Why Women Marched Against Trump; and why you still don’t know what they actually marched for

Backstory:

I had spent a bit too much time on social media following the mudslide that is the new Trump administration and a peculiar situation unfurled. A male friend of mine posted a photo meant to critique the Women’s March by using photos of assumed Muslim women being stoned, wearing Hijab’s and being abused in various other manners. The intention of the post (supposedly originally written by a woman) was to discredit the march, with the implication that they had no idea why women marched because American women, come on, we have it so great and we should just be thankful we don’t have the life of a Middle Eastern Woman.

I decided to reply that I found it interesting that suddenly he had actual feelings for the things the women pictured dealt with, when prior to the march, not a word was said. Then, a friend of my friend then engaged in a conversation with me online. He questioned the things I mentioned, and questioned why I never did anything about the previous assaults, sexual harassment and various other illegal activities that applied to me for the simple fact that I was a woman.

The following is a transcript of some of the conversation, if you’re so inclined:

Me: I absolutely adore how many posts I’m seeing about males bringing up how women from other countries are suffering…when they gave zero shits about those same oppressed women when zero American women were marching.

 Friend: i am a firm believer in understanding the truth. and the truth is.. that women in america have it great! men in america have it great! black people in america have it great. same with all other races and genders. america is great. and to be blessed with this american life, is ignored and forgotten by many. especially those protesting for the wrong reasons. for example.. the article above shows how american women have it great in america. i volunteered in our military for the sole purpose to serve protect and defend those given rights. so those who protest need to not act like they dont exist because they do in fact exist and are very much real

 Me:Would you kindly tell that to the average 3 women A DAY murdered by their partners in the U.S.? I love that you think we have it great, and by God as my witness we certainly do in so many regards that I’m thankful for, but until you’ve had a penis inside your vagina against your will, until you are denied told you can’t have your tubes tied because “your future husband might want kids”, until you walk down the street and are propositioned for blow jobs on a college campus, until you are asked in a job interview if you plan in having children, until you have had a fellow service member comment on your ass while you’re trying to qualify (for my nonmilitary people this means shooting guns on a range), until you’re asked how you got your promotion besides being on your knees, kindly refrain from trying to explain to me why I shouldn’t have the right to protest and tell me how I should do it, not a single arrest was made during the women’s march ( not the case on actual inauguration day – as that day WAS NOT a sanctioned ” Women’s March”)..you know very well I love this country as I’ve dedicated 3 tours to the cause.

 Random Guy: ..until you are denied (and) told you can’t have your tubes tied because “your future husband might want kids”….PLEASE cite research into your claims above. The rest of your ramblings are ridiculous as well…but specifically explain yourself about this. As far as no (per your research?) arrests during the March on Saturday, there are thousands that SHOULD have been cited for LITTERING. Also, Madonna should have been locked up immediately.One more thing…if everything you claimed were actually epidemic in our society of today, why is this so? Obama was the President over the past 8 years. Where was he during the above atrocities against women? I’ll await your response there.

 Me: Umm those were first hand references…soooo.

 Random Guy: You posted it….soooo….defend your comments.

 Me: I’m confused what I need to defend…please explain it to me

 Random Guy: I can specifically cite laws and regulations against everything you said. Sooo….unless you plan to defend your assertions, you’re just a blowhard with a hard-on against men.

 Me: Weird how people don’t always follow the law…I happen to love most men but thanks for caring

 Random Guy: Once again, “…until you are denied (and) told you can’t have your tubes tied because “your future husband might want kids”….PLEASE cite research into your claims that females can’t have their tubes tied because your future husband might want kids.

 Me: Like, you want a blow by blow or should I say thrust by thrust account of my rape?

 Me: It’s what my doctor told me, until I found a new one

 Random Guy: I’m sorry for any injustice you’ve experienced in your lifetime but you don’t speak for all women. Your ramblings are indicative of a victim mentality. It’s also ILLEGAL for an employer to ask, in an interview, whether the applicant plans to have kids in the future.Any rational and sane person would KNOW that ANY female can get a tubal ligation at any time without anyone denying them.

 Me: I’m not saying every woman feels this way.

 Random Guy: If your Doctor actually told you something like that, why didn’t you report him or her? If someone said “nice ass” or otherwise sexually harassed you, why didn’t you report him or her? If an employer asked you whether you plan to have kids in the future, why didn’t you report them?

 Me: Hmm let’s talk about that, during a court marshall I actually did, thanks though

 Random Guy: If this is just the “(Insert my name here,) Victim” story, why not write a book instead of attacking people because of your unfortunate past?

