Monday, January 23, 2017

This is What Democracy Looks Like

The Internet sucks today. Both sides are being combative. No one is listening. Men and women alike (on both sides of the issue) are being assholes that are turning Zuckerberg's brainchild into a virtual Real Housewives reunion. People are talking over each other and trying to shame left and right..and it's a shame because the event was the epitome of civility, love and solidarity.

This discordant noise is such a stark change of pace from my weekend, which included one of the most peaceful loving experiences of my life. On Saturday morning, I participated in one of many marches held to protest the views/promises given by the Trump administration. [Tangent: If you read my article over on Ravishly about my fears regarding our new president, do it.]

Over the weekend I lost count of how many posts I saw that said, "I don't get even why they are marching" I thought I would tell you why I was there, and what it was like. The internet is filled with armchair quarterbacking so I wanted to give an eyewitness account just in case you haven't talked in person to one of the 20,000+ people that attended in my city alone. [Tangent: Impressive for a red state, no?]
The Nashville walk was called Power Together Tennessee because it was not only women but really anyone that felt disenfranchised or who had things they wanted to bring to the forefront. It was a way of connecting in an uncertain time for many people. On a 70 degree January day [Tangent: In fact...appropriately enough, there were several signs about global warming and others saying "Science is real" it was being illustrated for sure in the atmosphere.] marching with me, over the river and through downtown were:  republicans (yes republicans!), democrats, veterans, churches, Muslim groups, people that identify as LGBTQA, rape victims, refugees, people from the Black Lives Matter movement, teachers [Tangent:One of my favorite signs was "Devos, DeFuck?"], healthcare professionals and lots of men and dogs [Tangent: AND CHRIS ROCK!]. Everyone had a reason to want their voices heard [Tangent: Maybe not the dogs...but who knows. I suspect my dogs votes canceled each other out. Don't you give your dogs political leanings and backstories?]
borrowed with permission from Chad McClarnon

borrowed with permission from Chad McClarnon

borrowed with permission from Chad McClarnon
Everyone was excited about the enveloping diversity and doling out high fives to other individuals bringing differing perspectives to the table. From 9 AM-2 PM, there were no instances of violence or destruction of property. That's crazy. Additionally, I had lots of friends that didn't go (for various reasons)...and that's cool, too.

Sure, people are mad at Trump, so were there anti-Trump signs? 100%!  Were there burning effagies or calls for his execution? Was it fueled by violence?  No. Not even close. [Tangent: I did see a bunch of people hugging a Bernie Sanders cutout though.] It was more like a love-in than a riot. [Tangent: In the 60s, my mom and her friend marched in a satellite march for Selma in Honolulu, and she said it sounded similar. That makes me incredibly proud.]

I had so many favorite unexpected moments that will forever be currency in my memory bank:
  •  When we rolled past the Hooters on second Avenue, the servers were clapping and and chanting and cheering us on from the sidewalk! 
  • Not one but two impressively crafted vagina costumes attended.
  • The police officers waving from the bridge and posing with the pussy hats [Tangent: Yeah the unofficial uniform was cat ears or pink knitted hats. Below I show one on Elvis that I borrowed from Instagram. I imagine some children didn't get the connection between Trump's now infamous "locker room talk" and their headgear, but I suppose explaining his use of "pussy" was more damaging.]  

via Instagram user

vagina on the right courtesy of Chad McClarnon

Even though I wore a killer shirt, I regretted not getting a sign together because there were so many brilliant ones, and I think I could have unearthed my semesters of advertising classes. In addition to "Jesus had two dads and he turned out okay" and "Taking away my birth control only makes more democrats", my favorites of course were the ones that blended in popular culture.  [Tangent: I felt like Princess Lea and the cast of Hamilton were practically in attendance via cardboard and sharpie marker.] Thankfully Rae caught two of my favorites in a single shot. Regina George/Rupaul 2020. 
No matter if you marched or didn't, please understand what actually went down before you turn feminism and protest into dirty words.  I know I was proud to be a part of the largest march in my city's history and to quote one of the chants we repeated over and over, I felt like "This is what democracy looks like!" Now we march on and use our voices for positivity and change. To see more, simply click here to search the hashtag #PowerTogetherTN on Instagram.

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