I’m not going to be a part of history, and that’s OK. Of course, merely by living, we create history every day. Regardless of our intentions, our actions affect others and theirs affect others in a chain reaction. What I mean, specifically, is that, after a lot of consideration, I’ve decided not to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. the day after the inauguration.
Like many people across the nation and the world, I was shocked, horrified, and dismayed when Donald Trump won the presidency. I thought feminism had brought us to the point where our country could elect a woman to its highest office. I thought we had made strides toward overcoming our incredibly racist past. I thought people would hate a narcissistic, thin-skinned liar more than immigrants. I was wrong.
Americans voted for a man who openly bragged about groping women. Who has been accused of sexual assault by 18 women to date. He even has a pending rape charge against him. Misogyny is such a deeply ingrained part of our society that men weren’t his only supporters—53% of white women voted for him.
Initially, I felt the need to do something, anything, to protest the election. When the women in my New Jersey town began organizing bus trips to the DC march, I immediately bought my ticket. But then I began to have second thoughts. I don’t like crowds. They are overwhelming and sometimes give me panic attacks. I get car sick—spending 10 hours on a bus in a span of 24 hours sounded pretty awful. And as a stay-at-home mom with young children, if I got injured or arrested, we would have to scramble to find emergency child-care.
I’ve been struggling with guilt because those reasons are mere inconveniences to me. There are many people across the nation who are much more than inconvenienced by the outcome of the election. People will lose their health coverage. Hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, and people of color have increased. Science is under attack. My worries about finding a place to pee seem ridiculous in comparison.
But marching in D.C. isn’t the best way for me or many others to protest. There are plenty of other ways to help our fellow Americans. I donate money to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Democratic Party, and other left-leaning organizations. I’ve bought subscriptions to reputable news outlets. Every day, I call senators and congressmen and women to tell them what I think about Trump, the Affordable Care Act, and his cabinet appointments. I’m looking into ways my sons and I can volunteer in our community. And, I’m writing essays and articles about how we can combat the horrors of the upcoming administration.
Lastly, although I won’t be traveling to D.C. to attend the national march, I will be taking part in my local march. National politics are important, but so is getting involved on a local level. We need to remember that there are many more elections than just the one for the presidency. Supporting like-minded local politicians will help my area and my state.
Marching in D.C. or in your local march is an important way to protest, but there are also many other options. As long as we all remain vigilant and not complacent, we can make a difference. Let’s show Trump and his administration what we think of them any way we can.