Last weekend I, along with almost 3 million people, participated in what has become the largest protest in US History. We were joined by supporters in the UK, Italy, and even Antarctica! Shortly after participating I posted a piece on my blog showcasing my friends and why they marched. Their answers were as diverse as they are and I’m so glad I was able to tell their stories. 

Soon after I returned from the march I realized many of my friends, who did not support the march, became very vocal on their views. I also noticed arguments starting. These arguments included people I thought would be the last to join in. Granted, I feel for many I’m the last person they thought would instigate political debates online. My point is, this heightened tension among “opposite parties” is caused by one thing, misconception. Well, I think it is. I think there’s misconception from all sides why the other side is taking the actions that they are. Additionally, I feel a lot of my personal frustration comes from feelings of being attacked by the “other side” and being misrepresented and underrepresented in certain groups I personally associate with. This is probably a misconception on my part. From my observations, those who did not attend and those who did not support the march feel the same way.

Earlier this week I shared the stories of those who marched, and today I share the stories of those who did not. Some physically could not march due to sickness or working multiple jobs, most simply did not support it. What is not simple are their reasons. Though I don’t necessarily share their views I do respect these people and I personally strive to be a source of quality information for all.


“I did not march because it seemed a truly fruitless activity as far as accomplishing anything or affecting any change.

Also, it seems it was more reactionary than proactive.
In that sense, it may be beneficial to the marchers in that it creates a feeling of solidarity, or purpose, but it didn’t actually DO anything.

So. It made some people FEEL good (a vent to their frustrations) but didn’t really accomplish anything.

And there is nothing wrong with that, I’m not anti-marching, but why participate as a reaction of frustration instead of actually DOING something about it?”

-Brooke, Oceanside


“To put it succinctly, I didn’t march because it’s nobody’s business who I voted for, or which way I lean politically.  Our generation has turned social media into a shouting match of “I’m right and you’re wrong” politics, instead of seeing things in the million shades of grey that actually exist.

I didn’t march because I feel so incredibly free and blessed beyond measure, especially when compared to the rest of the world, and I observed that many people were using this march as a chance to hate on one particular human being, rather than an organized demonstration to achieve a common goal (i.e. pass a specific bill or raise awareness for a disease, etc.).
I didn’t march because frankly, none of us are perfect.  It saddens me that people on both sides of the aisle seem to throw down a gauntlet, deleting friends and burning bridges over who you voted for, rather than engaging in thoughtful discussion, or even trying to understand the arguments of the other side.
I didn’t march, because my womanhood is defined by one person – ME.  It is not dependent on the men on my life, and least of all by who the president happens to be for this short period of time in my life.  It’s also not dependent on the approval of other women, many of whom pass judgement so easily while preaching tolerance.
Most of all, I didn’t march because I see our gender and our generation trending towards using a common hatred to unify, instead of saying “I love you anyway” to people that differ in opinion.  You cannot preach tolerance and love for all, while carrying signs of hate.”
-Lauren, Vista

I felt the overwhelming political views on some key points didn’t reflect my own. I felt very much outside this rally of “solidarity.” I felt like the “cool” girls in school mistakenly thought they represented all girls, when in fact they were just the loudest, albeit homogenized group. I think they felt they were representing all women, but aside from my gender, I couldn’t have felt more like an outsider to their cause, mostly because of the reasons Brooke listed above, but also because of my stance on issues like abortion and gay marriage.

-Lindsey, Oceanside

“The short answer to your question, “Why did I not March?” Is that it is tax season, I am a Tax Preparer and I had to work.

The “real” answer is that I felt like I did not quite fit in.  My Aunt and cousin, “crazy, loud, insulting everyone except for Democrats” Democrats, were flying to DC to March as anti-Trump protesters, of which I am not.  My daughters(both moms of girls) flew to Chicago and marched there.  They marched to be a part of history as well as to preserve women’s rights for their daughters.  My daughters both identify as Democrats, but not “in-your-face” followers of politics.

