What The Women’s March Meant To A Man Who Stayed Home Watching The Kids

My wife marched in the Women’s March this weekend. She took our oldest daughter. I stayed home with our two younger kids, and I watched online as image after image after image came in from all over the country… And all over the world. Images of people gathering in solidarity. Images of giant crowds. Images of peaceful protest. Images of women displaying their strength, and demanding to be seen and heard and respected. Images of love and hope and light in the darkness. I spent a big part of the day with tears in my eyes. If you haven’t seen it yet, THIS RIGHT HERE is one of the coolest presentations of what happened all over the world on January 21. It was gorgeous. And it was healing. Here are a few images my wife came home with from the Women’s March in Nashville…

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I’m not going quietly either.

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Hell yeah, they are.

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“Nope” is right… 

Something deep in me believes that humanity has the power to make things better. Something at my core agrees with Martin Luther King, Jr. when he says that “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” At the very heart of me, there is HOPE… But for the last couple months, that hope has been under attack. And it’s not–as some have suggested–because “my candidate” didn’t win… As if the collective sorrow so many feel at the election of such an obviously awful man is due to some sort of display of poor sportsmanship or being a “sore loser.” The reason it rocked me to my core that so many people were willing to vote for such a narcissistic misogynist is because it shook the hope that is at the heart of me. I started thinking, “Maybe we ARE all hopelessly broken. Maybe the darkness IS stronger than the light. Maybe we ARE outnumbered. Maybe things ARE all going to shit. Maybe white supremacy is going to win this war. Maybe I have created an optimistic echo chamber, and the reality of the situation is that the majority of the people around the world are in favor of demonizing immigrants, building walls, and attacking and idea of “The Truth” until that term has no meaning anymore.”

Many people have been asking what this march was for. Why did people march? What did it accomplish? Well… It wasn’t about something as simple as “republican versus democrat.” There were plenty of republicans out marching…

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NONE of us can even…

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This is how my soul has been feeling.

It wasn’t even about declaring “Donald Trump is a broken, women-hating man-child who is so dangerously disqualified and so woefully filled with character flaws that he should never be allowed to hold the most powerful office in the nation.” As true as this statement is, it is my sense that this march is so much bigger than that. This is about a core value that equality is better than oppression. It’s about a belief that equality is better than patriarchy. It’s about the belief that equality is better than white supremacy. It’s about the belief that equality is better than economic injustice. It’s about the belief that equality is better than denying civil rights to our neighbors who are LGBTQ. It’s about the fact that we still have to endure images like this snapshot of a CNN panel discussion on the Women’s March:

 

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How the hell does someone in charge okay this? Seriously…

And it’s about the fact the the guy next to the one woman on the panel MIGHT be looking at this woman’s cell phone, but it would not be surprising IN THE LEAST–even in a “professional setting”–if he was totally checking out her chest.

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She was probably playing Candy Crush, he he saw a move…

As to the issue of Why People Marched, here’s what my wife (who doesn’t like using capital letters) wrote: “please tell me why,” i have seen people ask… i have tried and tried and tried to think of words to explain why i marched today. and i have concluded that i could write an essay of 10,000 words, and not a one of them would matter to those of you don’t already get it. and that is the saddest thing i can think of.”

Here’s what a friend of mine on Facebook wrote:

As far as I can tell, this march has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The only thing I can speak to with any authority is what this Women’s March meant to me as I stayed home with our two younger children. Here’s what it meant to me:

WE ARE NOT ALONE.

All over the world, there are people like my wife and my friends and myself who are disgusted at the grossness that has been okayed and overlooked and endorsed and encouraged by huge amounts of people over the course of this presidential campaign. And these marches–these people coming together to stand AGAINST that grossness–they fill me with hope. And that hope fills me with life and energy and love. And it fills me with hope for future generations… For people like these little peanuts:

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And for people like my own daughter… Strong and fierce and smart and funny and sweet and powerful and filled with righteous anger at the injustice she sees all around her:

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So thank you, women who marched! Thanks to the men also–both the ones who marched, and the ones who stayed home with the kids–but thank you most of all to the women. Thank you for your strength and for your compassion and for the way you make the world better. Thank you for the voices that won’t be silenced. Thank you to those of you who are willing to be unapologetically in-your-face about demanding and preserving your rights. Thank you for letting my daughter see how many of you there are out there. Thank you to my wife for showing our kids every day that women are strong and feminism is totally kick ass. Thank you for filling me with hope. And thank you for the reminder that WE ARE NOT ALONE. I’ll leave you with this…

If you love this blog and you want to help support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. Philip Dracht–one of the funniest people I know–recently did, and I’d like to think it’s because he values what I’m doing here, and not just because we used to be roommates in college. If you’d like to leave a tip or boost a specific post on Facebook, you can GIVE ON PAYPAL. If you’d like to stay in touch with me on social media, you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter. Otherwise, just sharing the stuff I write lets people see it who otherwise wouldn’t.

