Here I am, totally ignorant of what will happen, trying on my pussy hat for the Women’s March on Washington. ( “SPES” by the way, is Latin for “hope”, something in short supply lately.)
People asked me why I felt I had to take my walker and go all the way across the country to do this when there were protests in town. There are either too many answers to that, or none. One reason is that more than half my ancestors have been in the country since before 1700. They settled the land, served in the armies and government. Some were kind, compassionate people, some weren’t. Some clear cut trees for their fields, fought Natives in King Joseph’s War, owned slaves and persecuted Quakers. One can be proud of Colonial ancestors but also see the results of their actions.
I stand with Standing Rock, because they were among those who pushed Natives onto reservations.
I stand for women’s rights because my male ancestors refused to vote for them.
I believe Black Lives Matter remembering how those of my family believed their lives were property.
In short, I believe in not repeating history but in working hard to make the world better and more equal for all.
So, I went to Washington and it was a euphoric experience. Whatever you hear, I was surrounded by people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders and professions. They say that there were so many causes that it was chaos. I didn’t see one sign I didn’t agree with. Heidi Stemple put it better than I can:
I’m seeing lots of criticism of the Women’s Marches. Let us all remember, that whatever it meant to each of us– every one of those reasons are important and significant. Did we save access to health care for women? Did we stop the pipeline or make undocumented people more safe? No. But, we needed each other and we showed up to prove that we are here and not to be taken lightly, forgotten, or discounted. We are women who, when pushed, will push back. Will letters or phone calls help these causes? Perhaps not. But, we, the daughters, mothers, lovers, and sisters, we will raise our voices and shout down those who wish to keep us down–every damn time– until the time when we find or make or learn other ways to make a difference. We ARE the wall. We will take care of the children you will leave behind and we will boil the water you make unsafe to drink. We will nurse the ill who have no access to health care. We will teach the science you refuse to believe. We will remember the souls you shoot and kill on the streets. We will form the secret networks to help all the people you care nothing about. We are not snowflakes. We are the people who birthed you, fed you, nurtured you. Do NOT mistake our femininity as weakness. Because, even when we are down, WE ARE NOT WITHOUT POWER.
What she said. Here are some examples of the wonderful people who came out to support us all:
United Health Workers. There were at least a hundred of them, with shirts, purple hats and stickers. (They gave me one) They marched for health care for all and better working conditions for those who do the real caring; home health workers, CNAs and nurses.
These speak for themselves. Personally, I think that a man wearing a pussyhat is very appealing. A man who takes his daughter to a march for human rights is a treasure and an example to fathers everywhere.
When your congress person votes to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, this young man is the one who will have fewer treatment and education options. Many people were concerned about health care cost and availability. I rant about this all the time. We are the only first world country without national health. Could is possibly be because there is such a powerful health insurance lobby ?
So, this is my new Facebook image, partly because I need to keep reminding myself not to fear and partly because I really would like to look as beautiful as she.