Parenting, Politics and the Women’s March

I attended a Woman’s March today with my daughter. Upon coming home, I read comments from several friends, asking why we couldn’t wait and just give the administration a chance. I’d like to address the very real actions of this administration that helped us decide to march. Why we decided it was worth being called names, losing sleep and standing in one place for 90 minutes just waiting to get to the route before spending another 8 hours on our feet.

My top five reasons to get political with my daughter today:

1) “I moved on her like a bitch…and she was married….I just start kissing them…..and when you’re a star…you can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy.”

-The President of the United States of America

This quote alone is enough. This is the President of the United States bragging about sexual assault. This is not me worried about something he might do; this is me worried about what he has done, and how he might abuse his position to assault other women. This was the end of his “chance”.

But since that wasn’t enough for voters, here are the others:

2) Donald Trump signed the order to pave the way for the ACA to be repealed. He campaigned on it, and he did it.

If you read this blog, you know I have a medical condition that REQUIRES medical care. Without it and the medical equipment delivered to my house every month, I have two choices. I can go to the ER every few days. Or I can die. This is not hyperbole. I need actual health care, not “access” to health care, the same way I have “access” to a three million dollar house, if I could just afford it.

No, my health insurance is not through the ACA. But I need the protections provided in that law, because without them, I am one walking pre-existing condition. I’m lucky enough to be well covered, but my fate is also the fate of many others who need the same protections.

3) Betsy DeVos, for so many reasons.

Look, I’m going to make a lot of people mad and say that I understand the drive for vouchers, and while my kids attend a great school that they love, there was a time we considered private school and vouchers would have helped us get there. I also went to private school as a child.

And in my very Christian private school education, I had truly amazing teachers. Except for science. Because we didn’t study science. I could recite large swathes of the Bible from memory by 2nd grade. Science, not so much.

Here’s what I learned about “science”: Charles Darwin was a bad guy and anything that supported evolution, bad. The Earth was 6,000 years old. You know what supports evolution, but also medicine and manufacturing and innovation? SCIENCE! When my kids started doing really cool science projects in elementary school, I realized just how much I missed. Did I catch up? Yes, but it required a crisis of faith to get there.

In a world that increasingly relies on science and technology, I have reservations about tax dollars going to fund schools that can ignore subjects based on religious preference, and she has worked to include religious schools in voucher programs.

And also, guns in school. And grizzly bears. And the IDEA law. And Title IX and civil rights and sexual assault (see number one and put it in this context).

4) And while I’m on the topic of civil rights, and LGBTQ rights, and climate change and disabilities….these are among the topics that were removed from the page within hours of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Three of these pages directly relate to my children and I. The fourth effects people I care about. They all effect people, period.

5) I’m going to lump several in as “other cabinet picks”. A director of the HHS who has repeatedly stated the direction for the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid is a direction I believe to be harmful to actual people in this country. A director of energy with conflicts of interest and a seemingly questionable understanding of the department he would be tasked to run. A HUD director who has no background in housing or urban development. Steve Harvey.

6) Ok, I said five, but I’m also going to throw in disdain for the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. Giving a speech to the CIA and discussing the size of the crowds on Inauguration Day and the number of times he has appeared on Time magazine’s cover. The “war on the press”. The war on Saturday Night Live. (Thanks, SNL….it’s comedy gold.)

Oh, and 7) A guy in line for the bus. The conversation went like this:

Him: “You’re going to the protest?”

My daughter and I: “Yes.”

Him: “You’re the problem. You think people should have to serve anyone, help anyone…like those bakers. You drive people out of business. You’re ruining the country.”

Me: “….”

Him: “What if a 30 year old man wanted to go in the bathroom with her (points to my daughter) just because he identifies as a woman. That wouldn’t bother you?”

Me, my daughter and my mom, all at once: “No.” “That’s fine.” “Not at all.” (I really love them. Spoiler: He left when he realized it was an entire bus full of people going to the march.)

I marched so the administration, and all our local reps would pay attention, and to try and stop the carnage of the last two days (thanks for the quote, DT). I took my daughter because I hope she learns to be involved now, and it carries through her life. We did it because we’ve been watching what has happened and discussing it and she wanted to go. We marched because we believe that deciding to “wait and see” will do even more damage, and OMG, there’s already enough. We marched because I believe that this administration will increase my daughter’s risk of sexual assault, and the only danger for a 30-year-old transgender woman is that she will get assaulted herself in the men’s bathroom. I took my daughter because in her life, I want her to stand up for herself, but also for others.

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