January 24 2017
Family/Happiness/Sanity

Five Theoretically Non-Controversial Reasons Why I Marched

women's marchI didn’t want to do it.  I knew it would be unpleasant and exhausting.  It cost me money and a precious non-working day away from my family.

But in my heart, I knew that I’d be glad to have to expressed my solidarity with those whose ideals I share.

Clearly there are many issues in this country that polarize us.  I tilt progressive, but, like most people, my views span both sides, depending on the issue.

We’re doomed if we can’t agree on anything.  But I think we probably agree on more than is reflected in our divisive politics.

Here are five reasons I marched that the average person might not disagree with too dramatically:

Medical Care for Sick People

There is no way those opposed to the ACA think that a certain number of Americans should simply have to forgo medical treatment when they’re sick, perhaps even die.  Perhaps even children.  I believe most of us agree that the citizens of the richest nation on Earth should all have access to medical care.  So the opposition must be to the details. Perhaps some think Obamacare didn’t cut costs enough, or offer enough choice. On this we agree. The law needed improvement.

But when you remove the current system without having any plan to replace it, it seems naive to trust that it will be replaced.  If a specific plan existed, if there were good faith ideas out there for a new way to cover as many people at lower cost, politicians would be shouting it from the rooftops.  And I would be the first to embrace it. This does not appear to be the case.

Science

I am pro-choice, but I respect pro-lifers and those who vote for a candidate they may otherwise disagree with based on this one issue that is central to their moral compass. I understand how this conviction could guide a person above all others.  I disagree, but I respect.

But science. A disregard for science I do not respect.

If a doctor makes a diagnosis and prescribes xyz treatment because science has proven it to be effective, does one question science in the doctor’s office?  Does one question science when teaching a child about dinosaurs at the museum? Or when boarding a plane and assuming it is not going to fall out of the sky? (Unless you’re me and are, in fact, positive it is going to fall out of the sky.)

No, because the scientific method of proving a hypothesis and publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal is a universally accepted tenant of modern civilization.

When did refusing to believe science become a thing?

When companies who didn’t like the implications of this or that scientific data realized they could get politicians to say that they don’t “believe” in it, as if science were Big Foot or Santa Claus.

Not caring about climate change because the solutions could cost you money is indefensible. Do you know how I know it is indefensible?  Because no politician says, “I don’t care about climate change because dealing with it is going to cost my corporate doners money.”  They say, “I don’t believe in climate change.”

Respect for Women and Girls

women's marchAside from that lady wearing the You Can Grab MY Pussy! shirt, I gotta believe most people agree that women and girls ought to be respected and not spoken about with casual obscenity. When we tolerate misogynistic rhetoric, darker real-world manifestations are inevitable. Campus rape is raging out of control in a climate where sexual assault is not taken seriously.  Women deserve to be safe. And they deserve not to have campus crimes go unpunished, even if they were drunk.  Even if he was drunk.

“What are they complaining about?”

Women have quite a few things that they would like to see fixed, thank you very much.  Such as the quandaries that plague working families. It’s time we acknowledge the fact that both mothers and fathers work, and all the difficulties at home that creates. Both in our laws, and in our culture.  Working is not a novelty for women who just heard about feminism.

Most of us have no choice but to work. We need to pay the rent, the health insurance bill and to, somehow, save for college and retirement.  Workplace policies should not treat employees like 1950’s dads who never need to go home, attend to domestic responsibilities or take a leave after the birth of a child. Low wage workers need affordable childcare. All parents should be able to stay home with a sick child without fear of losing their pay or their job.

Honesty is Flat-lining

I’m not going to even dignify “alternative facts” but suffice to say, if we cannot agree on what a fact is, we are in dangerous territory.  We can disagree about how to solve a problem.  We can disagree on taste and style. But we must have a threshold for what we universally accept as truth or a lie when there is unequivocal proof.  In theory, this has got to be something that we all agree on.

Racism is Black & White

women's marchI believe that most people in this country are good-hearted.  Empathy and kindness are American hallmarks. Think of the gushing charity that materializes on a massive scale following any tragedy.

At the same time, let’s not pretend that most of us do not have, at best, our own little biases.  Some are programmed into our thinking at a young age, others are acquired along the way.  If not in regard to race, then to class.  Or geography. Or culture, aesthetics, education, religion, profession… right down to culinary tastes and parenting philosophy.  This list could go on. Little judgements are being made at all times by people of both poor character, and fine.

But most decent people recognize when a potentially offensive thought comes into their head, the best course is to try to do away with it. Or ignore it.  At the very least not to broadcast it.  Because we live in a civilized society.  And there are harmful ideas that, as a society, we reject.

Racism is one of those things.

There is a small minority of people out there for whom the election heralded the freedom to let their racist flag fly proudly.  It did not.

