Not One Step Back

Stronger Together - The Dressed Aesthetic

The unthinkable has happened: An openly racist, bigoted, misogynistic narcissist was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday. So, this past weekend Mr. Dressed and I joined the millions of people around the world participating in the Women’s March on Washington. We weren’t able to travel to DC, so we joined one the many sister marches happening across the country. Even in our small town in NC, I was so bolstered up and hopeful seeing the nearly 2,000 people who came out to support equality and to take a stand against an administration who supports everything but.

My FB and Instagram feed was beautifully flooded these past couple of days with stories and photos of marches happening everywhere, from San Diego to Seattle to Chicago, from Paris to Auckland to Antarctica, big city to small town. News stories continued to roll in every hour in a worldwide show of solidarity.

The past few months since the election have been full of fear and uncertainty, staring at a country I no longer recognized. Shocked at the misogeny, violence, and discrimination that was running rampant, emboldened and validated by the GOP and new President-elect. Appalled at those who choose to look the other way, or worse, normalize that kind of behavior. Words of “get over it” spoken by groups of people too blind to see their own privilege. And I was so proud to take part, even in a small way, and be one of the hundreds of thousands of collective voices saying it was not okay. That we would not stand behind a presidency that supports taking away women’s reproductive rights. That glorifies rape culture. That marginalizes minorities any further than they have already been unfairly marginalized. That alienates people of other faiths. That feels it appropriate to tell someone who they can love. That denies climate change. That wants to dismantle a system that provides healthcare opportunities to everyone. That wants to build a freakin wall. On Saturday, I saw that we can tear the bloody wall down.

Not One Step Back - The Dressed Aesthetic

I am not naive and realize that words are cheap. That a single day and a single march is not tantamount of active change of policy. But, seeing all of those beautiful, diverse, charged people come together was like watching a piece of history unfold. Even in our small town, I saw so many moments Saturday that made me cry. A woman who spoke of her sons, and how she wants them to be able to marry whomever they darn well please. Another woman who bravely shared her health issues and fears of losing healthcare due to a preexisting condition. I saw little boys carrying signs saying “Love Trump’s Hate” and little girls with signs saying “We are the future and we say NO.” An 80 year old woman wearing a vagina hat she sewed herself (and no, not one of the cat ear hats. An actual vagina hat. It was quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen). The open, bold faced ugliness was beaten back by a powerful, unified group who aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Not One Step Back - The Dressed Aesthetic
Vintage fashion. Not vintage values.

I remember my feelings on Day 1 following the election. Seeing the hate and violence spread across the country. And though that hate and violence is not abated and we have a seriously long way to go, I’m proud of Day 1 following the inauguration. Because, this time Day 1 was on our terms. This time we were organized. And this time, we said, “To mess with one of us, is to mess with all of us.”

For some serious inspiration, I highly recommend checking out this NY Times Article and seeing the force of change that happened around the world this weekend. If you have an Instagram feed with even one follower, spread the message. And if you are a blogger with a platform, use it to motivate people. We have a powerful voice that can incite positive change. Call your Congress representatives and let them know what you will and will not accept. I’ve shared it before, but whoismyrepresentative.com is a comprehensive database where you can find out who represents you in Congress and rain the fire of change upon them. If you don’t know what to say, here’s an amazing website that provides a set of scripts for over a dozen issues in the progressive agenda – I found it really helpful.

I cannot stress enough right now the importance of action. Volunteer. Get Involved. Flood your rep offices with calls. March. Stand strong together. Refuse to take even one step back.

Vintage fashion. Not vintage values.

 

xoxo

 

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5 comments on Not One Step Back

  • Karen

    I also love the ‘vintage fashion not vintage values’ tag – such a well-made point. I don’t blog, or indeed maintain any social media presence in my own right, and so I have little right to say this, but I have quietly unfollowed a couple of blogs where the writers seem to have their heads buried in the sand and claim that they have nothing to say on ‘politics’. What a ludicrous thing to say when, perhaps more than at any other time in the last half-century, ‘politics’ is threatening the very future of the world as we know it. I don’t mind if people don’t want to comment because they want to keep their blogs exclusively focused, but I don’t want them to tell me that they are not doing so because it’s nothing to do with them. Thanks for your passion, candour and brilliantly-expressed outrage. K

    • kara@dressedapp.net (author)

      Thank you so so much Karen – this really means a lot to me. I think it can get very easy to bury our heads in the sand. And honestly, any time I post something political on the blog or on my Instagram, I see a noticeable drop in followers. And that’s ok with me – because this is so much more important than likes. I simply can’t imagine living in this current state of affairs and believing it has nothing to do with me. Or, more accurately, I can’t imagine being blind to my own privilege, where I have the luxury of pretending it has nothing to do with me. As a white, straight, cis-gendered US-born citizen, I am aware that my fear is nothing compared to people who have to fear their marriage will be invalidated, who are experiencing racist hate crimes and religious persecution, who’s families may get torn apart. There are so many people without my privilege who are so much more terrified than I am. I know there may be bloggers out there who don’t want to alienate anyone (or are afraid of losing followers), but if we have a blog and a readership, I think that comes with some sort of responsibility (at least it’s one I take seriously). And I can’t pretend it’s just about pretty dresses and keeping quiet. Some might want it that way, but you have lifted me up and reminded me that speaking out is everything. This is really what I needed to hear today – to know that we are standing strong together and that voicing our opinions is more important now than ever. xxxx

      • Karen

        What a lovely response. I am so glad that the post was helpful. Please do keep speaking out, as we all must in our own ways and in our own voices. K xx

  • Caroline

    Yaaaaasssss!!! You go girl! I love the title “Vintage Fashion. Not vintage values”. So proud!

    • kara@dressedapp.net (author)

      Thanks my love – and thank YOU for being one of the hundreds of thousands in DC marching on Washington. You’re amazing! xxxxoooo

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