What I Saw at the Women's Day March

I did not vote for Donald Trump and I was just as dismayed as the rest of the Clinton voting block when he won the election in November. Around a month ago, I became aware of the marches and rallies that were happening around the world to protest his inauguration. I was thrilled.

 

When I left my house for the women’s march on Saturday, January 21, I was filled with enthusiasm. I was expecting to see righteous indignation every stripe. What I witnessed, instead, reminded me of why Donald Trump won.

 

As I stepped onto the street a few blocks from the rally, I nearly ran into a throng of pink-pussy hat wearing women as they walked arm and arm. As I saw them loosen their hold on each other, I was able to see the reason. They were stepping around homeless men who were pan-handling in the street. As I walked around downtown, I saw this happen repeatedly. I saw tent cities of the homeless being treated as Untouchables.

 

When I stopped to speak to one of the homeless men and take his portrait, I watched as the Jimmy Choo-wearing, Instagramming, boho protestors avoided me as if I were wearing a scarlet letter.

 

My friends often remark how comfortable I must be in California, such a font of “liberal thought.” I often chuckle and respond that everyone out here is liberal until they are asked to make a personal sacrifice, like paying a higher tax rate so as to support social programs – or a personal sacrifice such as helping a homeless man on the street. Progressivism requires personal sacrifice, a collective effort to better the world in which we live no matter what social caste we come from.

 

Protests are important and the women’s rally was certainly a good first step in protesting the new President. But after witnessing the ignored hardship of so many homeless who were often standing next to the rally, I began to wonder if this was a superficial level of commitment. I hope it was not.

 

When I returned home I became aware that women’s groups had been excluded from the rally if they were not pro-choice. A true social movement should be inclusive, even if there are disagreements in the ranks.

 

I saw a lot of good spirited chanting, clever posters, and incredibly ornate outfits at the women’s rally. I saw a lot of people making promises that they would protest every action that our new President takes.  But when it came to tangible action – what I saw at the women’s rally did not fill me with hope. I was only reminded of why most of the nation sat on their couch and did not vote in November. 

Welcome

Dec. 4, 2016

This is a work in progress. Rather than present fully- realized photo series, I have opted for a compendium of what I think are some of my better photos. More work will be added in the comings weeks, as the kinks are ironed out.

 I'm hoping that the blog section will serve as a way for me to ramble, vent, and generally write up what I am working on.  

More anon. 

-J