I have heard my parents’ generation say that “they” need to also acknowledge the racism on the “other” side. Reverse racism is a false rallying cry.  The “other racism” has never had the slightest effect on me.  Not one moment of my life. Not one job lost.  Not one taxi that passed me by.  Not one missed opportunity or hurtful glance.  The same cannot be said about racism toward minorities.  That is why one matters to society, while the other does not.

Brooklyn Bread is about working families figuring out how to survive and, somehow, flourish in an expensive, over-worked, over-connected, over-consumer-y world.

I care about issues like affordable childcare, paid leave, workplace culture, healthcare, education, urban planning, consumer financial protections, and corporate influence that puts investors’ needs before those of ordinary people. The decisions made at all levels of our government will determine the fortunes of families like mine by dealing with these issues. Or not.

So politics are not taboo in my little corner of the internet.  That is where you advocate for working families as they claw their way to financial security.

In the end, I was wrong about one thing.  The Women’s March in Washington was not unpleasant.  It was uplifting and inspirational and I will remember what it felt like to be there my whole life long.

 

  • All I can say here is “PREACH!”

    I wanted to march but I’m in a politically divided household, so it would have caused some tension. 😉

    Good for you for standing up for your rights and the rights of others.

    • Thank you MPP! My husband and I are on the same page, but we both have very close family members who are not and it has caused a huge amount of tension unfortunately. I don’t know what to say. My goal was to write about the things that I feel like we should be able to agree on. But there are some things we cannot agree on. And some ideas that are beyond the pale to me that I can’t really reconcile. These are very uncertain times. I feel like words have lost a lot of their meaning. If anyone feels unhappy about things that are happening, bodies into the street is the only way to be heard.

  • Wonderful message! You’ve outlined precisely many of the issues that so many of us care about and support. Now we must watch those who govern us, continue to express our opinions, and be sure we keep 2018 in mind.

    • No question. I feel a little less hopeless after seeing so many people come together – and not just on Facebook, but literally putting their money where their mouth is, buying train or bus tickets and really showing that this is worth the effort. I am very motivated to continue making my voice heard in whatever way I can.

  • Thanks for writing. I didn’t march, I had friends who did. I listened to people I love question why, and promote the same hate-filled assumptions that I saw on social media. (“It’s just anti-Trump,” “They don’t even know why they are marching,” etc.) It made me wish I had marched. People marched to disprove the notion that no one cares, or that these concerns are fringe concerns.

    Thanks for marching.

    • Thank you Emily. I will say this – deciding to march in a very big, publicized march the day after the Inauguration was, in a way, easy. Because masses of people were very pumped up together. The next part is harder, keeping that energy. There will be other marches, and that is when we will really need that second wave. I think there will be many more chances to participate and be heard for anyone who wants to. Today I am sending postcards to my elected officials, telling them what I think. I think they agree for the most part, so I am not sure how much it will matter. But I believe there is meaning in actions great and small. Even if only when I lay my head down on my pillow at night.

  • Hi, I have always enjoyed reading your perspective (I know you from our Share the Wealth group) and your writing often resonates with me. Although I am on the other side of the aisle, politically speaking ( I see a hopeful future with our new President and am hopeful he will go against the establishment of both parties) I enjoyed reading your story tonight. I had a heavy heart Saturday and was having trouble processing that the march was happening. You see I am a Pro-Life conservative and as a mother of four, I have a hard time understanding how abortion is still legal in this country. When you see your baby on an ultrasound and see it’s heartbeat at just 6 weeks old, you know it is your baby, not a possible mass of cells (what a blogger recently called it on instagram). My point is even though I don’t agree with you on political issues, I respect that you speak with conviction and exercise your freedom to make your voice heard. That’s what makes this country so great. We all have the freedom to make our voices heard. Like the Pro-lifers who will be marching this Friday the 27th to speak for our most vulnerable, our unborn children. I was glad to read your thoughts and I liked what you had to say about all the little biases, because it’s so true.

    • Thank you so much for this, Faith. It is my favorite comment. It gives me hope because when writing this, what I wanted most was not to be combative or dismissive of the many reasonable people on the other side of the political aisle.

      Abortion is a very fraught issue, but I can understand your feelings. I would like to see abortion become an outdated idea, with women having unfailing access to birth-control. I personally know someone whose doctor advised her to abort her very wanted baby because giving birth would have put her own life in danger, and her child would not have survived. That is a heart wrenching tragedy. Though she wanted her baby, traumas like hers must be considered, especially when it comes to the law.

      And while I do not agree with spending our taxpayer money on a wall, money that I would rather see used to help struggling people in this country, I do agree with those who argue that there must be a lawful, respected process for immigrants to come into our country, that it should not be a total free for all.

