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Marching for the Future #WomansMarchOnWashington

Yesterday, my alarm woke me at 6:30 a.m. Usually, weekend mornings are reserved for getting up naturally, sans-alarms (okay, who am I kidding – I wake when my seven-year-old wakes up unless my husband’s home, in which case I sleep as late as possible).

But I woke, because I was marching for the future!

Excited and nervous, I kissed my family goodbye, made sure to say an extra “I love you” (because cray cray people be armed) and headed to the DC metro station to meet my friend Wendy, who read in the same Listen to Your Mother show I did.

Funny that we all finally got around to marching after Trump called for us to do back when Obama was elected.

Sign courtesy of my friend Emily of Em-i-Lis. The other side of it:

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the realDonald has changed his mind since Tweeting that in 2012.

Full of excitement and anxiety, it wasn’t until the Uber driver and I paused for gigantic crowds entering the station that I told him I was going to the march.

“You’re the third person I’ve taken this morning,” he said. “The Vienna metro has no parking left. My family came to America for freedom. My sister will be there,” he said.

“Where are you from?”

“It’s of no matter,” he said. “You are here. Do this America march.” Of course I cried.

I wish I’d gotten more of his story.

You guys, the metro was busier than I’ve ever seen it. People stood outside handing out free water and Hershey’s Kisses.

Inside, the station was packed, as was each station we passed. Some held signs up to the windows, others waved. The excitement was electric.

Bodies pressed on each of us from all sides. There was nothing left to hang onto but random seats and people. The seat my hand held onto was of a woman and daughter who’d ridden a bus from Memphis, TN all night long to be there. A gay couple chatted with them.

I was worried about where we were supposed to go once we got there, but there was no going anywhere. Simply exiting the metro station was crazy!

The streets were a wall of people. Smiling, laughing, complimenting one another’s signs. Here are some of the signs I managed to capture on film (it’s a slideshow; scroll to see them all):

I am fully aware of the fact that I am a middle-aged white woman who has healthcare, an education, and white privilege (which YES, is a thing). My life has roots that are founded in being white, in having a grandmother born at the turn of the century who went to college.

I have the life I have today because others did not. My family’s ancestors likely had slaves. They most definitely had white privilege.

THIS IS NOT OKAY. It’s not okay that as a kid, NOT going to college would have been a shame on our family when other families struggle to find means for routine dental care. It’s not okay because this is the United States of America and while we say that everybody has the chance to make a living if he or she works hard enough, that’s not actually true.

People living in poverty have very few opportunities to attend college, much less finish high school. People whose families immigrated here recently are met with prejudice and do not have equal opportunities.

Heck, I know that women in the United States have it among the best in the world. We’re allowed to march, after all.

(Funny side-note, we didn’t even march because humans filled the streets of the entire route, and the streets connecting to it.)

We’re allowed to speak our minds, to press charges for rape, and to raise our children in the ways we choose to.

AND YET.

Almost every woman I know has been touched by a man in a way that she’s not okay with. Almost every woman I know who works her ass off doesn’t get paid as much as her male peers.

EVERY working mother that I know dealt with issues she’d never have had to, when it came to maternity leave and pumping or whatever when it came to her job.

I’m embarrassed to say that I dropped a sexual harassment charge against an employer when I was young. I was young, and stupid, and although my face flushed with comments like “your ass looks good in those pants,” after he fired me, I hid. He was rich, and I was scared.

I marched yesterday because each of us matters. I use the word “each” purposefully. “All” is too dismissive.

Each of us has a voice, and each of us matters. And there is nobody among us who should be afraid to go to work one day, the way I was on all the days back before I knew my voice might matter.

I marched because each of our voices matter.

No young college woman should worry about being raped behind a dumpster, and having her rapist get off because he’s a good swimmer.

NO MAN should “grab a woman” in any part of her body without her saying “yes.”

I marched because Black Lives Matter. Sure, all lives matter, but the black lives seem to be the ones getting snuffed out violently and too soon these days.

I marched because a president-elect should have been done after making fun of a disabled reporter. I marched because DeVoss is unqualified, and I do NOT want her deciding anything that has anything to do with my son.

Donald Trump has made fun of a disabled reporter. That should have been the end of him.