I certainly believe in equal rights for women, but I also believe that the political process was followed in the 2016 election, Trump won and now we should band together as Americans and give him the chance to lead.  The people who are upset and violent because Hillary lost are the ones who were warning Trump that he had better respect the American political process – they just did not expect her to lose.  I am a moderate Republican who just wanted a change from the baloney-as-usual, career politicians and more of the same.  I believe that Trump will not want to be shamed or to fail (being the narcissist that he is) and I do think he will be results-oriented and that things will change.  I like that he believes in a strong military and treating veterans correctly and with dignity.  Do I like his derogatory comments about other races, religions or women?  Absolutely not.  I wish that he would learn when to stop talking, but I like that he has children who are contributing members of society and I am happy that he is a businessman first and a politician second.

I have to roll my eyes when I hear that people are crying and pessimistic about the next four or eight years.  Get a life – we still live in the greatest country on the world and most of us can find lots to be thankful for and grateful about.  I do wish that we would help the homeless, hungry Americans instead of sending so much money overseas.

I have not decided how I am going to get involved to affect change, and I do believe that one can’t sit and complain unless one takes action to get involved in the process.  I am 56 years old, and my fist step is completing my college degree (of which I am in the process of doing) so that I have more credibility and validation.  Past that …stay tuned!!”

-Laureen, Oceanside

“I had sinus surgery the day before. I didn’t have a pink hat. I would have gone though.

Before I was pregnant with my son, I had been pregnant once before, and had a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks. Had a d&c and joined the “miscarriage club-the club no one wants to belong to.” 6 weeks later I was pregnant again, and had Matt on 1/21/00, after a 36 week high-risk pregnancy.Not only is miscarriage rarely discussed, it can feel quite shameful to endure. My body for some reason was unable to do this thing that is supposed to be so easy. And then, I walked around for three weeks carrying a dead fetus while my body pretended it was still pregnant.

In the years since my son was born, I have followed the abortion and miscarriage bills that have been written, some passed into law. Miscarriage (and particularly missed miscarriage) can be treated as suspect, as if the mother was secretly trying to get away with having an abortion. It is the termination of a pregnancy, even if the pregnancy isn’t viable. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, and my husband’s life as well.

The d&c was a decision made by the two of us, and our pro-life OB, not by a legislator. I didn’t have additional internal ultrasounds, we didn’t have to see photos the size of our dead little one and what his/her development would be at 11 weeks, have a funeral, pay for cremation, or have to name the baby, as have been written into bills since 2000. We live in a large metro community, so finding a surgery center that was within a few miles of a major hospital was not a problem, like it would be had I lived in, say, rural Texas.

I write letters, I make phone calls, I share on social media when a new bill designed to shame women for terminating a pregnancy is being presented. I vote, and I support those who marched.”

-Kristine, San Diego

“I didn’t march because I didn’t think there was a coherent message and I think it is pointless in general. I would have marched to protect abortion rights. But this march was more anti-trump than anything. That’s at least all I saw on the picket signs and facebook posts. The whole thing also made me uncomfortable in a way, like if I would have felt like a spoiled brat if I had marched (not saying people that marched are, this is personal). Just because the general message as I understood it was “women are oppressed in America and it’s Trump’s fault and he will make it worse”. I don’t agree with that one bit. I don’t feel oppressed at all and whereas of course I see sexism and discrimination happen here and there, I don’t think it is a huge issue in America and I think many times men also get the shorter end of the stick. At least in this country rapists go to jail for many years (usually), it’s not like that in many other parts of the world (including Sweden). What made me uncomfortable about the whole thing, is that here we are, spending so much effort, time and money protesting being oppressed, when there are so many people around the world that are truly oppressed. There are villages in Asia where 90ish % of little girls are sold into sex trafficking. There are countries where women truly are second class citizens, treated like material/property and have no freedoms, are forced to walk around in bags. Places were women get raped and the police turn the other way or they even get punished for it. And here we are, complaining that WE are oppressed and complaining about a man, who got elected through the means of democracy, before even giving him a chance.

