I am not one to jump up on a soapbox and make unsolicited arguments and offer my opinion regarding political issues of late. This is in large part due to the fact that no one wants to listen, process, and intelligently rebuke. Instead, whoever can yell the loudest and make the biggest scene, no matter how irrational or absurd their argument may be, are deemed the “winner” because our culture is so wrapped up in the drama of it all and not the boring actual facts. It is this type of thinking that has rendered me silent, unless someone asks. Otherwise, there is no point.
However, I find that when presenting written information in a more casual published manner such as this, people tend to listen and really hear what you are saying at least a little better before raising the pitchforks and throwing out obscenities to “strengthen” their argument. So, I am here, on my personal blog, to share with you a few thoughts as a woman living in the United States of America in the year of 2017 after seeing what has gone down in the last 4 or so days, because if there was anything to make a gal’s anxiety spike, it’s the direction this country is headed – backwards.
My dad recently emailed me this link, where you can scroll through some of the best pictures taken at the Women’s March that took place this past Saturday, January 21, 2017 – the day after Donald J. Trump was officially sworn in as America’s 45th president. I was actually given the opportunity to attend this powerful protest with my school’s Feminist Club, but decided it best to pass on the basis that my anxiety and the amount of people expected to attend didn’t look like they were going to jive.
Swiping through these pictures you will find a common theme of words that would not typically be used in polite society (is that a thing anymore?) and for a second, my gut twisted, particularly to the usage of a certain “C” word, and I wasn’t sure what to think. Then, I looked at the big picture. I saw the sign, the saying in its entirety, the person holding the sign, the image I had in my head of the aerial views of the masses of people that attended the March, and finally, Donald J. Trump sitting like a King on his throne, surrounded by his wealthy white male counterparts, signing “a ban on federal money going towards international groups that preform or provide information about abortions” (quoted from BBC News article discussing the event in further detail).
That’s when I put it all together. These women didn’t flock to D.C. to “sit pretty” on the White House lawn singing “Kumbaya” hoping against hope to be heard and understood.
Instead, the women of 2017 America stampeded to the streets of our nation’s capital with the roar of a thousand lionesses demanding to be heard and showing they weren’t backing down. This brute yet peaceful approach that included the crude signs shown, is how these women turned Trump and company’s own words around and back at them. In some cases, using direct quotes from Mr. President himself. This is how we will be seen and heard because this is what our opposition understands, and that in itself, is a depressing thought.
After this realization of the reasoning behind the language and images used, I saw the grace and beauty in the whole thing. These weren’t words said “in a locker room” by backwards thinking oafs with bad comb overs. These were words that were used as weapons on women who then walked forward and picked them up to throw right back, only better, with style and flare. These women made them clever, made them mean something more than they did when spouted by an overcompensating member of the opposite sex. And for that, I applaud them.
All of that being said, I don’t want to cast an umbrella over the entire male gender.
Sifting through thousands of these photos on the internet, you will find that there are quite a few husbands, fathers, brothers, and just plain decent, intelligent gentlemen who showed up for the demonstration as well, and carried some pretty awesome signs themselves. And to you sirs, I applaud even more enthusiastically. You all show that there is still hope.
With all of these thoughts being provoked from a brief website browse, you can imagine the intense analyzing I have been doing pretty much since it became clear at around 4 AM that fateful Wednesday morning, that Trump would be our next president. Through all of these thoughts, fears, prayers, and seemingly useless hoping, there is one question that I have still yet to be able to answer, even after having civil conversations with Trump supporters (or at least, Hillary haters to the point that they became Trump supporters):
HOW COULD ANYONE HEAR THE RACIST, FEMINIST, FASCIST, AND DOWNRIGHT HATEFUL WORDS THAT LEAVE THIS MAN’S MOUTH AND THINK THAT THIS IS A STEP FORWARD? THAT THIS IS RIGHT?
When you can make campaign flyers and arguments solely based on direct quotes from the opposition that should and normally would be damning to any political candidate running for any office anywhere, how can they then go on to succeed in winning the highest seat of authority in a nation that prides itself on being everything that this man does not stand for?
How can half the population not see that we are moving backwards?