This morning, I woke up feeling completely energized. Having just come back from the Million Women March in DC, I was still riding the high of a cathartic weekend shared with smart, strong women and men. Since I had amortized my new knit MWMDC hat, I didn’t think twice about popping it on over my unbrushed locks, and running my 6 year old down the street to school. Walking hand in hand, I winced at the feeling of fresh blisters on the soles of my feet, and the cracked dryness from the past weekend’s extreme cold weather on my hands—a badge of honor for a newbie activist. “Mommy, I want that hat!” my daughter crowed; her loving gaze fixed upon my head. I felt she sensed that somehow my energy was now different, and that there were magical superpowers in my new black hat–a super-hat! As we made our way to the front gate of her school, I kissed her on the head and she ran in skipping. I hadn’t been paying that much attention to my surroundings, but was now noticing several stares, a couple of thumbs up, and heart hand gestures from some of the other parents that were dropping their kids off. As I made my way across the street, one of the fathers in my daughter’s class (I have secretly named him Wrestling Man Bun Dad) got out of his gold Range Rover and walked past me, pointing his finger in my direction with a booming “That’s not patriotic!” flying out of his impossibly tiny, bearded mouth. I could feel my cheeks turn bright red, as a stray, disloyal tear threatened to roll down. Here I was, standing in my silk pajamas and slippers, and it took my caffeine deprived brain a few seconds to register that he wasn’t talking about my unpatriotic pajamas—he was talking about my hat! I did a half smile, not knowing how to react, and made my way back to my house. Still reeling from the sting from WMBD, I started going through the hamster-wheel-process of what just happened and began to get more and more pissed off. Some man-bunned wrestling parody rained on my parade! How I wished I had put on my cold brew coffee infused armor before I ventured out of the house! Witty retorts started streaming through my head, as I became more enraged. “Who the “F” was this guy to attack my patriotism and why didn’t I speak up?” Sure, I had my retainer in my mouth at the time, and my breath had a case of the morning “zactlys” , but why would that stop me? Who cares if I have morning breath? I have my sisters and brothers rights to defend!
Later, I recounted the story to a couple of friends over lunch. “What was your response?” asked my quick witted, funny friend who teaches me fabulous compound words like “fucknut” and “twatnut.” “I didn’t have one,” I said. “I just walked away with my tail between my legs.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I could tell that my friend had become as uncomfortable as I had been. Why didn’t I slam Wrestler Man Bun Dad down on the mat with one of my powerful , irreverent retorts, and made his hairpiece fall off with my morning retainer breath? I’m a Pussy warrior, for damn sakes— ready to pounce on social injustice with my claws bared, and ready to puncture the thin skin of bigotry and racism! How could I let a guy with a little head and a top knot make me feel so embarrassed for my participation in social activism? After much deliberation back and forth, I realized that one of my vulnerabilities is that I try to understand everyone’s points of view, and there are fucknuts (thank you, Sanj!) that do not give a top-knot-shit about yours. If you wear a super-hat, always be prepared to defend it— wherever you go!
So, Wrestler Man Bun Dad; Here are my reasons for marching in DC:
-I marched for every woman (my daughters; your daughters) because women’s rights and self worth should not be determined by men behind closed doors who want to malign services like Planned Parenthood, and give employers who provide insurance to their employees the “moral” right to deny birth control. We should not let them drag us back to the dark days when abortions were performed in dark alleys. Women need these affordable clinics that provide easy access to birth control, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, STD testing, postpartum exams, and even adoption referrals. Keep your pens out of our uteruses— and hands off our pussies!
-I marched for all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. There should be more laws protecting rape and violence survivors and I marched for the women and men who had the courage to speak up and fight back, but fear for their lives because our government chooses to make cuts to violence and sexual assault grants that should protect them. I feel a Game of Thrones Shame Nun moment coming on when I think about how little protection our government gives victims. “Shame!”
-I marched for the LGBTQ community. While marriage equality is unlikely to be reversed; efforts like trying to pass the Equality Act, which would protect gays from employment discrimination, will remain in limbo. Under our new administration, no LGBTQ legislation will be able to pass on a Federal level — like making sure same-sex couples receive tax benefits and survivors’ benefits, and awarding grants to LGBTQ social-service organizations — all will all be discontinued. “Shame! SHAME!”
-I marched for our immigrants who are being held hostage by an administration that threatens to put them on a list because of their religion, or build a ridiculous wall to keep them out. President Trump is already set to halt Syrian refugee admissions and wants to create a list for Muslims! What country are we living in again? “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
-I marched for Black Lives Matter, and my friends of color who fear of being pulled over for simple driving infractions, and are very weary of the systemic racism that our country has bound their hands with. Yes, they have the right to be pissed off, and calling whites out on white privilege is accurate! Their parents still remember the days they had to march to disband segregation, and it wasn’t too long ago! “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!”
-I marched for humanitie’s place on this planet! The EPA is set to be defunded, and the war on our environment has begun! This new administration doesn’t. Relieve in scientific facts like Climate Change, and will poison our drinking water, while drilling for oil. “Shamey, Shamey, Shamey, O-Shame!”
-I marched for all of those that have a misguided, naive idea of what patriotism is, and who believe that a peaceful protest is not patriotic. You may not know better now, because you are either operating on the assumption that we should give President Trump a chance (to do everything against your own interests); or because your xenophobic, bigoted beliefs have found a voice on a rabidly-inappropriate-for-a-President Twitter account. (Someone take the phone from him, please!) At this point, the Shame Nun is just flogging him!
Either way, sometimes you have to do the hard things; pound the pavement, chant, hold up signs, and make phone calls that keep our leaders accountable.
I’ve now reconciled my moment of hesitation to defend my inner activist’s honor, and it will never be compromised again!
Next time, I’ll go high man! As high as your man bun can go up on your freakishly, small head!
And you can stick that in your top-knot!