’s too easy for Donald to write off Coastal/ Hollywood elites.
Or maybe I felt a primal desire to get in his front yard and scream.
Maybe it’s because my left eye has been twitching since the election.
I was lucky enough to have the financial ability to go, work flexibility, and a place to stay. Andy took some time off to hold down the fort. He holds Trump in utter contempt, of course, but protesting is not Andy’s thing. And that’s fine.
I met an African-American woman on one of my flights. She marched, but her sisters didn’t, and that was fine, too. It was too painful for them to see millions of white people just now protesting against the inequities that Black Americans have dealt with for centuries.
One of my sisters got the virulent stomach flu. Sobbing between bouts of retching, she had to stay home.
I have friends with special needs kids that opted not to go. Same for various exhausted parents of newborns. Completely understandable.
Some people had to work. As we marched, we passed the sole female construction worker at the Lincoln Memorial, wearing a pink hat under her hard hat. She took a break from tearing down the pre-inaugural scaffolding and wistfully told us, “I should be marching.”
We assured her that we understood, and we knew her spirit marched with us up Independence Avenue.
Over three million of us, all over the world.
Seeing that turnout was inspiring. It made me feel less alone. Other people saw the madness. Other people were prepared to fight Trump’s white supremacist, sexist, anti-science, anti-environment agenda as well. The enormous crowd buoyed up our once-sunken spirits.
We went home and we cheered as we saw all the marches — marches that dwarfed Trump’s sad little inaugural crowd. (Though Trump tried, all the President’s Park Services couldn’t — and wouldn’t — change that reality.)
And then the Facebook posts started.
These socially myopic idiots reminded me of the Republicans who insisted that “a black man in the White House obviously means we are a post-racial society.”
There were men who insisted that women already had equal rights and equal pay. Well, that’s some more gaslighting bullshit right there. Asian women make 84 cents to the man’s dollar, white women make 79 cents, Black women 60 cents, and Latinas 56 cents.
But you want to know which posts pissed me off the most? The white, suburban moms who didn’t march. Not because they liked Trump. No, they didn’t march because they had soccer games, swim meets, or dance recitals.
Now, I have nothing against the devoted moms who put their kids’ needs first. Again, totally fine. But when those very same mothers posted about feeling neglected after seeing people praising the women marching, whining about how they felt like an unsung hero for staying home and carefully raising non-sexist boys, well, then I got ticked off.
Because NO, Whiny Mommy, you don’t get a goddamned cookie. Not for doing your regular, every day activities with the children you chose to have. Not even for raising them in the “right” way, teaching them about consent, privilege, and fairness.
That’s your job, Whiny Mommy. And while it is damned hard to be a nanny, cook, chauffeur, activities coordinator, nurse, dishwasher, housecleaner, and teacher, guess what? That was your choice. That’s your daily routine. It’s easier than coping with a screaming kid on an overcrowded subway. It’s cheaper than hiring childcare and less time-consuming than traveling to a march. You did nothing extra. No cookie for you.
You want kudos for being a good Mom? That’s what Mother’s Day is for. Shut up until May.
I spent hundreds of dollars, flew thousands of miles, got stuck in two airports, traveled by train at 5 AM, braved stomach flu central, played human sardine on the Metro, played human sardine on the D.C. Mall, and came down with the ‘flu. (Which is undoubtedly making my post crankier than usual.)
But you know what? I don’t deserve a cookie, either.
Not for doing my job as a
terrified concerned citizen of the United States. Not for simply being a decent human who believes in equal rights. Yes, marching was more complicated and uncomfortable than going about my everyday life, but it’s nothing compared to what the Water Protectors are doing in North Dakota. No one shot US with water canons.
I believe there are moments when people have to take a stand against oppression. The more that will stand and be counted, the better. And if you have other priorities, or don’t feel the same sense of urgency, then that is your right.
But don’t demand a goddamned cookie.