Of course there is a direct correlation between these two events. After eight years of the Obama administration in the United States, the country is going from a leader who seemed to value and protect the rights of not just women, but other minority groups to one that, well, seems to encourage sexism and objectification of women. Don't believe me? Well, here are just a prime example of a few things President Trump has been quoted as saying:
"If Hilary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy American?"
-Twitter, April 1, 2015
"Can you imagine that face next to our President? I mean, she's a women and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
-Remarks about Carly Fiorina, who was Trump's Republican Rival. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, he said 'Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?,' September , 2015
"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful...I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything...Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
-2005 clip, released in 2016 featuring unaired footage ahead of President Trumps appearance on US soap opera Days of Our Lives
"26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military - only 238 convictions. What did these genius expect when they put men & women together?"
-Twitter, May 7, 2013
"All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
-2004, interview with the Daily News
I could go on but I think we've all heard it more than enough in the last year. And, sadly, I'm sure we are going to hear a lot more in the next four years. Now, one has to be fair. The democratic process was, as best we know, followed in the election and Trump won. I know we can argue this fact, and probably will, for centuries to come but as it stands, the man won. I may not agree with Trump - his policies, his thoughts or his platform but he was elected and sworn in. As someone who respects the democratic process, I will recognize him as the 45th President of the United States and give him a chance.
I don't live in the United States. I was born and raised in Canada but even at a young age, I was very acutely aware of how much our neighbors to the south affect and influence our day to day lives up here. Don't kid yourselves - the political climate of the United States is like an overbearing parent to us here. While we are free to do and make our own choices, it often feels like our nation is looking up to and answering a little bit to 'mom and dad' down south. As we grow as a country, the influence seems less and less strong but trust me, it's always there.
I was very engrossed in this years Presidential election - more so than the previous. I'm sure that is due to a few things, but most strong among them are my age and my sex. Also, as a mother, I'm more aware of the world that I am raising my son in and I want to not only do right by him, but ensure the influences around him are positive and will build a strong foundation of acceptance. He is the future and it's my goal to show him there is no need to discriminate someone because they are different than you. I want to raise a man that is compassionate, understanding, accepting and respectful. I'm also not naive enough to think that my influence is the only one that will matter in his life. His friends, his father with whom I am separated from, teachers, my friends, partners that many come and go in my life, the news media and even politicians - these will all have an influence in my son's life and its my responsibility to give him a strong enough base to know the difference between right and wrong.
I suppose it's been bubbling over for a long time - the struggle of the old ways verse the new ways. The old ways of patriarchy and white male privilege verse the new ways of equality. In my eyes, the Obama Administration not just respected women, but elevated them. There seemed to be this universal sense that men and women can stand together, side by side and, really, just get shit done. Barrack Obama not just spoke lovingly about his wife Michelle and their two daughters Malia Ann and Sasha but showed the utmost respect, admiration and an amazing desire to see them all succeed. He led by example, showing that amazing things can happen when we work together and treat everyone with the same respect - regardless of gender.
So, back to the Women's March on Washington this past Saturday...I suppose we all have our own reasons for taking to the streets. What started as a movement to 'send a bold message to our new government on their first day office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending is all' has really really turned into so, so much more. Washington was crawling with people, in numbers greater than those who attended the swearing in of President Trump. But that's not all. Millions of people around the world got together to show their support of Women world wide and fuck me, it was a beautiful thing to see. Here in Winnipeg thousands of people flooded the downtown on a cold and damp January day to stand united in the understand that, yes indeed, women's rights are human rights. I was so proud and happy to see the outpouring of support that I shared a video on my Facebook wall Saturday of the march and stated the following in the post:
"This is one of the many, many reasons it rocks to be a women. We understand the need to build each other up and support each other in hard times. We may not always all get along, we may bitch and fight and scream but in the end we understand that you are nothing without your sisters."
