(picture-less posts are the worst. Still waiting on an ideal picture to post with this one but wanted to get the post up ASAP.)
Yesterday, hundreds and thousands of women marched. And in record numbers!
Can I be honest? I’m still a bit unclear as to why they marched.
-Was it in protest over the Trump inauguration?
-Was it to highlight the suspected downfall women’s rights will take?
-Was it in support of marginalized communities?
I don’t know. I still don’t know and I’m sure everyone’s reasons may be different.
When I first heard about the marches, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t feel the urge to go. There was no fire in my bones. I wasn’t excited about it. I was happy that I had unintentionally planned a birthday party for EB on the very same day. I was wrapped up in kid party nirvana and I wasn’t upset that I couldn’t make the march.
But I was SO perplexed as to why I wasn’t upset. I get frustrated when #momlife gets in the way of my advocacy. Don’t get me wrong. I am definitely that mom who when her husband is working will strap one kid to her back and hand grab the other to attend rallies, marches and protests. I’ve done it before and I won’t stop doing it. But why wasn’t my heart broken over not attending the Women’s March of 2017? Why was I okay with being covered in glitter, glue and blocking the cupcake table from 3, 4 and 5-year-olds but not being at a march?
Why wasn’t I experiencing FOMO?
I figured it out. Somewhere between 4am and 5am (because for weeks this has been the time my youngest kid gets up and STAYS up), I got it.
I’ve got an attitude problem.
I will preface this by saying, I think people should protest and boycott the way they want to. Never will I tell people how I think they should do it. I’m grateful to live in a nation where we have the freedoms to do so.
But I had an attitude with White women.
It feels strange admitting this. Yes, I’m more verbal in discussions surrounding racial injustices, Black Lives Matter and racial divides happening in the United States and the African diaspora. Discussing them publicly, that is. These issues have always been discussed with most, if not all of my friends.
Say what? Doesn’t everyone talk nail polish, books they’re reading and their political and racial frustrations with their friends?
I have an attitude problem with White women because it took Donald Trump taking his place as the 45th President of the United States to get my White sisters to march? Where were you ladies when we marched on behalf of Sandra Bland? Where were your tweets and activism then? Why are the issues of Black women ignored on your Facebook feed but the exact opposite is done when you feel YOUR rights are threatened?
You’ll rock a pink hat and draft up signs talking about how you don’t want the government controlling your uterus and how you’re marching for your daughters.
And I get it. I GET why you march.
I’m just so dang irritated at how it took us getting to this point for you to march. You preach solidarity and how we all need to come together but it only seems to be that case when it affects you. Were you standing with Standing Rock and trying to see how you could support? Are you frustrated and concerned that Black women die in record numbers during childbirth? Did you even know that was a thing?
I should be grateful. I should be grateful to see women of all backgrounds and across our great nation marching together. Maybe I should realize that it’s easier for people to be involved with issues that personally affect them. I should get over the fact that it would be a snowy day at the beach to see something similar for Black women. Muslim women. Indigenous women. My Latinx sisters, Asian sisters and disabled sisters.
I’m used to seeing Black women support everyone but having very little to no support for us and the issues that concern us. It’s so prominent in our culture. It has become the norm. Our hairstyles can be used in magazines with models that don’t look like us, be given different names and yet if I go to Supercuts right now and ask for a style, I’ll get an “OMG WTF to do?” face from all of the stylists there.
Black women will support brands with their dollars and voices up and down the physical and e-streets but the same brands don’t even think to include us.
Even brands that are are pretty mum when it comes to social rights issues have jumped on the Women’s March bandwagon and I think it’s great. But I don’t see any women that look like me up in that image. Or on their website. Or in their ads. And I certainly didn’t hear any chatter from this brand I love when issues that affect women of color specifically pop up.
Just a week back, I got into a heated discussion with the very first woman I donated breast milk to. A White woman. I discussed my fear over my family not having health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Instead of trying to understand my fear and LISTEN, this woman gave me a slew of reasons as to why she didn’t have that fear. My body produced milk that nourished and fed her child but I can’t even get her to listen to my fears? I didn’t ask her to agree with me. I wanted to help educate her on an issue that she had a difficult time understanding. She was too caught up in explaining herself and HER situation on MY post, that I found myself talking to a glistening brick wall.
That friendship is over but it doesn’t even surprise me because that woman is representative of so many White women.
And let’s not be silly here. Obviously there are White women who are incredible activists. These White women make it their business to be educated on issues facing other women of color. They share posts, jump in conversations, they listen and they march. I’m not talking about these White women.
But to my White sisters that have automatic blinders to issues facing me, my dark-skinned body and my dark skinned family, I’ve got an attiude with you and I hope that you do better in 2017. I hope this march dumped a bit more urgency and clarity as it relates to the isuses that face yes you, but women of color as well.
I hope that you start supporting us the same way we’ve supported you – even when we didn’t have a choice.
*I get it. This post may upset you. But before you roll up in my comments attacking me, please know that I will only post comments that provide conversation – even if it’s conversation that I may disagree with. A stream of curse words and all around craziness will be not be posted.