AND YET. He goes on with his tweets today whining about the #WomansMarchOnWashington having more attendance than his inauguration did.

I mean DUH, Dumbass. We don’t want your urine on our faces, we don’t want your hands on our bodies, as small as your hands may be, and we don’t want you to ship our brown friends away, or ban those who seek refuge here.

Which, by the way, being a safe place is what the United States of America was built on.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We continue to accept all, Mr. Trump. Perhaps it’s time that you remember the immigrant hands that have helped you to be successful in America. Or, that your wife is one, who most likely wants out right now.

Also? There were men there. Boys there. Gender-neutral people there. They don’t see you as exactly presidential, either.

And, as much as the liars in the alt-right media want people to believe, the attendance was MUCH MORE HUGELY BIGGER than it was for your inauguration. Just take a look at this photo from NBC.

I marched. Or, well, stood.

I was not alone. And you, out there, no matter what, aren’t either.


  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - awesome. awesome. awesome. So glad it was an incredible experience. We will win this fight agains this horrible man. (I hope). Our voices will not be silent.
    Hooray for you!January 22, 2017 – 10:11 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Linda! I’m SO GLAD that I went. I almost didn’t, fearing the worst but I witnessed nothing but love and strength and acceptance there. It was a beautiful thing. xoJanuary 23, 2017 – 8:04 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I agree on DeVoss however the train which you speak of runs through blue states. There is not a train to DC for the Midwest or the South that carried Trump. Is it fair to judge based on attendance.

    Wouldn’t it have been more constructive to mobilize the Democrat vote before Teumo won instead of protesting afterwards?? When have protests ever worked in this country?

    You make a great point about Trump’s wife being an immigrant. She followed the immigration laws of this country and married an American citizen. Why is that too much to ask of everyone else? His wife is an immigrant that followed the rules and now is fist lady.

    Is Trymp so bad for women? Did Barack Obama or Bill Clinton make equal pay for women? Speaking of Bill Clinton he is an accused rapist and inserted a cigar in a young interns private parts…what selective memories everyone has!!

    No one is against gay rights although protests may turn the tide on that one.

    And the gratitous vocabulary used? Don’t you think it hurt the women’s cause? The point could be made just as readily using soft language.

    I am happy you are happy and excited. Madonna drew a target on her own back. The government is as the government is. It’s nature will not change. They had people taking pictures of protesters in the crowd.

    To me, it seems like closing the door after the horse has run out of the barn. It will not change the outcome of the very predictable election. Trump is president for the next four years and whether you like it or not, that is the reality. DeVoss will more than likely be appointed and neither of us is happy about that.

    And Barack Obama shipped a lot of brown skin people back to their country of origin or another country but that is forgotten too.

    I am glad you marched and had fun but what did you accomplish? I love you so I am asking…besides pissing off the new president or highlighting yourself to the secret service????

    Did you actually accomplish anything? Is Trump more or less likely to take a softer position on equal pay, civil rights, immigration reform or anything else you mentioned or is he more likely to have a hard stance. You realize Saudi Arabia, Sharia Law, organized the march and they do not give a damn about women’s rights. Twitter works both ways!

    What did this Match accomplish? The world no longer owns POTUS!!! That ship has sailed.January 23, 2017 – 4:58 amReplyCancel

    • Wendy Hahn - We showed the world that Trump’s presidency is not normal, is not a mandate or a blank check from the American people. We are another huge asterisk behind his title of POTUS 45. We do not agree with his agenda, including his intentions to drop sanctions against Putin and his Russian cronies. We drew more people than the protests for the Vietnam War. Donald Trump likely won’t change his behavior, but people in Congress have another election cycle coming up in 2018. We will learn from the Tea Party to call our senators and representatives, to show up at town hall meetings. We will stand together for issues that on the surface only relate to one group because we’re in this together. Diverse groups can be united in their opposition. Saturday was a pledge of sorts and men showed up alongside women.January 23, 2017 – 5:38 amReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - I am not in the Tea Party but again protests do very little to change anything and there was violence during these protests which makes them less credible.

        Showing up to town hall meetings and meeting with your Congressman will have even less effect.

        I am a woman and think we deserve equal pay but I am not certain protests are the way to 9btain equality for anyone?

        You had more people in DC than during Vietnam? Based on what? Did you sign a registers? Is the Hilary will win the election by a land slide Math?