What followed filled me with so much dread and hurt and frustration that I'm still trying to find the words to properly express it (I guess that's what I'm trying to do here). I had one white British male, I'm assuming near middle age state "yet all the ones interviewed have no idea why they are marching," and another white British male also chirp in with 'I wish they would have marched in support of women in Muslim countries many years ago, that would have been an awesome use of gender politics.'
Of course I broke the first rule of dealing with Internet trolls and responded, citing the Women's March on Washington's mandate and explaining why standing up for the rights of all is important and I was told to 'stop miswomenstanding' the real reasons that he provided for me that proved the march was a 'joke.' I was also told that I am a 'successful international female DJ - how on earth have you been marginalized by this supposed patriarchy?"
Woah, excuse me?
Okay, I'll be the first to admit it. I lead a pretty damn good life. I was raised in a home where we never feared that we'd not have a roof over our head or food on our table. Both my parents are accepting people who raised two girls with the notion that with hard work, we can achieve our goals. We were made to believe that our gender did not define us and that being a women was not a curse or something to be ashamed of. I had a good education, I went to University. My parents got me a car when I was in my early twenties and helped me burden the cost of my University education so I would not graduate in debt. I moved into my first apartment alone in my mid twenties in a relatively safe and beautiful downtown neighborhood. I had heat, running water, electricity and was able to keep my fridge and cupboards stocked at all times. I was able to land a good unionized Government job that, by LAW could not discriminate me based on my gender. I make the same as my male counterparts and have the same opportunities presented to me as presented to them and my gender has never ONCE been an issue in my place of work. I live in a beautiful two-bedroom apartment on the 10th floor of a lovely high-rise in the heart of Downtown Winnipeg. I own my car. I am able to provide a safe, loving, warm home for my son and know he will never worry if there will be food on the table or if we will have a roof over our head. I am able, every week, to go on the airwaves at UMFM with my show Punks in Parkas and not just play what music I want, but like my other show hosts, we are able to speak freely and openly on the air about our thoughts and ideas - we are not censored. I am able to rant on any subject I want wish on Maximum Rhythm and Booze, and at times, hold my two white male co-hosts accountable. I have a soap box and a bull horn and I can use both without fear of harm to me or my loved ones.
Call me crazy, but I think everyone deserves all the opportunities I have had... and more.
So why do I march?
- I march so my son can see that ones gender does not define what you can or cannot do
- I march because even with all these wonderful opportunities and situations I have been presented with over my lifetime so far, I have experienced physical and verbal assaults on my person, I have been disrespected and treated as an inferior due to my gender. I have been raped, beaten and berated by men. I have been told that I can't do things, I will not be able to live on my own and that I will fail without a man in my life beside me. If I, the possible example of female white privilege have experienced all these things and more, then I weep thinking what others who are less fortunate than I may have experienced
- I march because all women everywhere deserve the opportunity to say what they want, wear what they want and BE WHO THEY WANT without fear
- I march because it is so fucking important to stand up when we feel our rights are being violated
- I march because I am lucky enough to have a forum that reaches thousands and thousands of people and I believe that I should use that not just as a vessel to share great music, humor and news, but to hopefully draw a spotlight on plights that are REAL and PRESENT
- I march because remaining silent makes one complacent
- I march to lead by example for my son
- I march because I am a strong independent women and I will let NO ONE take that away from me
- I march because solidarity builds a strong movement. Even though I am not an American and things like my reproductive rights are not currently in danger, it is important to show a united front and send a strong message that shows these issues extend beyond one country but are world wide. Just because currently I am able to safely seek out an abortion in my country, does not mean that would always be the case and I love knowing that I would have the support of my sisters world wide if anything happened to change that
- I march because I love being a women and the fact that I wear dresses, make up and other 'girly things' should not devalue my input in any way. Change attitudes, not clothes
- I march because WE STILL HAVE TO PROTEST THIS FUCKING SHIT
You know, I used to shy away from the word Feminist for many reasons. Mainly because I was not confident that others would believe me if I said 'I'm a feminist' due to how I dress and present myself. I wear pretty dresses, I do my make up, I like looking 'feminine.' Screw that, no more will I shy away from that word.
I march because I am a feminist.