I’ve been enjoying this series in the Washington Post about why the Women’s March may be the start of a social movement. It’s worth a read.
But this paragraph especially caught my attention:
“The march was successfully nonviolent. No arrests were made in these marches. While that is in part because white middle-class women are far less likely to be arrested than black men or women, it does bode well for the potential for this to become a movement. Research shows that disciplined nonviolence helps a movement’s chance for success — and makes it more than twice as likely to succeed as a violent movement.”
The middle-class ladies need to show up. We need to show up at the protests in our mom jeans and sensible shoes, with our dorky pink hats and our purses well-stocked with granola bars. We need to keep making phone calls and leaving voice mails with our calm, civil, no-nonsense, “don’t mess with your mother” voices. We need to write our pointed but polite postcards and our thank-you notes on flowery stationary.
A good friend has admonished me to stay away from “identity politics” with this blog. And for the most part, I agree with him. But let’s be honest… I am indeed one of these white middle-class women that are far less likely to be arrested than a young person, a man, or a member of a minority. I’ve been struggling to define my role in this movement, but this is what I am discovering. The mere presence of middle-class women keeps things civil and non-violent. It’s one of our gifts to this movement. But to share that gift, we need to show up – in person, on the phone, on a postcard, in a Facebook comment. We need to show up.