Why I March

Gathering outside of CenturyLink Center just before the march.

After Trump’s marriage to his third and current wife, Melania, he had this to say about Nancy O’Dell:

Donald Trump: I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f**k her. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily… I moved on her like a b***h, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.

Later in that same conversation, directed toward Arianne Zucker:

Donald Trump: I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

These are not “alternative facts.” This isn’t “fake news.” This is objective truth. Below are links to the unedited video and transcript.

Full unedited video: https://youtu.be/SPomcb0_IaE

Full unedited transcript: https://mic.com/articles/156222/donald-trump-billy-bush-leaked-video-full-transcript-read-the-full-sexist-exchange-here#.JUIj2Q85r

Trump’s first reaction to the leaked video:

Donald Trump: This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.

I hoped that people would universally recognize this for what it was, a non-apology, and that they would further recognize how it sought to normalize Trump’s words and behavior.

I watched the Republican candidate for President of the United States of America brag on video about being able to sexually assault women. I thought surely Republican leadership would do the right thing and find a more suitable candidate to represent their party. Done deal, I assumed. For example, can anyone imagine if this had been any other candidate of any other party at any other time in history right before a general election?

But what would happen over the next few months would terrify me, and it still does to this day.

In Protest Of

I saw people start to parrot this notion that all men are like Trump, and they all talk like or, if not talk openly, think like Trump does. This is a lie. This is an excuse. This is rationalizing away the reality of Trump’s words and deeds in order to justify further support of him. This is a lie that, if not forcefully refuted as often as it is told, does immeasurable damage to the dignity of women and to the reputation of good men. This is a lie that mutes the ability of society to hold such men like Trump accountable for their sexual indiscretions. This is a lie that normalizes and dismisses sexual assault.

This is why I march.

I saw people repeatedly fail (intentionally or otherwise) to see the difference between fantasy, consent, and sexual assault. It’s one thing to sexually fantasize about a person. It’s an entirely different thing to take sexual liberties with someone under the assumption that they consent because you’re famous. Let’s be clear: In the absence of consent, doing what Trump bragged about being able to do is sexual assault.

This is why I march.

I saw people blame Hillary Clinton for the behavior of her husband in an attempt to, like Trump, use misdirection to change the subject.

This is why I march.

I saw men and women disparage other women, even victims of sexual assault, for speaking out against Trump’s treatment of women.

This is why I march.

I saw women work up the courage to come forward and talk about how Trump had assaulted them in the past, only to see Trump publicly mock them for not being attractive enough to warrant his sexual attention.

This is why I march.

I saw evangelicals that had spent a lifetime teaching the value of families, chastity, purity, and Biblical faithfulness dismiss Trump’s language and behavior out of hand.

This is why I march.

I saw support for Trump grow following the release of the video.

This is why I march.

I saw that America was technically more willing to accept Trump’s awful treatment of women than they were willing to accept a woman as their President.

This is why I march.

Then I recalled these words from Nancy O’Dell, the subject of Trump’s objectification:

Nancy O’Dell: Politics aside, I’m saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all. When I heard the comments yesterday, it was disappointing to hear such objectification of women. The conversation needs to change because no female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling. Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender. As a woman who has worked very hard to establish her career, and as a mom, I feel I must speak out with the hope that as a society we will always strive to be better.

I saw Nancy’s hope fade, along with mine and much of America’s, as the man responsible for starting the conversation was rewarded with the Presidency.

This is why I march.

I observed the above with horror because of what it would mean for women everywhere, and what it would mean for my immediate family. All of that is why I march in protest of President Trump. All of that shaped my message last Saturday, both on my protest sign:

Katrina, and I, and Aiden, waiting for the march to begin. Artwork by The Amplifier Foundation. Portrait subject: Maribel Valdez Gonzalez.

…and in my interview with KETV:


But protest is not the only reason I march.

In Support Of

I also march because I love my family. I march because I believe Katrina and my son Aiden, and my mother, and five sisters, and women everywhere deserve better representation. I was encouraged to see that we were joined in solidarity by thousands of others that felt the same.

Katrina & Aiden during the march. Katrina carried him the entire march.

This is why I march.

My five sisters, baby Pearl, and my mother. Estrogen runs strong in my immediate family.

This is why I march.

There are many many more reasons to march in protest of the Trump Administration, and in support of the things that matter, and I’m looking forward to joining others in the months and years ahead.

I hope you’ll take action in the upcoming marches, including the March for Science and the Immigrants March. See you there!

If you’re like me, and still fired up after the wildly successful Women’s March, here are a few ways that you can stay engaged and keep the momentum going:

~ Contact your representative, let them know how you feel. It might feel like a waste of time to talk to some exhausted Congressional aid, but this is another important way to engage with our elected officials. Don’t just call the ones you’re upset with. Call the ones that are fighting tirelessly for the people and ideals and policies that you really care about, and take the time to thank them for doing the right thing.

~ Stay reminded that we’re just getting started.

~ Support the American Civil Liberties Union. Our support can make a direct impact in the courts, communities, and legislatures across the country.

~ Check out The Indivisible Guide for insider knowledge and strategies on how best to engage with Congress. Consider joining your local Indivisible Group on any upcoming action.

~ Start preparing to influence the 2018 Midterm Elections. It’s never too early. Visit Swing Left to learn about the districts that present the greatest opportunity for change.

~ Join the “10 actions for the next 100 days” on The Women’s March website.

~ Contribute to your local organizations that support the things that Trump and his administration are actively discriminating against. Here’s a short list:

  • Women
  • Refugees
  • Immigrants
  • Muslims
  • Minorities
  • Planned Parenthood
  • The Arts & Humanities
  • Science
  • Scientists
  • Journalism
  • Journalists
  • Facts

~ Hug a Muslim, but only if they consent and reciprocate. ;)

~ Consider running for office (not for everyone).

~ Adopt an immigrant orphan (also not for everyone).

Thanks to Rebecca Stavick for her Why I March post, and for inspiring me to publish mine.

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