I then replied I had written a book, where he proceeded to tell me he hopes I have a good editor because what I was saying was very unprofessional and inflammatory. I also asked my friend if he felt attacked, but got not response, he was silent thereafter. Rando (as I’ll now refer to random guy of which I won’t release his name) then wished me well and stated he hoped to see me on CNN one day.

The thing is, the conversation and what felt like a personal attack floored me. I had so much to say in reply but it just wouldn’t come out. The blatant denial of facts and cultural context obliterated any sense I had in trying to verbalize any rebuttal.

I thought about the conversation for days. Was I wrong, was I a thankless ingrate feminazi, brimming with privilege I didn’t even know I had? Was the epidemic of the maltreatment of women in our country skewed by my own experience?

I reached out. I asked women in my own social media circle to share their stories with me. I asked them, if they had ever experienced abuse, why didn’t they “Deal with it,” as suggested by the gentleman I spoke to. Here is one single response I received out of many, some details have been changed for autonomy:

Anyway….if by “dealing with it” at the time it occurs people mean stop it, walk out on it, or something like that, all I can say from my own experience is:  abuse doesn’t start with the physical. What my partner did was to undermine me – my intelligence, my abilities to “make it” without him,  and later, my abilities to care for my son. By that time, my self-esteem was completely gone and the physical abuse followed. I knew it was wrong, but I (inexplicably) was convinced by then that I really WAS as stupid and incompetent as he thought I was. He also told me that if I ever left him, he would take our son and I would never see him again. The abuser causes you to question everything: it’s gaslighting at its most effective. “He didn’t really mean to hit me, did he? It was a mistake. It won’t happen again. Besides, he loves me!” And I’ll be honest…I was lucky. I had a supportive family who loved me and my child. And yet it happened to me.

For privacy reasons, I am choosing not to mention the other responses I received. They included rape and molestation but also a resounding tone of shame and guilt from the women who shared. This isn’t anything new, we all know why women don’t speak out, we know the impact of such things, why they don’t “Deal with it,” when it happens. I feel like those who make statements such as they should have been stronger, done something about it, they should just be followed up with, “just being pussies,” because that is the feeling I had from Rando, who, come on, literally called me a Victim, when I was simply stating facts. This guy knew nothing about me, the fact that I did leave, that I did fight, that I did climb out of the burn pits, on a few occasions. This man was ordering me to defend my actions in a cloud of disbelief. He didn’t give credit to those fucking warriors, men and women, who eventually said, “Enough is enough.”

It boils down to this concept that some people refuse to admit exists. VICTIM BLAMING, when you lead a conversation with the victim about assault with the words, “Why didn’t you…” Sorry not sorry, fuck you and fuck that uncircumcised beast you rode in on. When this phrase is said, it’s implying that outright, it was my/our responsibility to prevent whatever happened to me/us from happening, as opposed to um…people not raping/assaulting/abusing/harassing other people, point blank. I did what I could when I could to alleviate the things that happened, but why should that sole responsibility ride on my shoulders.

I once posted a comment on Facebook that I regret to this day. I said, something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t go walking down a dark alley waving around a wad of cash, expecting not to get robbed.” This logic is flawed in that yes, people will hurt you…BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT OK, AND THOSE PEOPLE SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE in such a way as to fear the four horseman if they do decide to sexually assault an unconscious female behind a dumpster. Something tells me Brock Turner serving only a three month jail sentence after committing such an act, will not make people fear their transgressions. Therefore, there’s no reason for the majority of sex offenders to NOT offend, the payoff is worth more than their punishment, if they get one at all.

Let me be clear here, Rando did state he believed women had every right to protest. His and my friend’s point to me was, women have it great in America and we should be grateful for it. I got it, I won’t argue with that, I grovel to my God every day for the things given to me…to a point. We undeniably have it pretty good, but let me ask, what the actual fuck is wrong with wanting better?

Rando also told me that instead of marching, the women should have volunteered at shelters or something….For how long Rando, how long should they have volunteered, until the violence miraculously stopped? You’re telling me eventually, if we just keep giving 5 hours a week to a shelter, the abused would stop coming in? Giving aid to victims is most definitely a duty, one that I’ve taken on in the past, but let me be clear, it is a bandaid. Every day more women and children come into the shelters and transitional housing, at least when there’s room. It’s the same with homelessness. Providing shelter and care is a step, but it is not the cure. Cultural change is, and guess what causes cultural change? I’m not going to explain it to you Rando, just maybe, I don’t know, go study the Civil Rights leaders and see how Andrew Goodman, Elizabeth Freeman, Lucy Stone, W.E.B. Du Bois, Harry Hay did it (I’ve got my own reading list on hand now).