If the message of the march was to demand that we help those other women in the world that are truly oppressed I would have marched. I would have marched about a specific issue that I agree with too and I felt was threatened -abortion rights. But I didn’t feel like the march was necessarily about either of these things (although for some it was about abortion).
So instead of marching I stayed in and spent my time working all weekend, so I can donate money to a charity that fights sex-trafficking of girls in India/Nepal (https://www.facebook.com/lovehopesweden/?pnref=lhc). That’s my attempt at fighting for women. I’m happy so many both men and women are ready to fight as the marches showed. I wish we could all unite like this for the little girls (and boys) that are truly living in terror.”
-Therese

“As a communications person, my disappointment with the march was its lack of cohesive message. I have friends from many different states marching, and their signs (and the values I’ve known them to have – both conservative and liberal) all say different things. The main thing that caused me concern was that I was told it was funded by Planned Parenthood, and I read a number of articles that stated that pro-life marchers were asked to leave. As a pro-lifer, I can’t stand for that. I wish the message had been clearer because, as a fellow woman, I’m sure there are some reasons for me to stand with them.”
-Amy

“I didn’t march because I had to go straight from one job in the morning to another in the afternoon. But (surprisingly) there was actually a march taking place in my city (Managua, Nicaragua) and I really wish I’d been able to go. It’s so encouraging to see women and men all over the world standing together and saying, “This isn’t right.” Even if it doesn’t accomplish anything in the moment, I think it’s important to make our voices heard.”

-Lanae, Managua


“I was confused on the message and thought its’ focus was solely on getting Trump out of the Oval Office. I saw no cohesive message and this whole Nasty Woman poem and signs, I just didn’t get (still don’t). Thankfully I don’t feel oppressed but grateful for the life and opportunity I have, which only means I put my time, effort, money and support into other areas of concern. Mental health reform, poverty, our broken school system, prison reform, children’s cancer research and care, my church, and the Red Cross, among others. There are so many issues in America and the world that need our attention, it’s difficult to do it all. And so I chose to be with my family because I often feel guilty that these other causes take me away from them. And yet I’m proud to be a woman in America where I can vote, get an education, be a dual income family and have an amazing support system that allows me to get out there and make the difference that feels right in my heart and what I feel God has called me to do. For I give Him all glory and am thankful I can give back in His holy name. I also didn’t feel I would be safe and that’s solely based on how protests have been over the last year or so and how peaceful marches have turned into riots and just some terrible behavior. Seeing the destruction in DC on Inauguration Day was enough to say maybe it won’t be safe.”

-Jaime


“I didn’t march because I don’t feel there are any threats for women under the Trump administration. There were many Pro-abortion groups represented who did not allow pro-life sponsorship so I would not have been welcomed. I heard it was about women’s equality but I didn’t understand what rights the marchers felt they were losing. I felt there was a lot of anger and hostility against some of the conservative values I hold so I would not have been comfortable with what was being protested.”

-Aleesha


“Instead of marching, I took care of my 2 adopted, drug-exposed children, with all of their challenges. And then my husband and I worked on a program we have started at our church called “Feed, Read, Exceed” with which we and our church family are pouring exorbitant time and resources into the 5 closest elementary schools around us that serve low income, at risk families. THAT is what we are doing to help women and girls. And we know a tone of fellow Christians who are doing similar things to help be a solution NOT just a complainer. Single moms. Sex trafficking victims. Foster youth. There is not shortage of people that need our help . And no amount of marching is going to help them. For that matter, government funding isn’t going to solve their problems. But WE are attacking our city with passion and conviction that WE can make a difference in lowering negative statistics.

And that is what really bugs me about the March this weekend. So many complainers, so few doers. Maybe you ladies are, but all of the Facebook posts I’ve seen, most of the marchers that I know spend far more time talking and Facebook posting than doing anything to help.”

-Rachel


If you didn’t march this past weekend and did not support the march, let me know your reasons in the comments. Don’t forget to read my post showcasing people who participated in the Women’s March and their reasons for doing so