Yesterday I had previous plans that were important to me, and I missed the women’s march in Chicago. Let me say right off I REGRET IT!!!! Dammit! I had the once in a lifetime chance to march in what turned out to be one of the greatest showings of solidarity and support among women around the world, and I missed it. I will never get that opportunity back.
For most people I know, Friday was a gloomy day. “I can’t bear to even look at the news,” said one of my friends. Another said she tried to read the speech but just got so irritated she had to shut it down. I felt nauseated most of the day and grappled with my fear and acceptance of this person who violates most of my personal values leading this country. But, for all, we are swallowing our feelings and moving on, trying to make a difference in our own ways. As for my women friends, we are the peacemakers, the lovers and the fighters.
But yesterday was a day of hope. As I watched post after post of my beautiful friends who attended marches and rallies post of the positivity and loving energy produced yesterday, I felt more hope. I spent the afternoon with a woman who is a recent single Mom of three talking about the struggles and triumphs of being a divorced single homeowner and making it on our own. The thing is …. we SUPPORT each other. We CHEER each other’s successes. Women, while we have our weaknesses, are rock-solid when we bond together.
One-third of women in this country live in poverty or are right on the line. 80% of single-parent households are run by women who make 70 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Many find that their men are their adversaries not their helpmates. We are talked over in meetings, interrupted as we speak, have our ideas stolen and are criticized on personal attributes more than our performance – and that’s just my personal experience. But we have each other. We complain to each other, cry over the unfairness of it all, wipe each other’s tears and urge each other to get back in the game. Men have told me that they wish they had the support that women had for each other. The irony is that all you have to do is give it to get it. It’s not a gender issue. It’s a character trait.
So, this Women’s March – and there were many men in attendance as well – of yesterday is not surprising to me. It’s what we do. There are naysayers, and I don’t imagine Mr. “I’m giving America back to the people” will even consider us the people. It truly doesn’t matter. We know how to get through tough times without the support of the establishment. We have always been the underdog. There was a time not too long ago that we didn’t even have the opportunity to vote. Our strength does not emanate from what we are given, it is built from exercising the muscle that we have.