To those mocking the thousands of women who marched last Saturday, calling them snowflakes, whiners and liberals, let’s get something straight— you’ve got your metaphors all mixed up.
A month ago I moved with my family from Connecticut to Switzerland. Though I don’t identify myself as Democrat or Republican (I’m an independent,) I wish I could have marched last Saturday. Instead, I watched from far away as millions of American women peacefully united in towns and cities across my home country, protesting a president who has uttered, tweeted, and done things to women that cannot be quietly blown away, like a snowflake.
The problem with the metaphor is this— snowflakes are delicate. They melt or drift off in the wind. If a snowflake were a woman, she wouldn’t be caught dead in a bright pink handmade hat. A snowflake would stay far from anything that might tarnish her carefully designed exterior. She might look pretty, but she’d flitter off, forgetting the words Trump has used to describe women like “fat pig, bitch, dog, slob, disgusting animal” and “a piece of ass.” A snowflake would fly off the handle if asked the tiniest question about her ethics, her beliefs. And of course, a snowflake would melt under pressure.
A snowflake would tweet an accusation. She’d bring up Hillary Clinton if she were asked to speak about any issue that she couldn’t find an answer for. Furthermore, she’d blame Hillary for her husband’s behavior, for not divorcing him, for everything negative about women, around the world, since Eve came along and ruined poor Adam. A snowflake would say that all news, that my words, that any story not fitting into her intricate web of illusions is a lie— because that’s what snowflakes must do to stay cold and afloat. They pump themselves up to look exceptional, even though they’re made of very little. Snowflakes must stay off the ground, just above everyone, sometimes even riding about towers, often far away in a tweet, refusing to take questions and answer questions because the truth will break them.
Snowflakes don’t knit hats. They don’t trudge out of their busy lives, take to cold streets, squint in the pouring rain, button up in the freezing temperatures— to whine. Snowflakes don’t talk much actually. No. They don’t talk about unsavory topics that they’ve been dodging their whole lives: they don’t utter words used to cut them, to blunt them, to dismiss them, like nasty, cunt, vagina, and rape. They don’t talk about their own rape, their own assault, their own experiences being minimized in the workplace, being marginalized by men grabbing crotches, men telling them what to do inside of their own bodies.
Snowflakes don’t travel in packed, uncomfortable crowds, pouring out onto the streets, raising their voices peacefully simply to reaffirm to the world that women are strong and equal and will not be controlled and minimized and qualified by whether or how much they please their husbands. Snowflakes don’t demand equality, freedom of speech, freedom of choice regardless of what political party “wins.”
So when we talk about Saturday’s marchers, let’s be a bit more specific. The women I know who marched were teachers, doctors, social workers, writers, artists and lawyers. They were cancer survivors, rape victims, mothers of the disabled. They were working moms, stressed-out moms, moms of toddlers, single moms, moms of children in the military. They were government officials. They were the wealthy, the middle class and they were the poor. They were Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists.
They were not snowflakes. They were not simply liberals. They were not whiners.
They were women standing, walking, marching, saying no, loud and clear to a president who has assaulted them with words, a president who tweeted that sexual assault was expected in the military, a president who bragged about grabbing a woman by the pussy because he’s a star.
Go on. Say you’re a woman, but you don’t stand with those marchers. You don’t mind any of these things said by our new president. You don’t mind. You just let it go…
But at least consider engaging with the women who do mind. Both “sides” can listen and respond rather than competing. All women can end the name calling, the “I work my butt off” pride statements. The “you’re just a really bad loser” comments we’ve learned from our fourth graders. Forget the “I’m not a snowflake whiner like them” talk. It’s so— grammatically and existentially incorrect. How about if we move forward instead? Let’s admit that we’re all imperfect women. We can work toward something better than being identified as snowflake cunt bitch nasty women. Can’t we?
Those marchers were descendants of the women who fought for you and for me. They weren’t snowflakes. They were the faces of diversity, freedom and of American courage to fight peacefully for democracy, for decency, for all women.