Last week I marched with thousands of women in downtown Los Angeles protesting Trump and fighting for our equal rights, our freedom, and demanding respect.
The picture above shows the Pink Pussy Hat I wore and the sign I held among a sea of women all supporting each other, encouraging kindness, and coming together from all walks of life to say, “we all have different stories and experiences, but we’re coming together because we’ve had ENOUGH.”
This wasn’t my first protest. My first protest was for Black Lives Matter in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. The national guard was called and a 10:00pm curfew was set on the city. I had never seen my city so full of cops, helicopters, and tanks. TANKS. Why on earth did there have to be tanks?? Tensions between Baltimore residents and police were at an all time high and the media had taken the whole narrative and twisted the shit out of it. So that was my first experience protesting.
I was working in Pittsburgh at the time and dating my coworker. As I rushed back to Baltimore to protest, she sent me texts saying, “I don’t know why you have to do this. Please don’t. It’s not safe.” I would later find out that the weekend I was protesting and risking going to jail for breaking curfew she was cheating on me. I remember how bothered I was at the time that a gay Latina, woman felt this way about the black lives matter issue and protesting in general. Also, this girl was from Pittsburgh, where she was a minority every single day. The difference in opinion on how to handle this situation bothered me then and it bothers me now.
I was seeing this girl a few months ago that I was sure I was in love with. It turned out I wasn’t as much in love with her as I was just addicted to having sex with her. We soon realized though, that when we weren’t doing that we were very different. She didn’t give too much of a damn about what was going on around her politically and that reared it’s ugly head right after Trump got elected. My roommates and I were crying, shaking, and in disbelief. My entire office couldn’t talk the next day. I was in the office early the morning Hillary gave her concession speech. I thought I was completely alone so I started watching it on my tiny iphone screen when one of my coworkers came up behind me, put his hand on my shoulder quietly and just watched it along with me. Every person around me seemed on the same page – we were mourning our country. I sent a quick text to “X” saying, “I can’t seem to recover. I feel broken from this election” and she came back with, “really? I feel the opposite. Just don’t care I guess. Nothing we can do now.” I was so angry and bewildered by this response. How could this be happening to me AGAIN?? Another out and proud lesbian, who’s mixed, and teaches young children for a living, doesn’t care about this misogynist, orange monster who has been given the power to rule our country. That’s two women now, and not just any women, women who I was romantically linked to, who DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
After walking around a bit the march I realized another thing. I saw so many women not really participating or paying attention and instead focusing on taking selfies. I don’t want to generalize and make a blanket statement about all the marches across the U.S. but at the Los Angeles march this was happening at an alarming rate.While I’m grateful for each woman that showed up because each person counts, I personally took it seriously. I didn’t look at it as another opportunity to dress up and take selfies. That felt very self indulgent to me. This was especially highlighted in the photo that went viral of the black woman with a sign that read, “Remember White Women Voted for Trump” while 3 white women behind her were taking selfies. We need to remember this isn’t an opportunity for you to get a bunch of likes on instagram, this is war and we’re under attack. After my experience in Baltimore, my experience with my ex in Pittsburgh, and my eerily similar experience with girl X, I was left more than a little frustrated.
The most obvious take away is that I have shit taste in women. But also, it’s deeply unsettling to me that the black lives matter protests didn’t draw as much rage out of women as it should have. Again, this is just MY experience. If you’re not already super angry, you’re not looking listening. While I’m so proud of all of the amazing women who came out to march, I’m also worried for the women who aren’t doing their research. I’m worried for women who are saying, “I don’t care.” My mom taught me to respect everyone’s beliefs but I’m finding that really tough right now.