      I also freely acknowledge that thinking you are better than other people because of where they live or what their education is no better than thinking you are better than other people because of their skin color. People on the left do not always own up to their own prejudices.

      People have legitimate points of difference in this country, but we can only hear them, and they can only hear us when we actually take a moment to ponder the other side and argue our own with respect. We all hit the lottery by waking up as Americans. We don’t have to agree on everything to be unified for the greater good. We can’t let a small number of bitter, mean-spirited and vitriolic people drive us all apart. Thank you so much for reading… -Linda

  • I could not march because we are currently serving our country in Asia. I read this and several other accounts with a heavy heart and fading hope… and its only week 1 of the new administration. You are so right. Its 2017 and you would think these 5 things would be uncontroversial and that we as sentient beings could could agree on them as core beliefs. This isn’t about abortion, pro choice or pro life. First off, just because you are pro choice doesnt mean you arent pro life… its a false choice. I am for both, but believe it should be between a woman, her doxtor and her faith. I too fall on the progressive side but years ago had a conversation with a conservative friend. We both realized we had more in common than we thought which probably surprised me more. Its a heavy heart I have in hoping this President succeeds at his agenda because I dont think it will be in the best interest of human beings or the planet we live on. But if he’s not, the suffering of so many will be prolonged. We live in dangerous times, but we’ve always lived in dangerous times. We are just able to see it instantaneously now… 24 hour news isn’t always a great thing. Don’t get me started on alternative facts or crowd sizes. If we learned anything from the campaign, pointing out DT constant lies and distortions only makes him double down on them. Thanks for sharing. I love my country, Its already great, and I believe it will take all of us to make it greater.

    • Thank you for your comment Stacey. I know, it is all very concerning and the 24 hour news, together with the fact that the news is so profit and ratings driven, is adding to the anxiety and to a feeling of hopelessness. But I refuse to give in to it. And I won’t stop talking to reasonable people on both sides. (I do stress reasonable, though.) -Linda

  • I’m reading lots about what is going on but am saying little so far. I feel like I have a lot to say and at the same time, nothing. I know it makes me feel angry. But I also see more people standing up for what they believe, standing up for those who are vulnerable. And that is a very powerful force for good.

    • I almost feel like words have lost some of their value in this atmosphere where everyone is yelling and lies are just flying around unchecked. Listening is smart. And action speaks louder than words anyway. Thank you for commenting…

    1. Matt @ Optimize Your Life 08:11am 31 January - 2017 - Reply

      Thank you for marching. Thank you for speaking up. At a time when everything seems upside down, civic engagement is more important than ever.

    2. Sarah @tortoisehappy.com 04:59pm 29 January - 2017 - Reply

      I’m reading lots about what is going on but am saying little so far. I feel like I have a lot to say and at the same time, nothing. I know it makes me feel angry. But I also see more people standing up for what they believe, standing up for those who are vulnerable. And that is a very powerful force for good.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:54pm 29 January - 2017 - Reply

        I almost feel like words have lost some of their value in this atmosphere where everyone is yelling and lies are just flying around unchecked. Listening is smart. And action speaks louder than words anyway. Thank you for commenting…

    3. Stacey 07:41pm 26 January - 2017 - Reply

      I could not march because we are currently serving our country in Asia. I read this and several other accounts with a heavy heart and fading hope… and its only week 1 of the new administration. You are so right. Its 2017 and you would think these 5 things would be uncontroversial and that we as sentient beings could could agree on them as core beliefs. This isn’t about abortion, pro choice or pro life. First off, just because you are pro choice doesnt mean you arent pro life… its a false choice. I am for both, but believe it should be between a woman, her doxtor and her faith. I too fall on the progressive side but years ago had a conversation with a conservative friend. We both realized we had more in common than we thought which probably surprised me more. Its a heavy heart I have in hoping this President succeeds at his agenda because I dont think it will be in the best interest of human beings or the planet we live on. But if he’s not, the suffering of so many will be prolonged. We live in dangerous times, but we’ve always lived in dangerous times. We are just able to see it instantaneously now… 24 hour news isn’t always a great thing. Don’t get me started on alternative facts or crowd sizes. If we learned anything from the campaign, pointing out DT constant lies and distortions only makes him double down on them. Thanks for sharing. I love my country, Its already great, and I believe it will take all of us to make it greater.

