I have seen a few posts (some even from people I count as friends) who didn’t understand what the big deal was about the women’s march. My knee-jerk reaction was to explain why the march was important, but so many other people have done it so much more eloquently than I could, and if that didn’t sway people, my words are unlikely to.
The truth is, I hope all my friends never have to experience the oppression that made that beautiful international march necessary. This is my letter to those who can’t fathom why the march resonated with so many of us.
I hope you never know.
I hope you never know what it’s like to be turned down for a job that you are qualified for because you aren’t the right color.
I hope you never know what it’s like to make less than the college boy working beside you, doing the same job.
I hope you never know what it’s like to quit a job because the manager hits on you, even though you are only 15 and he is in his thirties, because your mother says it’s not a fight you can ever win.
I hope you never are afraid to smile back at someone, or make small talk with the person standing next to you in line, because you don’t want to lead them on. I hope you never know the results of scorning the wrong man.
I hope you are never decide to stay home because your neighborhood scares you after dark.
I hope no one ever tells you that the man who held you down and kissed you while you struggled to free yourself wasn’t a bad person and doesn’t deserve a record.
I hope no one screams FAG out the window when you are walking down the street.
I hope you never are in a position where you can’t afford medical treatment, or have to choose between medication and food.
I hope you never have to wheel yourself at the side of the road, because there is no curb cut for your wheelchair to reach the sidewalk.
I want all of us to have that ignorance, too.
If you never have a car following you while you walk your dog, then we all win.
If you don’t have to answer questions about child care in a job interview, I’m glad for you. I hope you still get the job, even though you have children.
If you currently have access to prenatal care and birth control and the right to make decisions about your body, I’m happy for you.
I don’t want you to lose the privileges you have. I just want everyone else to have the same privileges.
I want a world where my children never know about the ignorance that exists in the world today. And until that world exists, I hope people keep on marching, and calling representatives, and donating to causes that fight for the people who know all too well the other side.
If you don’t believe in the fight to make the world a better place, I will fight on your behalf, because I know it is necessary, not just for women, or people of color, or the disabled, but for all of us.