The Women’s March made me mad.
I hope that’s a good thing, but I just don’t know.
I’m afraid of anger. I’m not sure I’ve ever been allowed to get there.
I’ve felt the start of it, I’ve started to speak and get worked up and suddenly something happens. I get interrupted, I get “but what about”-ed, I get ignored and suddenly I’m biting my tongue or I’m ranting on my own.
I marched this weekend. I went alone, I told no one I was going. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what I would feel. I wanted to process in the moment and it was best to do that alone.
At the march I felt… peace. I’ve been feeling very strained lately and being in a group of women walking down the street, that was probably the closest thing I’ve felt to self-care in a long time. I felt like I wasn’t alone. I felt the weight being lifted as we all bore the burden together. Whatever that burden was. For me, it was the silencing, the dismissal of my words and my existence and my experience just because I’m a woman.
Then, with a stroke of a pen Donald Trump reinstated the gag rule and sentenced women to death. Many of the organizers and online activists have been busy trying to run block for Linda Sarsour who is still being harassed. Katie Rich has been suspended indefinitely from SNL because people can’t seem to follow the thread of a sentence long enough to understand the actual subject matter. Trump’s press secretary came out on Monday to whine about how hard it is to have nay-sayers. Today Donald Trump moved to push the Dakota Access Pipeline forward. Tomorrow, what? A ban on refugees?
You know why I’m mad? Because four million people marched world-wide on Saturday and the only hiccup it caused him was that he was upset the crowd was bigger than his.
Yeah, I’m a white woman and I have all the privilege that affords me.
But you know what really fucking sucks? Not being taken seriously. That’s something I believe can be felt across all intersections.
Today I was jealous of a black woman. Specifically this black woman.
I have never been perceived as dangerous by anyone. Certainly not dangerous enough for anyone to strap on some riot gear to come at me. I have never stood my ground until someone arrested me. I have never been a threat to anyone.
We marched on Saturday and it was wonderful, and it wasn’t enough. The pictures make me smile. I was in awe. I felt so connected to all of you.
But I didn’t feel dangerous. I didn’t feel like anyone was afraid of me. The march was many things to many different people, and I hope it was the start of something so much bigger.
I’m not talking about being a white saviour. White people need to be saved from whiteness as much as anyone else. The system we’ve built is killing us and silencing us and erasing the truth of our existence.
I’m talking to white women, now. We are no more important than anyone else. The only asset our whiteness affords us is the potential to sneak into white spaces as a secret agent. When we stand in protest we give the illusion of peace. For the moment we are seen as comfortable, sweet, motherly, nurturing. But we are not a threat. We should be. We need to be.
The question is, are you ready to change the system? Because the change is not only uncomfortable, the change is painful. The change means stomping on the silence and interrupting the interrupter. It means forcing our way into spaces and showing them what our rage looks like. It means going into places we’ve never been in before and rolling up our sleeves and amplifying voices. The revolution is not a metaphor. It is the end of everything you’ve known, but the potential for everything you’ve hoped for.
The Romans were terrified of the Celts. But they were even more terrified of their wives. Screaming, savage, wild, warrior women running at them with sharpened sticks and striking fear into the hearts of seasoned soldiers. I have always been fascinated by this fact, but for the life of me I can’t picture the face of a ferocious woman in combat.
I don’t know the first thing about being a threat.
I don’t know if I’m dangerous.
But next time we march, I want to see fear in their eyes.