Thoughts on Anti-Trump Protesting and (White) Feminism

So I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the Women’s March, and I haven’t really known how to respond. I mean, it went well! I was anxious about how my fellow marchers would respond if encountered by Donald “We need global warming” Trump supporters, but for all the MAGA hats I saw, I didn’t see a single confrontation. And what we accomplished was insane, I have never in my life seen a crowd that big. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, imagine the mass of people trying to cram onto the Navy Yard metro after a Nationals game. And then multiply that by ten. And then immediately stop picturing that because it’s making even me claustrophobic, and I was there. But all day, something wasn’t sitting quite right with me, and I’m only just figuring out what it was.

The March was organized by women of color, and the rhetoric of the official march materials was very inclusive. However, the face of the march, at least the one the media depicted, was that of white women. The popular rhetoric of these marchers prioritized reproductive rights, sexual assault, and the way in which our society regards women (oftentimes by using vagina imagery which – yeah, can be really empowering! But not all women have vaginas guys). These are important issues, obviously. They’re issues that affect me directly, ones that I consider every day. They’re not, however, the only threats posed by Donald “We need global warming” Trump’s administration, nor arguably the most threatening, and this vagina-centric rhetoric and Instagram photo-op spirit in many ways drowned out the voices of the women who organized it. Donald “We need global warming” Trump’s administration makes me fear for myself, but not as much as I fear for the immigrants and Muslims and people of color that Donald “We need global warming” Trump has given white Americans permission to bully. Not as much as I fear for the LGBT community that have to live with a Vice President that believes in torturing the very nature out of them. Not as much as I fear for future generations that will be cleaning up the mess left behind by a president who refuses to acknowledge scientific fact. These are all issues I saw reflected at the march, but only in the periphery. And I know that the reason for that is that of all the groups marginalized by the rhetoric of Donald “We need global warming” Trump and his supporters, white women wield the most social power (if you doubt me, think about how revelous the atmosphere was in comparison to other protests). And we have a responsibility to use that power to ensure that our issues aren’t made out to be more important than others. If we fall into the trap of branding ourselves as THE victims, we aid in the marginalization of other groups, and provide those in power with the opportunity to “redeem” themselves by supporting us and no one else.

I’m not saying the Women’s March wasn’t important or productive, because it absolutely was. I’m not saying I don’t cherish my pussy hat, because I’m kinda in love with it. But we can do better. We should do better. And if we can’t be critical of how we wield our own privilege and be careful not to let our voices become the dominant ones, we’re not the people we claim to be.

 

 

On a related note, if you want to learn more about how to take action in the wake of our first step, consider participating in the Women’s March’s 10 Actions/100 Days campaign. More information at https://www.womensmarch.com/100/

Hannah waxes philosophical with regard to your vote

Ok I know I’ve posted on here all of once, so don’t get used to being able to find my deepest thoughts on here. However, I’m stuck in this position right now where I have a desperate need to share my opinion, but I’m not crazy about getting political on Facebook. So, on the day before the 2016 Presidential Election, here I am, sharing my views publicly and removing them only slightly from Facebook.

It was my dad’s idea. 

So, without further ado, my thoughts on tomorrow’s election.

Everyone reserves the constitutional right to do whatever they want with their vote. You can vote Democrat, Republican, or third party. You can trade your vote, sell your vote, or not vote at all. I respect that.

However, in turn, I ask that if you’re choosing to do anything with your vote other than vote for Hillary Clinton, you acknowledge that on some level, you know you don’t have a lot to fear from a Donald “My I.Q. is one of the highest” Trump presidency. Even if you dislike him, you can confidently say that Donald “My I.Q. is one of the highest” Trump being in office doesn’t pose a legitimate threat to your safety and well-being.

Not everyone can say that.

I understand disliking Clinton, I’m not her biggest fan either, but voting third party or not voting is a luxury that is indicative of a position of incredible privilege. I’m far to terrified of Donald “My I.Q. is one of the highest” Trump to use my vote for anything other than backing the best chance there is at defeating him, and I’m saying that as a financially stable, cisgendered, secular white woman.

I’m not going to criticize you for exercising your constitutional right. It’s the diversity in political opinions that keeps us all in check. I just beg that when you vote (or abstain from voting), you keep your privilege in mind.

Let’s talk about concerts

Let’s talk about concerts.

I’m writing this as I stress over several things (including but not limited to: my Digital Studies presentation, how the hell I’m getting home tomorrow, how inhibiting my current illness is going to be, the outcome of Super Tuesday) one of which is whether or not I’m going to be able to make it to the Metric show at the Fillmore two weeks from now. My dad Facebook messaged me a link to the tickets last night, reminding me that I still have no clue how I’m going to make it work. All of this concert induced stress has me thinking now: was it always this difficult?

I remember a time, just a few years ago, where it certainly wasn’t. There was a show I really wanted to go to? Family field trip! As I got a bit older, my dad regularly volunteered himself to be the grown-up chaperon for my merry band of less-emo than we thought we were friends (as long as the concert wasn’t on a school night). We eventually graduated to a hands-off drop off and pick up behind our club of choice. Concert tickets were birthday and Christmas presents, or a generous favor.

At some point though, I became an adult. A woman with a 9:30 Club Friends With Benefits membership who knows where her metro card is at all times. I thought this would make it easier. I was wrong. Getting to shows became an expensive ordeal.

Last July, me and two of my co-workers decided about six hours before a sold-out Taylor Swift show that we were going to go. Addie pulled out her tablet and I pulled out my debit card in the camp “office” (relatively spacious closet) while the 15 year-old volunteers managed 30 screaming campers and spent several hundred dollars on pretty bad seats (3 tickets x $120 a ticket + processing fees; don’t worry, they paid their share back to me). We took the metro downtown and couldn’t really see the stage, but the thing was, it was totally worth it.

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Chloe and I at DC101’s holiday show
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Emily (left), Addie (right), and me at Nats Park to see T-Swift

In December, My friend Chloe and I discovered the line-up for DC101’s holiday show (lineup: The Struts, New Politics, Bastille, AWOLNation, Fall Out Boy). Still riding the high from when I MET New Politics the year before, and kind of hating myself for never having seen Fall Out Boy live, I decided we had to attend. The tickets themselves weren’t that expensive ($40 a piece for THAT lineup? easy), but the show was at GMU and we were stuck down in Fredericksburg without a car. Despite hoping for an alternative right up to the day of the show, we ending up taking an Uber. About 60 miles. It wasn’t cheap. We crashed the night at her mom’s house and Uber-ed back the next day. In traffic. We spent an unspeakable amount of money on those Uber rides – but I wouldn’t trade that night’s experience for anything.

Why? Why am I content to put myself through this stress to my psyche and my bank account. I question it a lot; growing up, I went to see my dad and his friends play live all the time at no charge to myself. It doesn’t make sense that I make such a big deal out of these shows, but I do. And I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon.

On March 13th Metric is playing at the Fillmore Silver Spring. It’s a Sunday night, the weekend AFTER I return to school from Spring break. I don’t know how I’ll get there, if I’ll spend the night up in MoCo and skip Monday classes or try to make it back that night, or if I’m financially stable enough to buy the $30 tickets. But I’m gonna try to pull it off.