        It looked like a DNC backed revolt. It did not look like a legitimate anything because of the gratitous language, violent threats and violence.

        I hope you are right and everyone keeps it up but I doubt it.

        Those asterisks behind Trumps (45$ may kill your causes. Where you were not targets before you may have made yourself ones.

        I am for progress but constructively for all. It also does not help your cause the organizer was a woman from Saudi Arabia where every America is treated like a second class citizen even when sponsored. It looked like Saudi Arabia attacked POTUS.

        Donald Trump was a liberal right until the liberals turned on him. Now God knows what he will do.

        The Tea Party I was told is an educational group and not actually a party. I believe they’d had IRS issues over this very topic. Even those associated will tell you it is an educational group. Still yet, they never protested a Democrats Inaiguration. I am just saying!!

        Whether you like it or not he is everyone’s president and you do not revolt against the president.January 23, 2017 – 8:37 amReplyCancel

        • JT Walters - I love liberals, Dems and everybody. I just want your voices to be heard in the most constructive possible manner for all of humanity. I do not agree with everything Trump has done either not have I ever agreed a 100% with anyone.

          I just want all of you heard. Love and Peace to all of you my friends. I admire your courage but really think some of the March killed your message.

          Best of Luck, love and peace dear friends. I want your messages heard. Enough said!! JTJanuary 23, 2017 – 8:47 amReplyCancel

      • Kristi Campbell - YES – what Wendy said! We will stand together.January 23, 2017 – 8:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - JT – Yes, it’s fair to judge based on attendance. More people showed up to the same location for the march than for his inauguration. That is a fact. Bill Clinton inserted a cigar into a CONSENTING ADULT woman’s privates. I do not condone affairs but Trump is accused or raping a 13yo girl and has too many pending lawsuits to count.
      I accomplished showing up, and for all of the frightened people, us showing up matters. I accomplished being there, which made me feel less alone as well. The ship of him being in office has sailed. The ship of him not making a mockery of the United States of America has not.January 23, 2017 – 8:33 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - If you are happy then I am happy for you. I had not heard about raping a 13yo…I’ll check on that.

        My point was I thought your message was valid but could have been delivered a bit more effectively. Sorry, Palestinian woman commented to Hamas not Saudi Arabia.

        I just do not know what any protest ever produced besides anger and resentment.

        We will agree to disagree on the Math.

        You know I am neutral and have way more Democratic friends than Republican.January 23, 2017 – 9:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I cannot say enough how proud I am of all the women and men that marched on Saturday. Seriously, my heart was just so filled with love seeing all the pics and video footage I saw. Everything you said by the way, I just couldn’t agree with more and continue to hope and pray that we can indeed make a difference and our voices can and will be heard. Thank you my friend for marching and standing up for what you believe it <3January 23, 2017 – 6:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Janine!!! I’m so proud of everybody as well and my bucket of hope has been re-filled. xoxo <3January 23, 2017 – 8:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - From what you and other people that I know marched said, it was such an uplifting, peaceful, unifying experience…I Do hope that the message from all the marches was heard in Washington…like is he even in touch and listening? And if he does hear, does he care? UGH. And btw, that sign: “I make the best signs…” HIlarious and perfect. My other favorite that I saw posted on social media was, “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit.”January 23, 2017 – 12:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
      I have no idea whether he “gets it” but feel like he heard based on yesterday’s news about his stupid ranty angry tweets… LOL to “I make the best signs!” We saw a guy with a sign saying “I love my mom” and his mom had one of the ones saying “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit!” LOVE.January 23, 2017 – 8:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - I am SO PROUD OF YOU FOR GOING!! I can only imagine how powerful the experience was for you and ALL the people who showed up all over the country and the world. <3January 23, 2017 – 12:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Chris, it was AMAZING and empowering and just overall awesome. Seriously. <3January 23, 2017 – 8:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m smiling from ear to ear! So glad you got to experience this. Thank you for your words that support me, support us, each one of us and ALL. Love you!!!January 23, 2017 – 3:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya, I’m so happy this made you smile! Lord knows we all could use some more smiles these days!!! LOVE YOU! Here’s to each and every human remembering that EVERYBODY deserves respect, love, and equality. xoxoJanuary 23, 2017 – 8:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie G smith - Proud of you Kristi. I think one of the extraordinary things about the March was that there wasn’t one arrest. It was done with love, humor and class (well, except for maybe Madonna, lol). I really hope that Congress is able to hold him off on the insanity. As you know, most of my family is conservative, and they are appalled. My husband even admitted to me that he thinks Obama was classiest president that our country’s ever had. I’ll turn him by the next election cycle 😘.January 23, 2017 – 4:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Allie! I agree – the peacefulness and unity was so so obvious. People moved out of the way for wheelchairs and older people. People smiled at one another. It was life-changing. And I agree that Obama is such a classy president and man. Same with Michelle. The difference between them and this new couple? UGH. Here’s to turning him by the next election (your husband that is) <3January 23, 2017 – 8:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Mo - I marched in Chicago. Like you, I was a bit nervous about the possibility of crazy fanatics causing trouble or danger but there was none of that. As in DC, ours was a joyful group brought together by our desire to defend our country from those who threaten to destroy its foundation. The experience was truly amazing.January 24, 2017 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so happy to read that your experience marching was amazing as well. Honestly, for how anxious I was about crazy people ruining it – I saw nothing at all but love and inspiration. Zero violence, zero taunting… it was such an incredible experience.January 27, 2017 – 9:07 amReplyCancel

