I didn’t March last weekend. Before you get all excited one way or the other, there were a few mitigating circumstances. 1. I’m a chicken, and there has been much violence lately at protests. 2. I also had my son last weekend, and with his SPD, I did not want to take a chance. It could have been fine, or worst case see above. Instead, we went and saw Hidden Figures. More on that later.
I’m happy for you if you feel women’s rights are right where they need to be. Although I have had a fairly charmed life, I don’t see it that way. There are some major areas that we need to protect, and some we need to change.
Womens health needs to be protected. Planned Parenthood is important. Take abortion off the table, because I’m not getting in to that argument right now. I’m talking about women’s health. I’m talking about when I lost my health insurance while on maternity leave (after the birth), and Planned Parenthood provided my post natal exam. They also kept a tight monitor on my iron levels, which were extremely low, and got me the info to get on WIC. Later, right before the Affordable Care Act, they helped me through the diagnosis of Fibroid Tumors, kept a tight check on my cervix which had bad cells in it, and supported me through what was going on. As soon as ACA went through, and I had insurance, they got my info to my Doctor quickly and we’re happy that I was getting the treatment I needed that they couldn’t provide. I know this because they called to follow up with me. And because of federal and state funding, all that care, except for the ultrasound (I had to go to an outside provider for that) it was free. I even got my monogram through them.
There is a disconnect between how the law is written, and how it is implemented. I’m assuming we can all agree that rape is wrong. And yet, how often do we ask what she was doing out that late, or what was she wearing.. it should not matter where I am, what I’m wearing, the time or even how drunk I am or if I’ve ever had sex before. Rape is a crime of violence, and yet we often blame the woman. Even when the man is held accountable, he can get a slap on the wrist because of the bright future he had shown. Want to know why more women don’t report rape? See above. Believe me, I know how lucky I am in this regard. The statics are heart breaking.
The workplace can also be a minefield for women. Get past the not getting paid the same as men. Let’s talk about having a boss who belittled you, never allows you to succeed and blames you for loosing customers who left 5 years BEFORE you were hired. Or being cussed out for 10 minutes on the phone for saying “thank you for holding, this is Wyndie, how can i help you?”. I have had great male bosses, don’t get me wrong. My current boss is awesome. I don’t think he cares what I wear, he cares how I do my job. He also doesn’t have inappropriate content in his email. I have had bosses whose email I had to clean out that was such a smutt factory I finally refused and suffered the consequences. And there were consequences.
I didnt march for those things. I believe in them, but didnt march. In the end, whether you marched or not, I hope you can be kind to the other side. We are all in this ride together, and if it breaks down we are all screwed.
One last thought. I have a friend who is very conserative. She doesn’t understand the March. But if I called her and said I felt I needed to go but was scared or didn’t know how to get there, ornwhatever, she would have been there for me. She would have taken me, called people out for pushing and shoving and littering, but she would have been there for me. People over politics. Because we are on the same ride. Women especially need solidarity.
Oh, and Marching? Peacefully PROTESTING? It’s a right.and because of women protesting, we have the ability to vote. Back then, women were dismissed as being hysterical for their political views and could be put in an insane asylum. Those women marched, even though others didn’t understand or believe in them. Even though it was dangerous. We can’t understand what they went through but owe an incredible debt to them. At the time they were dismissed.
Please stop dismissing women who March. Who knows what they’ll say 100 years from now about the Womens March of 2017? I’d love to read that story….