I'm going off the grid. I'm giving up Facebook until after the inauguration, and I'm not turning on the news. My replacement I-phone is stuck on a truck in an ice storm in the gorge. I can't text until it is delivered. I'm worn down, and I want to live in the real world with my intelligent, compassionate, humane friends. I believe that people are innately good and kind, but on social media I've seen too little of that lately.
The results of the presidential election stunned me. The cabinet appointments appalled me. The promises to move back on climate change, health care, immigration, reproductive rights, and so many other issues of importance frightened me. I admit I've cried. It feels like the sun has gone down and there is no promise of morning.
Social media has not helped. The vehicle that let me reconnect with old friends, keep in touch with former co-workers after I retired, and even find a sister given up for adoption has also beaten me down. The gloating, gleeful posts of Trump supports who will close Planned Parenthood and deny women access to reproductive health care, register Muslims like Nazi lackeys, dismantle the public education system, and deny refugees safe haven has made me anxious for the future of our country.
Several weeks ago I decided to participate in the Women's March in Portland. I asked a friend on Facebook if she wanted to go with me. I didn't expect a positive response because we are political opposites, but we can usually have a conversation without disrespect.
...and that was a relatively mild conversation on Facebook compared to some I have seen. I'm tired of the hate, the ignorance, the attitude that now those of us who speak up will be made to pay.
I will be walking at the Women's March with my college roommate. I am walking because I want to see hundreds, maybe thousands, of women who believe in equality for all: women who will stand, be counted, and not be intimidated. I don't want to go back to the era where my friends were afraid to step out of the closet, where women died at the hands of back alley butchers, where people with disabilities could not attend school. I need to physically see that those people are out there. I am walking to be counted, but I am also walking for myself...I need hope for the future. I don't want to be alone.