      • Brooklyn Bread 10:16am 27 January - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you for your comment Stacey. I know, it is all very concerning and the 24 hour news, together with the fact that the news is so profit and ratings driven, is adding to the anxiety and to a feeling of hopelessness. But I refuse to give in to it. And I won’t stop talking to reasonable people on both sides. (I do stress reasonable, though.) -Linda

    4. Faith (Home Ec @ Home) 12:25am 26 January - 2017 - Reply

      Hi, I have always enjoyed reading your perspective (I know you from our Share the Wealth group) and your writing often resonates with me. Although I am on the other side of the aisle, politically speaking ( I see a hopeful future with our new President and am hopeful he will go against the establishment of both parties) I enjoyed reading your story tonight. I had a heavy heart Saturday and was having trouble processing that the march was happening. You see I am a Pro-Life conservative and as a mother of four, I have a hard time understanding how abortion is still legal in this country. When you see your baby on an ultrasound and see it’s heartbeat at just 6 weeks old, you know it is your baby, not a possible mass of cells (what a blogger recently called it on instagram). My point is even though I don’t agree with you on political issues, I respect that you speak with conviction and exercise your freedom to make your voice heard. That’s what makes this country so great. We all have the freedom to make our voices heard. Like the Pro-lifers who will be marching this Friday the 27th to speak for our most vulnerable, our unborn children. I was glad to read your thoughts and I liked what you had to say about all the little biases, because it’s so true.

      • Brooklyn Bread 08:17am 26 January - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you so much for this, Faith. It is my favorite comment. It gives me hope because when writing this, what I wanted most was not to be combative or dismissive of the many reasonable people on the other side of the political aisle.

        Abortion is a very fraught issue, but I can understand your feelings. I would like to see abortion become an outdated idea, with women having unfailing access to birth-control. I personally know someone whose doctor advised her to abort her very wanted baby because giving birth would have put her own life in danger, and her child would not have survived. That is a heart wrenching tragedy. Though she wanted her baby, traumas like hers must be considered, especially when it comes to the law.

        And while I do not agree with spending our taxpayer money on a wall, money that I would rather see used to help struggling people in this country, I do agree with those who argue that there must be a lawful, respected process for immigrants to come into our country, that it should not be a total free for all.

        I also freely acknowledge that thinking you are better than other people because of where they live or what their education is no better than thinking you are better than other people because of their skin color. People on the left do not always own up to their own prejudices.

        People have legitimate points of difference in this country, but we can only hear them, and they can only hear us when we actually take a moment to ponder the other side and argue our own with respect. We all hit the lottery by waking up as Americans. We don’t have to agree on everything to be unified for the greater good. We can’t let a small number of bitter, mean-spirited and vitriolic people drive us all apart. Thank you so much for reading… -Linda

    5. Primal Prosperity 09:10am 25 January - 2017 - Reply

      Thank you for marching for all of us!! I was not able to, due to a session for a non-profit that I am starting up, but I was so happy to see the crowds.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:53am 25 January - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you for saying that. And for clearly choosing compassion toward humanity over riches! xo

    6. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe 07:39am 25 January - 2017 - Reply

      Thanks for writing. I didn’t march, I had friends who did. I listened to people I love question why, and promote the same hate-filled assumptions that I saw on social media. (“It’s just anti-Trump,” “They don’t even know why they are marching,” etc.) It made me wish I had marched. People marched to disprove the notion that no one cares, or that these concerns are fringe concerns.

      Thanks for marching.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:58am 25 January - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you Emily. I will say this – deciding to march in a very big, publicized march the day after the Inauguration was, in a way, easy. Because masses of people were very pumped up together. The next part is harder, keeping that energy. There will be other marches, and that is when we will really need that second wave. I think there will be many more chances to participate and be heard for anyone who wants to. Today I am sending postcards to my elected officials, telling them what I think. I think they agree for the most part, so I am not sure how much it will matter. But I believe there is meaning in actions great and small. Even if only when I lay my head down on my pillow at night.

    7. shelley 08:34pm 24 January - 2017 - Reply

      Wonderful message! You’ve outlined precisely many of the issues that so many of us care about and support. Now we must watch those who govern us, continue to express our opinions, and be sure we keep 2018 in mind.

      • Brooklyn Bread 08:46pm 24 January - 2017 - Reply

        No question. I feel a little less hopeless after seeing so many people come together – and not just on Facebook, but literally putting their money where their mouth is, buying train or bus tickets and really showing that this is worth the effort. I am very motivated to continue making my voice heard in whatever way I can.

    8. Mrs. Picky Pincher 09:27am 24 January - 2017 - Reply

      All I can say here is “PREACH!”

      I wanted to march but I’m in a politically divided household, so it would have caused some tension. 😉

      Good for you for standing up for your rights and the rights of others.

      • Brooklyn Bread 02:28pm 24 January - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you MPP! My husband and I are on the same page, but we both have very close family members who are not and it has caused a huge amount of tension unfortunately. I don’t know what to say. My goal was to write about the things that I feel like we should be able to agree on. But there are some things we cannot agree on. And some ideas that are beyond the pale to me that I can’t really reconcile. These are very uncertain times. I feel like words have lost a lot of their meaning. If anyone feels unhappy about things that are happening, bodies into the street is the only way to be heard.

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