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32 Responses to What The Women’s March Meant To A Man Who Stayed Home Watching The Kids

  1. Deanna Ford says:

    Thank you for your sharing. These marches all around the world give me hope too.

  2. It really was so encouraging to witness this! I am grateful to everyone who marched.

  3. Dale Peacock says:

    I’ll start with a disclaimer: I’m one of your Canadian patrons. My husband and I also own property in Florida where we spend a good chunk of the winter. This year we arrived a few months later than usual in part because I could not stomach being in the U.S. through the final days of the campaign. When Mr. Trump ‘won’ the White House I cried for two days.

    After the grief came an uncharacteristically visceral anger. All I wanted to do was to come south, sell our house here and not set eyes on the U.S. or an American for four years. I was disappointed in all of you….not fair but that’s how I felt.

    My husband – who tends to be less reactionary than I am – persuaded me to spend one last short season here and then if I felt the same way at the end of March, we’d sell and be gone. I agreed and we arrived in our large, fairly well-to-do, mostly Republican enclave and I started counting the days to our departure. On inauguration day I draped the television in black immediately after the Obama family departed the White House and I cried some more.

    THEN, I saw a Facebook post about a Women’s March planned for the small city of St. Petersburg, which is a half hour away from us. The rookie – and ultimately rock-star – organizers expected 300-500 registrants but after just a few days almost 20,000 women (and the men who love and support them) had registered. My husband and I were two of them.

    We saw signs that lifted us up, made us laugh and cry and that challenged us to be better and to do better. We saw families of every kind and configuration. There were women of colour, women wearing the hijab, LGBT folks and their kids, old folks and young folks all joyfully expressing their hope for the future and their intention to never give up.

    As parents of now grown-up ‘kids’ the scene that brought tears to our eyes were the young dads carrying babies and wearing t-shirts that read “I’m her for her.” Young men wore shirts saying, “I support her” and to prove it, the really strong and limber ones had their partner stand on their shoulders with their arms stretched out and their hands reaching for the sky.

    One elderly woman carried a sign that spoke to her exasperation: it read, “I did not think I’d still have to be dealing with this shit!”

    The Women’s March was one of the best days I have ever had in Florida and we’ve had many truly awesome days. It changed my mind about selling and leaving because the tone of the march and the countless other marches taking place around the country and the world reminded me that it is not hopeless and that people of good will are not just going to roll over and let this administration destroy everything we collectively believe in.

    The event was a remarkable display of solidarity, both in protest of a divisive president and for the protection of “our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” I loved the inclusionary vision of all the marches. It wasn’t just about women’s rights but it included those fighting for civil rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, and environmental protection.

    And the march reduced my Canadian smugness – we DO have an awesome Prime Minister though. Following the coverage of the march by 15 women in my small home town many of the comments were hateful at worst and ignorant at best. The U.S. may have elected Donald Trump but the U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on racist, misogynist, xenophobic, Islamophobic f***tards! .

    What the Women’s Marches showed the world is that when women rise up, a nation rises up. And I’m starting to think – as many signs proclaimed – The Future is Female – and that’s a good thing.

    P.S. Sorry this is so long…..:o)

    • theboeskool says:

      Thank you so much for that, Dale. That made my whole morning.

    • Dale, your post gave me goosebumps. As a Canadian patron, I too share some of your emotions with regards to the recent events in our neighbouring country.

      At Christmas family gatherings I learned that an American relative voted for Trump because he didn’t want to vote for Clinton. I didn’t know what to say, do or think.

      The hopelessness must be replaced with hope. It absolutely must. We are the ones that will facilitate change, the ones that are emotional and passionate about equality and sometimes feel hopeless. We are the ones that will love others no matter what. And that is what this world needs – love and hope – to create any amount of change, large or small.

      If we don’t have hope and believe in the principle of matters, what do we have?

      • Dale Peacock says:

        Thanks so much Rianna. It’s nice to see another Canadian on this wonderful site! I’ve tried to interest a number of Christian friends in The Boeskool to no avail. They apparently think he’s not ‘Christian enough.’ :o) I’m an agnostic and even I can see he is the one walking the talk of a Jesus follower! So glad to have ‘met’ you …..your comments inspire me!
        (To be fair though it was a Christian fan on Facebook that introduced me to this site for which I am SO grateful. )

    • Ginang says:

      While I share many of your thoughts and sentiments, and those of other marchers, I have a question. You wrote: “I loved the inclusionary vision of all the marches. It wasn’t just about women’s rights but it included those fighting for civil rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, and environmental protection.” I did not see included in your list of rights or in any other marcher’s list or signs the rights of babies who are in their mother’s womb, whom they co-created, willingly or unwillingly, including those about to be born. It is unconscionable that they are not in any list – are they not humans because they have not breathed air into their lungs? Just because they are connected to their mother by an umbilical cord, are they a body part of their mother? They cannot speak for themselves, and can only scream silently and squirm in pain when their bodies are crushed with instruments or injected with poison in utero. What did they do to deserve this “capital punishment”?