  • Michele Vaughn - LOVE this! I’m so glad you were there, so glad you were there with Wendy, and so glad you wrote this. Thanks for standing up. I’m proud to stand with you. xoxoJanuary 24, 2017 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - XXOO Michele! I’m so glad I was there too. And with Wendy! Here’s to standing up. To making the phone calls. To all of it. xxooJanuary 27, 2017 – 9:08 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - I’m so glad you went to D.C., Kristi – and so glad your photos were among the many that flooded my FB feed on Saturday. As for the people who don’t get it or think it was a waste of time…I’m trying to let go of my exasperation. They don’t get it because they don’t have to get it – it doesn’t affect them. Until it does. And it will.

    Proud of you for marching – thank you!!January 24, 2017 – 5:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to letting go of exasperation. It’s hard though right? Sigh. I’m trying to not be a total brat about wanting all of this crap to affect them. They still won’t get it though. And sadly, all of this affects all of us. Sigh. It’s GOING TO BE FINE though. Right? Right.January 27, 2017 – 9:13 amReplyCancel

  • April Grant - I couldn’t march, but these marches reminded me of Obama’s inauguration. An unprecedented thing of beauty, of people coming together, of people standing together.

    This morning, I awoke to a text to meet with a state representative, who is fighting for women’s rights: https://frankel.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=537

    I am pumped about the future. As unqualified and uncouth as our President is, he’s bringing forth a passion in so many people that has been simmering for years. All of the issues that this country faces will start to come to a head, instead of hiding in people’s hearts. We can do this.January 26, 2017 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - April, I like your explanation so much. That all of the horror is coming to a head so that we CAN DO something about it. I’m so glad that you were able to meet with a state representative. GO YOU and yes, we can do this. Thank you for the reminder.January 27, 2017 – 9:15 amReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Oh Kristi. I am so glad you were there, representing. I was in Detroit, on my way to Mexico for a writing workshop. It ended up being the most life changing week of my life, for my writing and my self esteem, as I traveled alone for the first time. I was so scared. I am still scared.
    I do have white privilege, I admit. I also have both visible and invisible disabilities, and so I often feel like, as lucky as I am, one cancels out the other. I’m just not sure which one it is most days.
    I am amazed what that whole marc thing turned out to be. It still makes me concerned, like nothing can stop this bulldozer which is Trump, as the world seems more and more out of control to me.
    On my way back I passed by protests in the Dallas Airport. I can’t tell you how strange it was to hear that so nearby. Then, I crossed back into Canada and heard of the shooting at the mosque in Quebec, on my way home. It is so sickening. I am afraid, as a woman with a disability, every day. I have hope and my week in Mexico was a big part of that. It’s jut hard to come back to real life after that and not feel afraid and helpless.
    I love that you wrote about this and reading a firsthand account is a nice thing. Thank you. Thank you. I know you will keep fighting. I will not stop writing. We can make a difference. XOFebruary 1, 2017 – 10:27 amReplyCancel

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