Opinion: They came, made noise — and went home

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  • Shannon Murphy Fowler

    Apparently Mr. Anker needs a lesson in Political Science and History. You see…protest has been a part of the fabric of America since the Boston Tea Party, when the American colonists shared “their own personal point of view” by telling King George where he could stick his tea. Sound familiar? Protests in America have been responsible for: workplace safety standards (thanks to striking coal miners and factory workers), anti-child labor laws, women’s right to vote, women’s right to use birth control, women’s right to obtain their own credit, civil rights, funding for AIDS research and education, LGBTQ rights, and numerous other issues. When the voice of one might get lost, the voices of many, raised in unison, have moved mountains.

    The Women’s Marches across the country are far from one-and-done, where people gathered to complain and go home. They are a start of a movement. Meetings, gatherings and planning events, postcards and letter writing campaigns…you name it, it’s happening. Right now. Historically speaking, the progress of society typically inches forward, until fear takes over and we leap backwards for a brief blip. It’s on this precipice that great societal leaps are made. We are on the brink of one now. Never in history has such a coordinated effort, across the globe, taken place. The tipping point is coming, if it’s not already here.

    Your smug response, Mr. Anker, is definitely coming from a place of white-male privilege. You can smell it in your condescending and disparaging tone, as you describe a participant in the march in terms of her appearance rather than her substance. Apparently, in your estimation, a woman of means can’t or shouldn’t care about what happens to others outside her social circle or economic stratum. You couldn’t be more wrong. You can smell it in your complete lack of understanding of the purpose of the marches. You can hear it in your tone, as you belittle the causes that are important to the women (and men) who marched. Quite frankly, your assessment of the Women’s Marches paint you as someone who fears the power that women can yield if we band together, and you and your kind are scrambling to “put us back in our places.” We are here to tell you it won’t happen.

    The movement is not about what happened in the past, although some of us are certainly angry that a reality TV host that is all ratings and no substance duped so many Americans. But we have fixed our eyes firmly forward. The movement is about shaping the future. About moving society forward. And we have the numbers and strength to do it. After having the vote for over 90 years, we should not still be fighting for a seat at the table. Yet there is this persistent stigma that women are not suitable for governing, mothers should stay home with their kids, men make better decisions, and men are more committed and deserve more pay for the same jobs. This movement is about encouraging and supporting more women and minorities to run for office.

    This movement is about protecting the progress of the last 100 years and continuing to move it forward. This movement is about ensuring that our daughters and granddaughters are not fighting the same fights in another 100 years. This movement is about showing strength in unity. This movement is about showing politicians that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and we will be holding them accountable for representing the needs of ALL their constituents — not just the companies and individuals who bankroll them. This movement is about reminding Mr. Trump that a mere 25% of voters elected him, and he needs to work with us, and not against us.

    We won’t be silent. We won’t fit in your pigeonhole that you want to put us in. We are made up men and women from all political parties, all ages, ethnicities, religions, education levels, sexual orientations and economic backgrounds. All are welcome to take this journey with us. We are marching forward, to 2018 and beyond.