23 January 2017

Why my heart has shattered in 2017 #womensmarch

As a rule, I don't get political on my little blog. It has always been intended as a religion and political neutral zone that I can share what makes my soul happy. A little travel here, touching on a bit of history and a few tasty dishes there - some of the lighter things in life as a refuge for when the times get tough, hoping to make someone smile.

That's not to say I don't have opinions. I do.

President Trump Womens March 2017 Adventures of a London Kiwi

The American people and the US electoral college have officially appointed Donald Trump. It was almost impossible to miss the 45th US President's inauguration ceremony which has sparked international uproar. In response, 57 countries held Women's Marches this weekend as a reaction to the appointment and to defend the rights of the people it affects. From Washington DC all the way to Antarctica, an estimated 2.5 million men, women and children peacefully marched for every generation that could be affected by this change.

This is a man who has unequivocally demonstrated his disdainful attitude towards women, disabled people, homosexuals, racial minorities and immigrants. It isn't hearsay media spin, but caught on camera straight from his mouth and through his social media diatribes.

Real life in the 21st Century.

This man is now at the head of a key international culture that acts as a role model for 325 million people not only in his immediate nation but countless others globally. And this terrifies me. The problem isn't just what he is/isn't allowed to sanction officially through political channels, but the behavior and attitude ripples throughout society on less visible levels that will filter through and fall on victims.

In protest 100,000+ people marched here in London alone and I have never been prouder. Hear us roar.
  President Trump Womens March 2017 Adventures of a London Kiwi

As a female immigrant this touched my heart in ways I can't ever really express. As family and friend to people who fall into one, several or all of the above types of soul that he speaks and acts so vilely about, my heart has shattered.

New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to give women the vote, acknowledging that we are equals to our male counterparts - which is how society should be. They marched too and I am SO proud of this. All sexes have our weaknesses and strengths that play to our characters and chosen roles in society, but we should have the intrinsic right to be treated without discrimination. The choices individuals make from there on are theirs to live with the consequences. 

Our ancestors fought to be treated well and equally. Men and women have sacrificed their lives to ensure parity in so many areas of our society, to modernise outmoded and often incredulous schools of thought.

So why in 2017 did women globally feel the need to take up banners and stride the streets of the world en masse? Because this US figurehead has sanctioned barbaric attitudes of yesteryear towards half or more of the population. They marched on behalf of women, for the less-able, for the LGBTQI community, for racial minorities who fought so hard for the recognition that they too are equals and for immigrants who give back to the cultures that have welcomed them so far from home.

President Trump Womens March 2017 Adventures of a London Kiwi

Well done Donald Trump, you have created another generation of feminists who will fight your corruption on every level possible, even though all they want is a society where having to be a feminist isn't necessary. People should be able to live in a society where rights are equal and fair.They should expect basic human decency.

This is the 21st Century. Isn't it?

I wholeheartedly believe in the freedom of speech, when it doesn't hurt anyone else. I also wanted to post this after the weekend we have just experienced to keep the message alive and to temper my upset at what has happened - I'm also turning off the comments for this post. But nothing has been tempered. If anything I feel more strongly about this than ever before.

I am also full of hope.

If you agree, if you marched, if you watched him with horror as he verbally abused vulnerable members of society, I implore you to turn your energies towards positive action. Volunteering, education, supporting the arts, paying attention, donating, lobbying and above all else VOTING. If you don't have your say and raise your voice, nothing will change.

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