These remarks are being quickly but thoughtfully posted by a mother of 10-month old twins and a 14-year old. The research behind my remarks occurs between diaper changes, washing dishes, and ball games. With time, I hope that my remarks will become more polished, and that they will resonate with others. For now, this is what I have to say, as I can no longer remain silent.
Reason One: Timing
Part of the mission of last Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, according to http://www.womensmarch.com, was to “send a bold message to our new government.” For many who participated, according to their social media posts and rally signs, it was simultaneously a pro-women and anti-Trump event. I sincerely appreciate the freedom we have to outwardly speak against even the highest political position in our country (Thank you, Veterans!), but I would have thought it much more respectful of that position to wait even until the next weekend before holding such an event. Regardless of how I personally felt about whoever was President at the time, through my adult years I have always tried to be respectful of the person in the position. I had serious concerns about Obama as President (maybe another post later!), but when he was inaugurated, I chose to spend that time praying for his safety and for the safety of his family. During that time, I chose to be respectful of the millions of my fellow Americans who chose him. I would have considered it very disrespectful to him and his lovely family to go into attack mode on day two of his presidency. I am sure that some of you who understand a lot more about grassroots movements, organizing for a movement, etc., might have a calculated explanation for the timing of this event. For me personally, taking advantage of that freedom to speak out as already noted, I say that timing was wrong.
Reason Two: Tone
I have listened to Madonna’s remarks. I have read the full transcript of Ashley Judd’s speech. I have looked at various pictures of the March, reading signs of marchers. My response: I say it’s okay to be angry about inequality, abuse, injustice, racism…don’t get me started! (By the way, I say it’s NOT okay to suggest, in any way, bombing the White House!) As I look back at the social change agents that I most respect, however, I can objectively state that the tone of Saturday’s march is NOT congruent with the tone that those great men and women used to unify people, serve as an example to children, and create positive change. Since I mentioned unifying people, let me add that the March’s organizers made it very clear that their platform was pro-choice, even removing pro-life group New Wave Feminists from their list of partners, after previously having included them. I take offense to the idea that I cannot be both pro-women and pro-life (again, another post!), and I believe there are thousands of other American women who are pro-life who also give of themselves on a weekly basis to support women’s causes. I understand that some pro-life women marched alongside pro-choice women who welcomed them, in a beautiful display of showing kindness to others. Still, the overarching tone of dictating to all women what can and cannot be considered “pr0-women” is not a tone that I wish to embody nor perpetuate.
Reason Three: Ties
My babies are due for their first “awakening” of the night, so I’ll be brief here: George Soros. Linda Sarsour. Planned Parenthood. Please, do some wide-eyed, objective research about some of the organizations and sponsors of last Saturday’s march. I cannot, in good conscience, align myself with some of those individuals and organizations. I can pray for them and hope for all to remain safe, but I refuse to go along with them. I realize that in our age of political correctness, that might mean that some accuse me of having one or more of various phobias. If I have fear, it is not of individuals who differ from me in some way. On the contrary, I hope my life is proving and will prove that I love all, and that I view literally every single person as a soul more valuable than this world. No, my fear is that we as women end up getting exactly the opposite of what we probably can all agree we want: safe, healthy, educated, happy families and communities. Again, do the research!
*Writer’s note: In my 37 years, I have participated in marches, women’s forums and groups, and local grassroots efforts. I appreciate how often positive results are born from these events and efforts. Although I am glad I did not participate in last Saturday’s march, I still would have loved to meet and talk to ladies who were there, from various places and political positions. I hope I get more chances to do so in the future!
Bridgette Enloe Kiser