      • Dale Peacock says:

        Thank you Ginang – I appreciate that you share many of my sentiments.
        While I cannot answer for anyone else who participated in the Women’s March I would say that for me the broad purpose of the March was the support of women’s rights – which I believe are human rights – and generally that includes women’s right to choose.

        I respect your right to choose not to have an abortion but I also respect others the right to make whatever difficult decision surrounding their reproductive rights they need to make.

        I am personally a big supporter of Planned Parenthood, which does far, far more for women around the world than the termination of a pregnancy. In fact, while I’m sure it still is too much for you (and I truly understand that) abortion accounts for only 3 percent of the organization’s health-care services.

        In just a few days – January 27th – the 44th Annual March for Life takes place in Washington. Given your sincere anti-abortion beliefs you may find that participating in some way will bring you the same satisfaction that I just experienced of ‘doing something’ in support of my beliefs.

      • Ginang says:

        Dale, thanks for replying. My daughter and I are in fact attending the March for Life, as we have in years past.

  4. Jana L. Johnsen says:

    Dear Mr. Boeskool, Thank you for this wonderful, powerful reflection. It has meant a lot to me. Another thought I would like to share is the realization that the world does not have to be the suffering place that it is now. With the realizations you note, water, sanitation, education, non-violence, environmental concerns, economic disparities and healthcare can all be addressed when women and men participate together to solve earth’s overwhelming struggles. The He4She campaign in the UN really gave me this hope. Wearing orange the 25th day of every month also highlights the need to eliminate violence against women and children around the globe. Awareness is dawning. Grateful reader, Jana

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. Thank you, this was perfect. That was exactly my experience: ‘people can be shitty but overall we drift better and more fair.. oh wait… oh god… we’re doomed.’

    The march was amazing, and I also left my baby home with my lovely feminist husband (“bye dear, have fun smashing the patriarchy!”).

    We also finally have concrete next steps, the ones I’ve been flailing for.
    *https://swingleft.org
    *https://www.indivisibleguide.com
    *https://www.womensmarch.com/100/
    *http://www.slate.com/articles/business/metropolis/2017/01/campaign_to_defend_local_solutions_is_a_necessary_movement_to_protect_progressive.html

  6. veronica says:

    The march in Nashville was 15,000 strong and AWESOME! Now the key is to keep it going. It can’t be just about this one day when we all got together and protested Donald Trump. Donate to your favorite charity that he is planning on gutting. Volunteer, call your representatives, don’t stop talking and making people understand why this type of monster should never be our president again. As Jane Fonda said during an interview on inauguration day, “From this day forward, we should all refer to him as Predator Donald Trump” instead of President. Way to go, ladies of middle Tennessee!

  7. Julie A Hill says:

    Exactly the way I felt when I saw the videos and photos from the marches. Soul renewed. Faith restored. Hope re-lit. Thanks for this.

    Also, your daughter rocks.

  8. mihipte says:

    Looks like it was the largest demonstration in U.S. history: http://www.complex.com/life/2017/01/womens-march-americas-biggest-protest

    Trump was already a little insecure about the size of his inauguration crowd. I know it wasn’t the point, but I think the march ended up being a great way to troll him – and gosh that’s fun to watch.

    Kudos to the marchers. I hope we do a bunch of this over the next four years. One party having the presidency and Congress makes me nervous independent of whether it’s my party (and it’s not), so I want to see the opposition in the streets.

  9. Philip Dracht says:

    I value what you do and I happen to know you and love to hear your voice in your posts. Thanks!

  10. What a heartfelt and profound post.Thank you for sharing! This post is worthy of a reblog!

  11. Thanks for writing this! My spouse and I both marched. (No kids yet.) The united front against Trump is a big deal. We were shocked and dismayed for a little while, but we’re going to prevail.

  12. I’ve I been writing about the crossroads between Trump and everyone not Trump, and also about encouraging others to thrive during this time. See my posts at https://heliopauseonline.com

  13. Hope was on the move on Saturday. Let’s keep it going!

  14. em4mighty says:

    yes! so well said ❤

  15. jane says:

    I am encouraged by the pictures you have shown; they are contrary to many of the pictures in the mainstream media. Equality for all and hope for a better future are worthy goals. Like much in life, there are many contradictions and many opinions as to how best achieve the goal.

  16. “privilege is not understanding why people march” love that. I wish I had thought of that when trying to explain the march to my white male readers

  17. “Thank you for the voices that won’t be silenced. Thank you to those of you who are willing to be unapologetically in-your-face about demanding and preserving your rights.”

    As long as that voice is anti-Trump, right? And what if the same thing you said here is to be said of anyone who voted for him? They don’t seem to get the same thank you’s for the same unapologetic demands for preserving their right to disagree with this position.

    He IS your President. He deserves your respect.

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  19. ranterwrites says:

    That New York Times article with all the pictures of the women’s marches took me ages to scroll through which is awesome – great to see that there are so many people standing up against this! Great post 🙂

  20. Pingback: A Great Way To Spend Your “Day Without A Woman” | The Boeskool

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