Like about three million other people, I went to a "sister" Women's March yesterday. I'm not a protest-y person by nature--although I'm afraid it may be one of many skills I have to pick up in these next four years--but, in the end, my need to make a public statement overrode my hesitance to assemble in large groups.
I marched because I love my kids and I think they deserve well-funded, diverse public schools. I marched because I put my faith in due process the way that some people put their faith in religion. I marched because I don't want my daughter or my son to live in a world where men are allowed to freely assault and demean women. I marched because I was partly-raised by some fierce, amazing lesbians. I marched because--we live in the year 2017 in the most powerful country in the world for goodness sakes--everybody should have healthcare. And paid maternity leave, too! I marched because even the suggestion that we should "register" my neighbors of different faiths sets off clanging alarm bells in my head about the kind of person you are. And, yes, I marched because I think women should have full control of what happens to their own bodies.
If you think politics doesn't affect you or that everything is going to be just fine and this is all silliness, I'm happy for the life you must have had to this point. Having lived through several years now as a guinea pig in someone's conservative utopia "real-life experiment", I, on the other hand, am confident that I do not want to double down or even "wait and see". That man is my president. He was elected and sworn-in and here we are. But that doesn't mean I have to sit on my hands and do nothing until the next time we vote. In fact, I would argue that good citizenship and patriotism obligate me to the exact opposite.
But what does that look like for me, specifically? Beyond making sure my reps know what I think, beyond keeping abreast of how they're voting and what they're saying--what can I do? That's the question I've been really thinking about this past weekend, and, indeed, since November.
I am an activist from 9 to 5 every single day. I've been joking lately that my job duties are "to run at walls and then to run at harder walls", and that was with the chance of a light at the end of the tunnel. Depending on how many Supreme Court justices retire or die in the next four years, this president could make those walls ten feet thicker and ring them with barbed wire.
So, I guess my first order of business is to keep going to work, and to keep taking care of myself so that I can mentally and emotionally do the work.
But what else? Welp, I have some thoughts.
I am (probably a bit over much) tickled that my pussy hats were worn "from sea to shining sea" this weekend. (D.C., Topeka, Wichita, and Sacramento, in addition to the hats the kids wore to school on Friday, which was their annual "peace march" day). While most of those were gifts to friends and family, I also "sold" a few as an impromptu fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.
I want to do more of that. In fact, I think I might even want to organize other knitters to help me do more of that. Stay tuned!
Another thing is--and this is really scary for me to say outloud, because the last time I ran for office was Freshman class president and it did not go well--I'm thinking about running for school board. I'm still very much in the "exploring the idea" stage, but it's a place I think I could do some good. I'm invested for personal reasons (those two obvious ones staring out at you from the picture above), but I'm also just generally fed up with the way our public schools and teachers in Kansas are being attacked. Somebody has to help do the work to keep them going. And I am, indeed, somebody.
What about you, fair readers? Did you march this weekend? And now that it's over what's next for you?