To Stand Up Against Exploitation

I see so many commonalities in the way those in power will exploit groups like women, people of color, and the poor. They are being pushed away and mocked and degraded, but simultaneously being pulled in, only to be used and exploited. I’ve seen it in the way men push away women, holding them back from professional power, yet pull them in to use and degrade their bodies, all while mocking them. I’ve seen it in the way entire towns mock migrant workers, then pull them in to do the work no one else wants to, then pushes them back when they ask for help for their backs, broken when working to put food on our families plates while their own families barely make ends meet and whose children can’t cross the playground without being called a racial slur by kids whose parents want to eat the hamburgers from cows slaughtered by immigrants but also keep the town white. I’ve seen it in the way false promises are given to the poor, who are used for their votes, mocked, and never see their way out of poverty because the people they elected want to keep them there.

It’s not just a matter of the vague feeling I get of being a second class citizen because the patriarchy and white supremacy tell us as much. It’s active exploitation every day, it’s men who want sex and see no problem with paying for it with a trafficked child. It’s leaders who squelch out reasonable voices of women and people of color because they are terrified of upending the hierarchy. It’s loving ethnic food but having no interest in the DACA children waiting tables for you. It’s thinking you’re cool because you’re white and listen to hip hop but fuck that #BLM shit, it’s #incopswetrust. It’s telling your daughter she can do anything then going and voting to shutter Planned Parenthoods and laughing at your administrative assistant’s ridiculous request for a raise. It’s being sanctimonious about how healthy you eat without giving two fucks about the kids who never see their parents anymore because they work 60 hours a week picking the mushrooms for your salad. It’s a state priding itself on its legendary and very much not heterosexual author Willa Cather but seeing no need for basic workplace protections for LGBTQ people. It’s a state where women still aren’t valued highly enough for anyone to ask Scott Frost what he was doing when his girlfriend was getting beat up at his apartment.

I marched because exploitation has to stop, and intersectional feminism is the way to stop it. I march for women and people of color to stand up to the hierarchy and smash it together. That is why I marched.

New Year, New Reasons

Today, women around Nebraska and the United States will again march in the Women’s March, but this one is slightly different.

Are you marching today? Why are you marching? Drop me an email at whyimarchnebraska@gmail.com and I’ll post it here!

Thanks and happy marching! #resist

I am a Proud American.

I was not able to march, but I wanted to march. First and foremost, I believe citizen engagement is important to our governmental process. I am saddened by the division in our country and hate the way partisan politics seems to make compromise so difficult. I believe in social justice. I believe our country is strong when we are inclusive. I believe in the empowerment of women and the objectifying comments made by our president sicken me. As a victim of gun violence, I am for reasonable gun control. I believe words matter; the current president’s use of language scares me. His words are divisive, dismissive, and not very deep. I am for life from conception to natural death and for social programs that help people in desperate situations. I want all people to feel safe. The current administration makes me feel less safe. I am paying attention and will stay engaged. I am a proud American.

I Marched Because Washington Doesn’t Represent Me.

For me the march was about my children.  I have 21-year-old twins, a daughter and son.  They are both at UNL.  My daughter is an Ag Ed major and my son is an El Ed major. My husband and I farm and have outside jobs in the ag field.  We believe that none of you have our best interest at heart.  Betsey DeVos is the absolute WORST thing for both students and teachers in public education, yet you all support her.  President Trump is signing EO’s so fast his head is spinning.  NAFTA and TPP were GOOD for Nebraska Ag, but none of our state leaders had the spine to fight for them.  At the same time, our state is short of money.  I march because I want my daughter and son to be protected by Title IX.  You don’t.  I march because I believe none of you have MY family’s best interests at heart.  I march because I believe in humanity and that there isn’t a boogie man behind every face.  I march for the lovely Iranian grad student and his wife and child who live across the hall from my children.  They are GOOD people and they worked HARD to get here.  I march because you are all so wrong in how you represent me.

For All Those Who are Marginalized.

My children, grandchildren, and two sisters from Kearney and Guide Rock marched alongside me.  I marched because I want the ACA to continue as a law.  Several years ago, I chose to further my education and pursue my degree in the nursing field. As with most farming households, our health insurance was through my work. We would lose it if I worked part-time, so we shopped around for private health insurance. We found that our options were extremely limited. Because my husband had a pre-existing condition of hypertension, our monthly insurance payment would be even higher than the $900 quotes per month we were receiving. Plus it was explained to us, the insurance would not cover any illness that can even remotely be associated with high blood pressure. A stroke or heart attack would not be covered, even though we would be paying top dollar for insurance $1,200. Basically the insurance companies were cherry-picking their clients. Even the Nebraska health insurance program promoted by the governor was over $1,000 a month AND had the pre-existing Health Clause that would not cover hypertension or its related illnesses. Our one saving grace was the children’s health insurance plan (the plan Hillary Clinton was instrumental in passing). Our three children were put on this plan. We took a chance and went forward with my education, all the while worrying about injuries or health problems that would have changed our lives financially and mentally forever. That concern almost kept me from advancing in my field!

Since 2003 I have been a registered nurse. I have seen countless people whose lives have been touched by illness, many that did not have health insurance. Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy. This, and my own experience drove me to become an application counselor for the ACA. I’ve signed up dozens of people to this insurance market. Many have told me it’s the first time they have had health insurance!

This program works. The misinformation about it, spread by inflammatory rhetoric, has been breathtaking!

Insurance companies and their CEOs aren’t going broke. And working people have access to Affordable Health Care through the ACA. This is only ONE reason out of MANY why I march, and my family and I will continue to march.

I marched for my granddaughters. I marched to feel like I could do something. I marched for human rights too. I marched for all those who are made to feel that they are less.