Saturday, January 28, 2017

Why I Marched

Last week I went to The Women's March in NYC. I was told by some of the white males in my life that the march was stupid and pointless. Trump was already president. What was done was done. I had to work with it.

The white men are part of the population that is never effected. They win every election. They never have to worry about sexual assault or intimate partner violence. Their reproductive rights are never questioned. Since they are not a part of an ethnic group that has been oppressed, they do not know the discrimination others do.

Instead, although we say The White Man's burden is dead, it is alive and well. And it is feeding the patriarchy that is killing us all.

Truth be told I almost didn't march. What was done was done. Maybe the white males in my life were right. Maybe it was time to accept Trump was president even though the woman I voted for won the popular vote. I and many like myself were angry after the election: that our rights were in danger and our vote didn't count.

Plus I had marched this summer in Cleveland with STAT (Stand Together Against Trump) I spent my days in the square street performing and bringing awareness and finally was at the front of the big march. It was Donald J. Tramp, a bunch of doctors, and myself. They never saw themselves being politically involved let alone being next to a puppet. We even trended on twitter that day. We were heard. Loudly, peacefully.
In the Square, a true protest chick and her puppet

I had done my marching, right?

In the words of our Cheeto in charge, "WRONG!"

I have had a lot of feelings post election. There has been the grief. As if something aka our democracy has died and a dictator has taken over. As if my vote didn't count even though I was one of the 3 million popular votes Hillary won by. Then there was the rage at the people who didn't vote that wanted to complain. There was the pure just ire with the Stein people for voting third party and essentially adding to the Trump tally. And then in part I was pissed with the Trump people, but they turned out and voted. They were a part of our broken system like I was.

Yet at the same time, my candidate had more votes and their man was in. Again, it was the system I was raging at. I pitied them more than anything and still do. They voted with sexism, faith, and fear, a deadly combo where they feared a powerful agnostic woman and instead got a madman who will get their sons blown up in his needless war.

I also wanted to know where the people protesting were in Cleveland. Where were they when we needed people to phone bank? Where were they during the voter drives? Oh I forgot, being apathetic.

Yet I was getting angry. Angry that Trump's picks were anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ. Angry at the thought of a wall as I live in a city where we have many hardworking immigrant families eager to contribute. Angry that the ACA might be repealed and that I'll lose healthcare. Angry that as a woman who was abused by an intimate partner that our commander and chief is a rapist and feels there is nothing wrong with sexual abuse.


Angry that my friends who were HIV positive could be denied health coverage if ACA was repealed. Angry these same friends might have their marriages declared illegal. Angry that a race of people is now being profiled. Angry that young black men are killed by the cops.


I however wasn't going to DC. I had been travelling quite a bit and was tired. So when I heard there was a women's march in NYC I was on the fence. I was angry, but I had done my marching.

My mom changed the tide. A Title IX Crusader, she led a sit in so her winning swim team could get letter jackets just like the men. The captain at the time, just 21, my mom was also the media spokesperson for the cause. All they wanted was to be treated fairly. My mom told me she felt it was important I went. So I did.

It was a warm day, and Donald J. Tramp and I made the trip. Through a strange connection, we ended up behind the banner of the NYCLU. There were 500 K people who turned out in NYC alone. There were marches all around the country. There were marches all around the world. There were people saying no loudly, proudly, and peacefully to injustice. It was just as beautiful as Cleveland.

It wasn't just women. Male allies came out too to march alongside us. Men who understood sexism was wrong. Men who reminded us that while the patriarchy was oppressive, men were not the enemy. While the right would call them Betas that could not have been farther from the truth. Because a real man will march alongside a strong, vocal woman.

Being there felt magical. Being there felt important. Being there was making a statement. Not only was I marching for a cause, but I was marching into history. It was saying perhaps the system told me my vote did not count, but my voice and that of many others damn well did.

Look at me march. Donald J. Tramp is there, too

I instantly made some new friends. And we killed time as the march started an hour and a half late. The late start wasn't because of the disorganization, but because more people than intended turned out. Yes, that many people were willing to take a stand. For many, this was their first protest march. Others had been marching since childhood, even attending their first protest in strollers. There were some cases where whole families marched, children included.

The streets were crowded with people, to the point where we couldn't move. The banner and puppet hurt my arms at times, but it was important I was there behind it. Protecting free speech. Protecting satire. Protecting my right to say something is wrong.

And as we made our way, cramped like ants in an ant farm, people played music and hung flags and banners in support. As we were stopped at an intersection near Grand Central, cars honked. They weren't honking because traffic was jammed but they were rather honking in support. At Trump Towers, people protested into the wee hours of the morning.

As we marched, we didn't just march for women. We marched for young black men like Emmett Till, Yusef Hawkins, Trayvon Martin and Jonny Gammage killed by racism. We marched for immigrants so that they would be safe in our sanctuary city. We marched to let Trump know the country was not behind him. We marched to let him know it wasn't acceptable to appeal ACA. We marched to let him know to profile and ban an ethic group was what Hitler did. We marched to let him know sorry, our taxes would not be paying for the wall. We marched to tell Trump his anti-LGBTQ cabinet was also unacceptable. We marched to let him know maybe he was making our lives hell, but as tax payers we were about to make the next four years for him mightily unpleasant.

On a personal level, I marched for my Nuni (Mom's mom), who got her college diploma at age 68 and became a published poet later in life after raising 6 kids. I marched for Mema Ralph (Dad's mom) who worked in the mills during WWII when the men were away and raised 7 kids on her own after her husband died. I marched continuing the legacy of my mother, the Title IX crusader, who was part of a generation who fought against the establishment and was fearless about crushing the patriarchy. I marched for my sister, an ER doctor, who wanted to attend her local protest but was busy working, saving the lives of others. And I marched for my dad, who was also working, that as a lawyer has taken on sexism in the establishment, defending women filing sexual harassment lawsuits against the Donald Trump's of the world.

I can also say that I had other family members who marched in their cities, my cousin in Atlanta and my cousins gf in Pittsburgh. We marched. We showed up. We were heard. We were counted.

My marching is not done, but rather the protesting is beginning. This is America. It is a melting pot. We are a nation of immigrants. Of all colors. Of women. Contrary to what Trump preaches, we all count.

We said so on all seven continents, even  Antarctica. We have support everywhere.

We are starting the movement. To the protesters at JFK, I was unable to come today but you have my support. Lastly, there have been people wanting to shut down my shows because of my message and my political humor. They are welcome to try. But I am a nasty, nasty woman. I am a nasty woman with a message. The message is always given to the one with a big mouth and my puppet's mouth is huge. I will not go gently into this goodnight, and I will not go quietly either.

There was even a Women's March in Antarctica

The Lady and President Tramp
February 20, 2017 7PM
Dont Tell Mama
343 W 46

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