This past weekend a friend posted this on her Facebook wall:
“For those that protest, I hear you and I see you. What I’m not sure of, is what you want and how you want it to be done. Please provide me an example of how YOU have been directly affected by your cause. What is YOUR true experience?”
Many of the comments posted did not fully answer her sincere question. They skipped over the “YOU” and “YOUR” altogether, which is not unusual for the usual discourse on social media particularly this last year and a half.
My one of many true experiences…
Quite frankly, I have had several experiences as to why I may have joined other women in this march. But my present irritation with the current political atmosphere sprouted fully when the “pussy grab” comments from now President Trump were exposed.
Disclaimer: I am a conservative Independent voter. I did not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I voted for a third-party candidate.
In my very early twenties, I started my sales career in financial services dominated primarily by men. Not only were most of my colleagues were men, but my business prospects and clients were men. One of my first sales experiences was with a male sales manager and upon the end of sales pitch for financial services, he invited to meet with the branch manager. As we entered the manager’s office and immediately after my introduction, the branch manager looked at the sales manager and asked in a condescending tone, “Have you slept with her yet?” This is was mild compared to sexist slights I would endure over my career.
This sexist attitude and verbal “pussy grabs” include assaulting behavior has been prevalent throughout my career including receiving a less compensation than my male counterparts and being passed over for sales awards even though I had the same level of achievement. Call me bitter. I am. And when I heard Mr. Trump’s pussy grabbing comments on tape, I shuddered at the thought of men and women simply brushing those comments off as “normal” and “boys will be boys.” Sure enough, I saw those comments flood social media even from my own extended family. Sorry, but the reality is that sexism and inequality exists and not just for women. Abusive behavior and human trafficing of women and children is out of control.
I have other more personal true experiences beyond workplace sexism, but protesting isn’t always just about “us” and “our individual story,” is it?
Disclaimer: I did not march in the Women’s March in Washington or elsewhere. Yet, I supported their right and many of their reasons for their voices to be heard.
Women marched for several reasons, particularly for making their own choices about their own bodies namely reproductive rights. I am a Christian. I am Pro-Life. But I do not agree with the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade because by doing so, we build a judgment wall that does not allow for conversations for alternatives to abortion. Secondly, the number of abortions prior to Roe v. Wade, and after is the same. The following study by the Guttmacher Institute brings new clarity to this topic: U.S. Abortion Debate
With that said, I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for abortions here or anywhere. Yet even that desire is somewhat unreasonable, since my taxpayer dollars also go towards foreign conflicts that kill many innocent people every year. Or what is the PC word? Collateral Damage? Who cares about them just as long as families don’t try to cross our borders to seek refuge from evil murdering bastards. Secure borders? Ha! Like today’s ever advancing technology, bio-technology, and global economy makes us any safer with a concrete and fenced wall or more TSA airport screening.
My consent to how my taxpayer dollars are spent is in my how I vote, right? And even though my candidate did not win, I still must suck it in, grin and bear it, and accept the outcome. Right?
I am also against the death penalty too should any of you wonder. ALL of us have the same opportunity just as the man that hung next to Jesus Christ on the cross to repent and be forgiven right up to our very last breath on this earth. My faith teaches me to share that opportunity with others.
But I digress…
I don’t want us to enact or reverse laws or build walls that keep us from using our voice to sharing our personal experiences so that women can have alternatives, where babies aren’t being aborted, but can be adopted (and yes, we must feed and care for them too, for those who don’t think we aren’t willing to help mothers who decide against abortion). As I have written in a previous post, I am grateful my husband’s mother abandoned him rather than aborted him because I would not have him or my two beautiful sons.
Perhaps I am too idealistic to think that we can treat ALL people, born and unborn, with dignity and respect without trampling on each other’s right in making their own decisions.
So, what is it that they want? What is it they want done?
To be heard.
To be understood.
To be respected.
To live, work, and love as equals.
I think the better question is this: What is it that YOU are so passionate about that would cause you to go out into the public square for YOUR voice to be heard?
Are you passionate enough to do anything for someone you love?
What if you had a child that identified differently than their biological gender? Would you want them to be treated equally as everyone else? To be loved?
What if you had a child that had a disability or was different than other children? Would you want them to be bullied? To have the same opportunities as other children?
What if you had a child or a parent that had a serious illness? Would you not want them to have the best affordable health care?
What if your religious faith meant everything to you as mine does? Wouldn’t you want to protect your right to practice it?
Should it be a crime that someone looks different from me because God chose a different color for them? Should they be treated differently?
These women and men who marched believe that now is the time to be heard, now is the time to act, and now is the time we hold each other accountable, including this or any other administration who seems to disrespect dissenting voices. Let’s face it. We all want the same things in life. Isn’t it that so called American dream that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
If you aren’t passionate about something or someone enough to fight to be heard than why does it matter to you why women marched on January 21, 2017? Just keep scrolling past all those social media posts.