“Personally I came out to let him know that I’m still here.”
A day after Donald Trump’s inauguration day, a number of women (and men) came together to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. Yet the Women’s March wasn’t only concentrated to Washington, because protests were held in multiple cities across the US. Early estimates have the multiple protests numbering around 3.3 million!
One of those millions that participated in the protest on Washington was Stacy.
Stacy is a longtime friend of the site and more interesting, she refers to herself as “not being very political.” Yet she took a road trip with two friends from Boston to take part in the Women’s March on Washington. We had a chance to ask her about the experience and why a self-proclaimed “non-political person” would want to take a weekend out of her busy schedule to go march on the streets of Washington DC?
[Note: Our EC Sumantra conducted the interview, so at times Stacey referred to The Post Turtle as “you” since it was a fairly casual conversation.]
The Post Turtle: So for the record, before we get into your experiences at the Women’s March, can you tell our readers your usual involvement in politics.
Stacey: [Laughs] As you know, I’m not a very “political person.” While I do follow the news and would consider myself to be generally well informed, I’m not one of those people who goes and works for a campaign or goes to protest rallies or anything like that.
TPT: So what made you decide to be a part of the Women’s March on Washington?
S: Well, two of my friends from work roped me into attending. Also Donald Trump becoming president played a big part. [Laughs]
TPT: Really? You oppose the Donald Trump presidency that much?
S: Ok, I wouldn’t say I oppose Donald Trump being president, because I sincerely hope he surprises all of us and ends being a great president. And while I definitely didn’t vote for him, I want him to succeed because I think that would be best for the US.
TPT: So why did you march then?
S: Personally I came out to let him know that I’m still here. For a while know, especially during the campaign, I felt he was particularly nasty to Hillary [Clinton]. Especially if you consider some of the stories being told on the news and that Access Hollywood tape. It just seems like he doesn’t respect women as human beings and that worries me because there are issues that are really important to me that I worry [Trump] just doesn’t understand.
Over the last few months, I just felt like those issues weren’t necessarily being considered by Trump. Things like maternity leave or equal pay or woman’s health are important issues to an entire gender. I can’t speak for everyone who marched, but for me it was kind of a release. Because by marching, in my own weird way, I felt like I was telling him directly, “no, these are issues that I care about and you have to pay attention to them!”
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) January 24, 2017
TPT: So how was your first political protest? Was it everything you hoped for? [Laughs]
S: It was actually really cool! Honestly, I was expecting it to be something very different.
TPT: How so?
S: Just from how the political protests you see on TV, they look to be more aggressive and angry. But [the Woman’s March on Washington] had this amazing vibe to it! Everybody at the march was super nice and incredibly respectful. There was this vibe of positivity about the march that I was amazed by.
TPT: Yeah, media coverage in general has revolved around how positive the Women’s March was.
S: Yes! It was an incredible feeling seeing everyone being super peaceful and coming together in unity. But there is one aspect about that I felt the media was off about.
TPT: What was that?
S: That it wasn’t only about women. At the event, I saw all types of different age groups, races, sexual orientations, and there were quite a few men marching! Like I was very common to see a young family marching along with their 6-year-old child who was holding up a sign. And I realize that it was advertised as a “woman’s march”, but the different types of people that were there was really inspiring.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) January 24, 2017
TPT: What do you think critics of the Woman’s March don’t get?
S: Personally [the march] isn’t about me being sour that Donald Trump won, but more about trying to get [Trump] to understand that there are these group of people that matter. I felt throughout his campaign he ignored that group. Marching was my way of just letting him know that there are people here and that he can’t just push us aside and ignore us.
TPT: Has going to this march awakened the political activist in you?
S: [Laughs] While I had an amazing time at the Woman’s March, I honestly don’t know if protesting would be my new thing. But I’ve been thinking of becoming more politically active in other ways, like volunteering for a political candidate in the next election wouldn’t be out of the question. Also it made me think of donating and volunteering to charities that would be affected by Donald Trump being president. Will definitely be doing some of that!
TPT: Any final takeaways from the experience?
S: As a society we’re pretty connected due to our smart phones and social media feeds. Yet this past election made me feel that I was alone with my frustrations and fears. The Women’s March on Washington this weekend had a big effect on me, in that, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this. And for that I’m thankful that I attended.
(Photo Credit: Women’s March on Washington Official Site)