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It was a last-minute decision to go. On Friday night, October 5, Amy and I were watching Murphy Brown, newly rebooted and excoriating the fictional White House Press Corps. We were scrolling through our feeds and seething as the “on the fence” votes changed to Kavanaugh votes. I was double-seething because my “friends” on social media seemed to think that Susan Collins was the ONLY person to blame.
“I think we have to go,” I said, and I looked around on my facebook until I found the Flood the Capitol March, lead by the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood Action. I already had a sign I’d made for an anti-Kavanaugh rally we’d attended a few weeks before in Philly.
It didn’t feel like the other protests. As I cleaned the house, rearranged my Saturday plans, and went to bed early, I didn’t have as much power-to-the-people hopefulness buoying me up. Instead, I was SEETHING, so frustrated to still be doing this work, decades after my own rape experiences and millennia after women were enslaved. IT HAS NEVER NOT BEEN THIS.
Since I became politically active, this blog has often been about convincing people that protesting and other political work could be nice, friendly, loving, inclusive, and all of those things are true. But in the past few weeks, I have become less and less willing to perform polite, feminine, hopeful organizing and more willing to give voice to the feral fury that sometimes makes me feel out of control. Getting ready to Flood the Capitol, I felt almost none of my usual aren’t-humans-amazing feelings. It was more a feeling of “Survivors, let’s burn it down.”
For professional reasons, I’m hesitant to be honest about the fury. Because I work with children, it’s important for me to feel nurturing, loving, and safe. My clients and their families deserve a solid, peaceful presence in their lives, so I feel guilty to also be this raging, scary thing. But at the same time, it’s love, nurturing, and protectiveness—for myself (both adult and inner traumatized child), for my nieces and nephews, for the fear that my students, mostly children of color, will face in a future with Kavanaugh on the bench.
As Amy and I drove Washingtonward at way-too-early-on-a-Saturday-o’clock, we decided: No getting arrested. The priority was to get safely back to the students, to not miss a single tutoring hour. As much as I admire those who get arrested (Later in the day I would sob watching a young woman have a panic attack as the handcuffs went on.) I knew my priorities were elsewhere.