We had planned to go to Washington D.C. today. Not originally for political reasons... my husband had to go for work reasons, and we figured it was easy enough for us all to go. Once I realised our visit would coincide with the Women's March on Washington, I planned to join it, assuming it stayed peaceful enough to do with the kids.
Unfortunately, the best laid plans of parents are not proof against a stomach bug going through the school. Instead, today, we are sitting around in quarantine, unable even to join our local Women's March.
So this is my virtual one. My little statement about what the Women's March meant to me: a chance to show women and anybody else who might feel marginalised, oppressed or intimidated by current politics that we still have our voices, we still have people who will listen.
Today, the President of the United States is somebody accused of being a sex offender (Wikipedia link) and a paedophile (Snopes link). These accusations are unlikely to ever be proven one way or the other, but the brutal truth is that they are entirely plausible based on the words from Trump's own mouth. (Telegraph link, New Yorker link, google it...) Yet this man can be elected to the office of a World Leader.
That's a discouraging message for all victims of sexual harassment debating whether or not to report it. It's a discouraging message for all women who want to be valued for their skills rather than their looks. It's a discouraging message for all women who want to look beautiful for beauty's sake and not for the approval of others. I hope the hundreds of thousands of people Marching around the world have countered that message with their own one of encouragement.
As far as I am concerned, President Trump's words and behaviour do not represent the country of which my children are citizens. He is not a role model for my son. And he sure as hell isn't allowed anywhere near my daughter.
I will close with a Women's March of a different kind, one more suited to our quarantined, housebound protest: a Women's March of Books (for children). Three of our favourites, all of which give a better message of strength, respect and equality than the political rhetoric from the past year.
Barnes & Noble links:
All the World
Star Wars graphic novel