Why I'm going to the Women's March on DC tomorrow

Somehow, I've managed to have a lot of opinions about things without ever taking an real action to support them. I voice my thoughts, but generally only to people who tend to agree with me. Bryan Stevenson, the head of the Equal Justice Initiative, came to talk to Rider and he said a lot of things that make sense to me. The two that relate to this march: be willing to do uncomfortable things and get proximate to the problem. 
There's nothing too uncomfortable about the march--though we have to be at the bus at 5:30 a.m.--and the weather is supposed to be good. Many people from my work will be there, as will several of my girlfriends (Liz, Jodi) and I'm certain the walk itself will be manageable. I have some anxiety about some nut shooting everyone, but that's unlikely.
In terms of getting close to the problem, it means that we go to DC the day after Trump is inaugurated and illustrate that he and his ultra conservative inner circle should not ignore half of the population by creating legislation that cripples rather than helps them. That's one of my main things with Trump--I want to find some points of connection--like, I want him to be a hard core, no nonsense LGBTQ rights supporter. Or to be apathetic about Planned Parenthood. I would take apathy as a way to connect with him.

I can't fathom why he would want to assist in de-funding Planned Parenthood, or why he cares at all about women having the ability to make choices about their lives. You can't have it both ways. You can't tell women not to have abortions AND make it harder for them to get birth control (not unless you are also going to develop some campaign to control men's ability to produce sperm or an anti-jerk off campaign: "Every sperm you waste while thinking of Melania is a potential baby.").  If you don't want to help women be safe and make their own choices, create legislation that holds men equally accountable or make sure that pregnant women have access to good healthcare or get reasonable paid maternity leave and job flexibility. But really, stay out of it. Only a small percentage of women who go to Planned Parenthood do so to terminate a pregnancy. Most go so they can have health checks, mammograms, get treated for UTIs, or other sexually transmitted diseases, and have preventative care for other problems that could be life-threatening.

Mostly, I can't believe that we actually have to be defending the right to reproductive-related healthcare and the right to take care of ourselves.  I saw this bumper sticker the other day: "If you don't like abortion, don't have one." Here's another one that should be created: "If you don't like abortion, adopt five babies." Every time some white dude claiming to be a Christian says he is anti-choice, I want to ask him how many children he's fostered, how many times he's abstained from unprotected sex or sex at all, how much money he's willing to shell out for women's health care, what kind of father he is, how he would feel if he knew that having a baby would decrease his likelihood of keeping a job or getting promoted. 

The third reason I'm going to the march tomorrow is because I am amazed by the lack of conversation around the ongoing misogyny in our culture.  I want us to talk more about how's Clinton gender impacted public perception about her ability to lead (from men and women). I want to talk about the fact that a large portion of our population would rather elect someone with no experience, a track record of fraud, bankruptcies, lawsuits, and rape allegations and a dangerous personality disorder over a candidate with decades of experience, great understanding of policy and process, years of dedication to public service, a track record of impactful global philanthropy, and a vagina. The vagina gets us every time.  It is wrong that we're not talking about this continued denigration of women based on years of spoon fed stereotypes and oppression. It's wrong that women don't trust other women to lead, in part because our whole lives, we've seen mostly white males in positions of power across the board--doctors, lawyers, politicians, airline pilots, military leaders, police force, movie directors, writers, scientists---male, male, male, male, male, male, male. Our culture remains disproportionately represented, and I want so much for that to change. And I would also like it if we would stop having the argument about how he won fair and square. Because, people, it was not fair and square. Not by 100 miles.

The fourth reason I'm going is because I find this particular individual to be one of the most appalling representations of the male species who has been in the public eye.  He wants to appeal to the Christian right and meanwhile: He's been married three times, his current wife is a former bathing suit model, he's self-admittedly cheated on his wife while she was pregnant, he jokes about how power gives him the opportunity to grope and take, he judges women's value based primarily on their physical appearance, he sexualizes his daughter, and he thinks that rape and assault are an okay part of locker room talk. For starters. One could speculate on how he has used and abused his power, but this list should be enough. I don't care how many times you've been married, I don't care how many women or men you've slept with, but I do care if you're going to use your position to coerce people to do what you want, or that you're going to stand on a platform of family values when you have not been able to maintain them in your own life.

Those are a few of the reasons I'm going. I don't know if it makes a difference. I do know that it's the same thing as voting or not voting---it's my duty to stand by what I believe in. If I do nothing, I am complicit, and I lose my voice.