I acknowledge that just protesting doesn’t work for social change (which is what we’re agreeing is needed here right), it takes more than that, legislation, policy change, invention, actual culture change, and surprise, tension and conflict (which come on, the marches obviously did that so don’t tell me they should have done something else)  I also know that planting my ass at a check-in desk at a women’s shelter is not part of the advancement bargain, it is a maintainer and I’m sorry that’s all you want, the maintenance of your own life’s standards.

Just because women elsewhere survive far greater things than some of us here, I refuse to sit down, shut up, and ignore that the American Dream isn’t a whisper of a lie. If I were to accept my wonderful fate of living in this nation, no questions asked, no protesting had, I think I might have to ignore some striking statistics.

Fun facts:

From 2002 to 2012, the number of women killed by intimate partners was 15,462, according to data from James A. Fox, a Northeastern University criminology professor who adjusted federal data for unsolved homicide cases believed to be linked to intimate partners.

The total deaths from Sept. 11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a maximum of 9,838 (As of 2013, 147 women were killed since 2001) . It’s lower when we exclude non-American victims on Sept. 11. Weeeird, so you’re telling me more women were killed in America than in those Muslim countries we’re banning because they’re such a threat to domestic security. You’re telling me, as a woman, I’m safer going to war than dating someone? Gotcha’.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has found that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. So, Rando, American men could stand to do better as well.

On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year. Rando, THAT’S why I don’t care that protestors didn’t get cited for littering, it wouldn’t have come close to making a dent in that debt.

Women are more likely to suffer domestic violence than they are cancer, which the rate of cancer for women is considered an epidemic. So yes, Rando, it is an epidemic…as to why women are marching now about it, there is this thing called Take Back the Night, which is an international event and non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual, relationship, and domestic violence in all forms. Hundreds of events are held in over 30 countries annually. Events often include marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual, relationship, and domestic violence. In 2001, a group of women who had participated in the earliest Take Back the Night marches, came together to form the Take Back the Night Foundation in support of the events throughout the United States and the world. These events existed during the Obama administration and beyond which, let’s get into that, why weren’t we crying about it when Obama was President. I’m just going to pop in this little link to take care of some of that: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/26/fact-sheet-obama-administration-record-women-and-girls

So, it appears the Obama administration took strides in addressing the issue plaguing our nation, though I will not pretend it was enough. So why march now in the millions simply because we now have a President that supposed manhaters can’t stand? Oh I don’t know, it might be because our current President (he who must not be named) has said the following statements about women:

Said that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever“ after she moderated a GOP debate and questioned Trump for having previously labeled women “fat pigs” and “dogs.” (He also retweeted a comment calling Kelly a “bimbo.”)

In reference to Fiorina, Trump took aim at her looks in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “Look at that face!” he said. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Trump then attempted to backpedal, saying he was talking about her persona, not her physical appearance. Now, I’m not sure here, but I don’t believe he mentioned the appearance of any male running mates, I could be wrong here but double check and let me know if I’m wrong.

Trump told USA Today columnist that if his daughter were ever to be sexually harassed at work, he hopes she’d just move on. “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” he said. As opposed to, oh I don’t know, “I would hope if she felt she needed help in standing up, she would come to me, or other trusted allies to get the piece of shit harassing her kicked out on his/her ass where they belong…you know, change the fucking culture, or if she didn’t want to prosecute, feel safe in knowing I’d support her regardless.” Because again, I couldn’t ask him to demand she “do something about it,” because that is not anyone’s decision but hers.

He tweeted that military sexual assault should basically be expected, what with men and women serving in the military together. This fall, Matt Lauer gave Trump an opportunity to amend his comments in a forum hosted by NBC, but Trump did not. “Well, it is a correct tweet,” he said. Basically, again he chalked it up to the fact that men just can’t help themselves, as opposed to saying something along the lines of…”We have to do better.”

And my favorite:

I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there, and she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything. In this case he could have said…no, nothing else he could have said, he should have just shut the fuck up unless it was to compliment/analyze literally anything other than the physical appearance of a woman.

I’m not even going to get into the rumors of rape charges and pedophilia against the man, because…according to the nation, all those women were “obviously lying,” and I can’t dispute that nonsense, I don’t have the strength.

So, Rando, that might be why women specifically marched a day after this upstanding American Citizen was inaugurated. It’s because, after this man was elected to the most respected position in our nation, I believe it created a foreboding disastrous future for women and even men. When the recording of the pussy statement came out, everyone shrugged their shoulder and said it was lockerroom banter, thereby signaling to American men and everyone else, that this was acceptable language towards our nation’s daughters, mothers, sisters…American Women. Guess what, it’s not.

So, I guess my last comment to you Rando and everyone else saying that the women didn’t march for them because they were doing just peachy is, you’re lucky.

 

 

Author’s note: Notice how I didn’t actually talk about the platform of the march, that’s because I’m not into doing your dirty work for you, look it up. 

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