Two years ago this weekend, the day after You Know Who became you know what, millions of people marched in cities across the country. It was the starting point, or at least the most prominent moment, of what is called the Women’s March movement to advocate women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigration reform, and several other important issues, not to mention respect of others and anger toward You Know Who and his right-of-center cronies. Here in Madison on that day, an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 participants marched up State Street and assembled at the Capitol Square.
Yesterday (January 19), not only in Washington but across the country, the anniversary of that march was commemorated by another round of marches and rallies. Yes, a march and rally was held here in Madison as well. No, unfortunately, it wasn’t as big as the one that occurred two years ago; the estimated number attending at the State Capitol was reported at 700. Perhaps it the snow and cold that kept some people away (Madison had received 4.5 inches of snow in the overnight hours), but 700 is still a pretty decent number all things considered.
Unfortunately, I was not in attendance at Madison’s march on Saturday. In my defense, I thought it would be starting later than it turned out. Whoops. In my much better defense, I spent all Saturday morning composing an e-mail to the personal references in my job search last summer, which was something I had been meaning to do but either couldn’t get around to or didn’t know what to say (expressing how I feel is not my strongest skill).
You may be thinking that with the success last November of political candidates that Women’s March participants would generally support, said marchers would just sit back and let the candidates-turned-representatives do their thing. Well, you’d be wrong. It doesn’t matter which people from which political parties occupy which seats in whatever assemblies. There are still issues with diversity and fair treatment and respect for women and a litany of other issues of great societal import that must be addressed by those lawmakers. And if it means bundling up and marching up a snow-covered street (or at least doing so in spirit *sheepishly raises my hand*) to get the message out, so be it.
With all that’s going on in our land, it’s natural to get angry. Heck, it’s downright easy to get angry. I admit I get angry easily, even if I may not always show it outwardly. Late this past week, the opinions of a blogger I follow contended she doesn’t see herself as a feminist, though she supports equal rights on the basis of gender, and that one gender shouldn’t be alienated for the sake of another’s advancement. (No, I’m not naming her. Yes, I need to identify her by gender.) But it’s not so much all that as her citing by name a couple of “other side of the aisle” “opinionists” she has read and, if not agreed with, at least listened to. Both of them were men. At least one of them is an idiot, for he’s made outlandish claims such as those found here, here, here, and here, has and has deservedly suffered some consequences, as proven here. No, I don’t think he’s as “well reasoned” as she thinks she is.
I admit that her post and its timing, coming on the same weekend as the 2019 Women’s March weekend, left me disgusted. It felt like a shot across the movement’s bow, if not a middle finger. Yes, I know, it’s good to hear more than one side on things, for it helps base one’s opinion. I just wish she’d frequently consider people with, say, a brain and a ton of respect. (I know, they can’t all be as nuanced and respectful as, say, Shields & Brooks, but still…)
I also hope she would take into consideration the fact that she and I both have a figurative target on our backs. The reason I’m disgusted by many from “the other side of the aisle” is that they treat me and my fellow trans sisters and brothers as an “other.” And if you haven’t been paying attention the past 24 months, they also treat in the same way those who are not straight, not white, not male, not Anglo-Saxon, not Protestant, not a native-born American, and not of a European ethnicity. (I will just say she falls into at least two of those categories.) If they treat me as less than human, and if they also treat others who are not like them as less than human, than I’m not going to give them the time of day, nor will I put up with their arguments, no matter how “respectful” they come across as or how much they demand to be listened to.
I must make clear that I don’t take any joy in writing this post; I try to have a happy-go-lucky attitude on here. I also must make crystal clear that I bid no personal ill will toward this blogger; it’s her brain and her right to form it. It’s just that when I see an “opinionist” make a stand that’s disgusting and/or pure taunting, and then by hook or crook demands or gains “respect” from an audience for doing so (note the quotes around “respect”), it really gets under my skin. And it makes me want to stand up and say, “Uh uh! No! You shouldn’t get away with it without being challenged.”
That’s part of why I’m writing this today, and it’s why hundreds of thousands of people marched on Saturday. Stay riled up and give ’em hell, everyone. It’s hard work, it’s not easy, and it won’t always be pretty, but it has to be done.