Sunday, January 22, 2017

A letter of apology to my mother #womensmarch

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry. First of all, I'm sorry we didn't join the marches yesterday. You could have come here to Philly, I could have gone to you in NYC, or we could have met in my old stomping grounds in D.C. It seems like we missed a historical moment, and I'm struggling with the reasons why.

Chicago Tribune
When I first heard about the organization of the marches, it was immediately after the election. I started receiving invitations on Facebook for the group "Pantsuit Nation" and the event "Women's March on Washington, January 21." I saw friends posting about their knitted pussy hats and what they were working on for the March. People started sharing places to stay, and organizing bus trips.

And it all made me angry. And more depressed.

I was angry that there wasn't this much chatter before the election. I was frustrated that I was afraid to wear my Hillary shirts and merchandise. I was feeling so alone in all of my posts on social media about Hillary, and in my discussions with my peers in the last year. I had to convince many of them to give Hillary a chance. I had to talk my way into a few votes, or at least an understanding of why I was excited to vote for Hillary.

And NO, not because she was a woman.

You and I both know, I do not need to go into her level of experience and expertise, or her smarts, to know that she would have gotten the job done. That she was vilified like no old white man ever has been on the Hill, or ever will be. That the level of celebrity that had reached politics had only put all women in the category of "Kardashian" rather than "Albright." That she was facing an uphill battle no matter which direction she took.

I started to keep quiet since the election. I tried to let it go. We tried to retreat together, and to lick our wounds in private. The burgeoning excitement over a march was, to me, unproductive. Where were you on election day. Will you still be here in two years, in four years, when we need your vote. Do you want to get together on the Mall to take a selfie and prove you care? Or do you want to alleviate the guilt you feel for not doing something more, sooner.

Because for all I did, which was, only discussion, donation - in person, on social media - I do, indeed, feel like I did not do enough. I should have proudly worn my shirt at my children's school and at their soccer games, regardless of what anger or prejudice it might have engendered. I did shy away from the manufactured controversy, when it came to my kids. So I do feel guilty for that. I feel like we let your generation down. That in 'trying to do it all', we are letting go of the power that got us here - your power, your fights, your protests, and your passion.

We take it for granted. And by not showing our children, we are insuring that they take it for granted.

Well, my generation has let you down. And I'm so, so sorry.

So I wished we had organized our family: you, me, and the mother of my nephews, to head to D.C. yesterday.

It wouldn't prove anything, or solve anything. It would have just made us feel... less lonely.

And I think that's what you, your generation, and frankly, me and mine, needs most right now.

I love you,
Ash


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