So Donald Trump has just become the 45th President of the United States of America and some may — and do — wonder why a 30-year-old white Australian woman of healthy privilege would choose to march in protest of a man who technically has no direct political influence over her (again, *very privileged*) life.
The thought strays into my own mind in the guise of permission: ‘am I ALLOWED / WORTHY to protest when I’m a safe, straight, able, educated woman with a myriad of possibility and opportunity in my life? I don’t have anything to complain about — right?!
(Let’s leave the “complaints” ie. “socially accepted patriarchal conditioning” for another day…)
BUT MY PRIVILEGE IS EXACTLY THE REASON WHY I MARCHED TODAY.
BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY WHO AREN’T AS PRIVILEGED AS I.
There are my beautiful girlfriends who have been sexually assaulted and raped: smart, strong, capable women don’t feel comfortable speaking out against the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who has not only said it’s totally cool to grab women by the pussy, but has been the recipient of numerous sexual assault claims.
There’s my brother, who with a severe disability can’t speak out against the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who has publicly, revoltingly tormented the disabled.
There’s my sister, who is unable to legally marry (if she so chose to) her beautiful partner — and while the now PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vehemently opposes marriage equality, what chance does Australia have of finally making this (embarrassingly overdue) change?
There’s women who live in the quarter of the world who aren’t free to access safe, legal reproductive solutions — well, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has promised to defund Planned Parenthood. You know what? I’ve aborted a pregnancy. News flash: a vast majority of my female mates have, at some point in their lives, chosen also to not become a mother, all without (as Trump has put it) “some form of punishment” handed down to us.
There are those whose families are now threatened because of the colour of their skin, the God they worship, the place they came into this world. And let’s not forget his position on climate change. Regardless of privilege or where you live in the world, I’m sorry — you’re not escaping that bad boy. It’s naive to think that the rest of the world isn’t influenced by American politics; we’re a global community in 2017.
So yeah. I am privileged. And no, I’m not an American citizen. But I’m a global citizen with a voice and a sense of what is right and wrong. And this isn’t the time to just accept things and move on. It’s the time to speak up, to support, to love, to be kind and to be strong, together — particularly those of us who are privileged to do so.
You can download the audio version of this blog post here or listen below.