Why I Don’t Want To March in Washington D.C. On 1/21/17…
• I’m fairly short and can get claustrophobic in big crowds.
• My knees need to be replaced and have this inconsiderate habit of dislocating easily.
• I’m not fond of cold despite having grown up in Minnesota, or maybe because of growing up in Minnesota.
• I am acutely aware of how excruciating it can be to need to use a restroom and not be able to access one for hours and hours and hours to the point where peeing in a cup in public seems preferable to holding it one more second – and I never wish to experience that dilemma again.
• I, minute by minute, navigate an incredibly complicated and stressful life as a working mother of two children who both have very demanding, and time consuming to manage, special needs.
• I don’t really have the spare minutes that make the hours that make a day to devote to fighting traffic and crowds to get into and out of DC.
• I’ve had MS for 25 years and when I get really, really cold, I can become incapacitated, like quaking-statue-fixed-to-a-spot-incapacitated.
• There is enough on my plate already every day to make the dish split under the weight and rain the messy contents to the floor.
• My heart is pinched with worry about the actual survival of my children because of their health issues (that is not hyperbole).
• What would happen to my special needs kids if something bad happened to me?! It would be awful, scary, and a time suck to be arrested for protesting – or even worse, to be a victim of violence while I participate in my civil right to march.
• I don’t want to draw attention to myself or my political beliefs and thereby draw ill will from anyone and jeopardize relationships or employment.
• I wish I could just stick my head in the sand and avoid the news and wait these next four years out – hope for the best – let people with healthier bodies, who are younger, with less demands on their time, not as much at stake, and more resources, to do the heavy lifting politically.
Why I Will Be Marching In Washington D.C. On 1/21/17
• Because I am a mother of two children with special needs. The Affordable Care Act, although far from perfect and in need to revision, guaranteed my children could be covered on my private insurance until they were 26, that they could not be turned down for insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and that there would be no life-time caps on coverage.
• Because no person deserves to lead this nation who is so insensitve, and lacks the emotional and political savvy, that s/he mocks anyone with a disability.
• Because women know best, in consultation with their doctors, about decisions related to their bodies and when, if, and if ever, to become a mother. I am horrified by the thought that my developmentally disabled daughter may be blocked from having access to birth control that prevents her from getting periods, which she cannot manage on her own. Or that, an even more terrifying thought, if she were to become pregnant, all options regarding her health and well being would not be available to her. Abortion needs to be safe, legal, affordable, and accessible for all.
• Because I am a sexual assault survivor and will not accept excuses for the perpetuation of a rape culture by dismissing vulgar, objectification of women and girls as “locker room talk” and something that is acceptable and normal and to be tolerated.
• Because I am a woman and should be paid equally for my contributions to the work force as any man might be paid for the same job.
• Because I value and celebrate diversity and acknowledge this country is mostly made up of immigrants. Our cultural differences, various religious beliefs, numerous ethnicities makes this country stronger.
• Because I believe the best path to our future will be forged through diplomacy and cooperation instead of amassing greater arsenals, threatening military action, or engaging in war.
• Because our Earth home has finite resources and we need to protect the environment for current and future generations to be able to thrive…and survive.
• Because I believe it is fundamentally wrong to give tax breaks to the super rich and subsidize corporations when citizens of the United States are going hungry, do not have safe and warm homes, or good healthcare.
• Because it doesn’t matter who you love, but that you love. Everyone has a right to be just who they are without fear of judgement and marry who they love and have equal protection under the law.
• Because I believe in supporting great pubic education for all, which includes access to affordable higher education.
• Because guns are used to kill people, not just for hunting or self defense, and there needs to be sensible regulations restricting assault weapons, and stockpiling guns, etc.
• Because Islam is not our enemy. Muslims are not our enemy. Extremism is the real issue – whether that extremism is expressed under the guise of Islam, Judaism, OR Christianity…
• Because Black Lives Matter. That does not mean Blue Lives don’t matter, or All Lives Don’t matter, but our black citizens, friends, family, coworkers, are being profiled and abused and killed and we should all care and speak up and not tolerate bias and discrimination.
• Because the PEOTUS has repeatedly shown he is quick to anger, vindictive, untruthful… all qualities that could cost us all dearly and lead to many people dying.
• Because the only one who can make anything better, ever, change things from bad to worse, is all of us taking the time to speak up and let our voices and concerns be heard.
I have a heart full of love, not hate. I believe in our democracy. I know our country can do better and be better.
I’ll be there. I’ll march. I’ll advocate. I won’t give in or give up.