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Letter: Not there for the fun of it

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Editor,

The editorial published Jan. 30 about the nation-wide Women’s Marches left me unhappy. And, to borrow a phrase from the author, “you NEED to know about it.” Mr. Anker seems convinced that the millions women, including me, who protested across the nation on January were there for the fun of it. Though Mr. Anker does not demonstrate the ability to assimilate new knowledge, I’m happy to share the super-duper fun reasons I chose to march.

Firstly, the president has promised to repeal the ACA. I am an adult student who has returned for an advanced degree in my 30s and a part-time worker. Neither my university nor my job offers health insurance, so without the ACA I would likely be unable to afford a doctor visit.

Oh, and about that doctor? It’s my local Planned Parenthood clinic. No, Mr. Anker, I’m not spending your hard-earned tax dollars on birth control and abortions. I’m using PP for, amongst other things, cancer screenings. Both of my parents are cancer survivors. My mother’s ovarian cancer was caught early enough that she only required surgical intervention, not chemotherapy. Given the high genetic component in all kinds of cancers, I’m diligent about my health.

Those are MY reasons for marching, but I’m sure if you asked a dozen women, you’d get a dozen different ISTS, as you so magnanimously call them. There’s LGBTQI women whose former governor and current vice president has signed bills curtailing their rights. There’s the immigrant women, who, on the 21st, had no idea what was coming on the 27th. Just because you don’t understand the concerns these women were articulating doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

Finally, to your claim that all of us just “went home”? Of course we did. Are you honestly judging us for having to return to our responsibilities? We aren’t freeloading welfare cheats with hours of spare time since none of us are contributing to society in the same highly meaningful way YOU are. We’re students, teachers, line cooks, librarians and full-time mothers. We had to go home, because we have obligations. If I didn’t show up to class on Monday, my grades would’ve suffered. If I didn’t show up to my $10 an hour job, I wouldn’t have the money to buy groceries.

I went home after the march on the 21st. I did my schoolwork. I went to my job. And, on Sunday, I showed up at the airport with 1,000 of my fellow Hoosiers to protest the ineffective and unfair travel ban that affected so many legal U.S. residents, causing chaos and sowing dissent around the world. I’ll keep showing up, too, every single time this administration tries to threaten the rights or the safety of ANYONE in this country. And I suppose you’ll keep writing articles complaining about our hats and noise level.

Tristan Durst

Indianapolis


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