I will be marching at the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017.
We all have our own reasons for marching. As for me, I feel that this election cycle and incoming administration have further marginalized women and minority groups. Our incoming president has consistently used his positions of power to bully his critics, especially women, wielding their gender and their appearance as a weapon against them. When someone criticizes his policies, words, or actions, he invariably turns to belittling them. Some of the most egregious examples of this are the terrible things he has said about and against women.
Throughout his life, Mr. Trump has profited off the objectification of women -- through his pageants. He has taken advantage of the downtrodden and desperate -- through his scam university. He has played off the fears, frustrations, and prejudices of others in order to achieve personal power -- through his presidential campaign.
In the coming years, I fully expect Mr. Trump to use his position to downplay and attack the intrinsic worth of anyone who opposes him, because that is what he has always done, and continues to do on an almost daily basis over Twitter.
He will pursue policies and laws which profit him, justifying them with empty, nonspecific rhetoric, while belittling his critics, the very people he is supposed to represent. He will use whatever weapons of persuasion are at his disposal, including continuing to attack the appearance and intelligence of the women who criticize him, as he has always done.
As a woman, I do not feel safe, protected, or represented by the man who will soon be our president. I do not believe he will respect me. I believe if he ever deigned to take notice of me at all, it would be to critique me not on the merits of my arguments, but on the degree to which I fit his narrow description of what a woman should be. He will judge me first by my looks, and secondly by how carefully I cater to his ego.
And if he does not like what I have to say, he will take his assessment of me and bring the full force of his office behind it to discredit and shame me -- me, one of the citizens he is sworn to represent -- because this is what he is already doing over and over again.
I am marching to say that I will not be silenced by his bullying tactics. I will not be fooled by his empty rhetoric, and I will not be turned against my fellow Americans -- of either political party -- who will be harmed by his dangerously short-sighted and ignorant policies. When I disagree, I will speak out. When he attempts to revoke rights or liberties of any of my fellow citizens, I will object.
I march because of all this. Because I need to say publicly that I will not be intimidated, and I will not stand idly by while he attempts to intimidate others into compliance. I will fight for my rights, for the recognition of my intrinsic value, and for the rights and recognition of my countrymen and women.
Below are the signs which I will hold during the march.
The quotes by Mr. Trump are offensive; but that is exactly the point. There is no "context" which could make these things okay to say. There is no time limit on this kind of misogyny. And there is no time at which it is permissible for our nation's highest office to be held by a man who ever said these things of women.