“Yes this is real life, this is really happening,” said Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. Pretty much sums up how me, and if recent polls are to be believed, 60% of the rest of the country feel. But guess what folks Alec is right. Donald Trump will be our next president. And because that is a fact it’s time to get over our collective pity party and do what we can to express to our next commander in chief how important our priorities as working mothers are to us. It’s time for us to march like it’s 1969.
Don’t march to be disrespectful. Don’t march just because you are a Democrat or a moderate Republican. March because we working mothers need to encourage him to give us more Ivanka and the paid maternity leave she rolled out for him and less pussy grabbing. March because he should be reminded just how powerful that particular body part can be. We working moms have a dozen compelling reasons to march. But I can boil my motivations down to three. That’s it. That is all I need.
#1. My Sons (and your sons, your nephews, your friend’s sons, little boys walking down the street). I want to march because above all I want to leave this planet a better place than when I arrived here in 1974. That means this next generation has to see us being brave and standing up for our ideals so they too can be brave when their turn comes. I especially want my two sons, and all of your sons, to see that it is important for women to be strong and loud and demanding. Of course we need to teach our girls the same but let’s raise our boys to support them. Let’s teach our sons to be the two students who stopped the rape at Stanford instead of the rapist who thought he could get away with victimizing an unconscious woman. Our sons need to know that it is never okay to boast of sexually assaulting a woman. Pussies aren’t for unwanted grabbing. And the idea of anyone doing such a thing should revolt them. Women should be listened to and not mansplained over. Women are to be loved and respected. And if every little boy out there learned these lessons we’d literally change the world.
#2. My mom (and your mom, your grandmother, your mother-in-law, your mother figure). My mom was a hippie. And not the fun loving pot smoking kind but rather she was of the overthrow the US government, organize a proletariat revolution variety. Her life of protest started when she wore pants to her classes at the University of Massachusetts at a time when the dress code dictated that women had to wear skirts, and it just snowballed from there. My grandmother had to go work in a factory at age thirteen after her father passed away. Her whole life he had promised her that he would send her to college even though this was pretty unheard of to send a girl to college at that time. But life happens and it was not meant to be, although she was one of the smartest, toughest chicks I’ve ever known. These are my stories but I know that you have your own. Women who never had the chance, or demanded that they be given their due, women who put themselves on the line for our generation. I am marching for them.
#3 Me (you, us). I’m marching because I respect myself. I’m marching because I respect you. I’ve worked too damned hard to let a president normalize the basest actions of every misogynist in this country. I’m marching because I am rejecting every manager, co-worker, or male buddy who has crossed the line and made me weigh the risks of raising my hand and being viewed as “that girl.” Locker room talk is not an excuse, it is a lie. It’s not about being politically correct. It’s about knowing our worth as women. It’s about expecting equality in the hopes that someday we won’t have to demand. Someday we won’t have to march.