opinions

To the privileged amongst us (a response to the Women Against Trump marches)

Following the inauguration of Donald Trump (no, I can’t believe it either), mass protests took place over the globe against his new administration and his disregard for women, ethnic minorities and LGBT+ individuals whose human rights are now under threat. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the Women against Trump march in London due to illness, however I have heard multiple people remark that these marches are pointless and we should just accept that Trump is the president. I think freedom to protest is essential, especially when many innocent individuals are now threatened by an ignorant leader with hardly any political experience and a reputation for objectifying women, because after all, if everyone remains silent, equality and humanity will not triumph and rich privileged men like Trump will be allowed total control. I don’t know anyone who likes Trump or his policies (actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t completely detest him), however those who are just accepting Trump are more often than not, straight white males who are not threatened by this new authority. Of course this is not always the case and many individuals who are neither female, LGBT+ or an ethnic minority are in full support of the Women’s marches and I highly admire these people, however those who disregard the protests do tend to be the most privilaged amongst us. So before you insult the anti-Trump protests and call them futile, please realize that you’re probably one of the most privileged people on the planet, and boasting your privilege is never a good quality to have…

We all know by now that despite his claims that he is a President who will support every citizen of America, he’s racist, sexist, homophobic, and a downright unpleasant person (who sexualizes his own daughter…). Trump has already put forward plans to attempt to ban abortion and prevent immigrants from entering the country entirely. The idea that he has power over what a woman does with her reproductive organs is digusting, and it saddens me to think that those immigrants are just trying to escape a violent, war torn land but are still being turned away from countries where they could potentially start a new, happy life. As a woman, and an LGBT+ individual, the thought that a rich, ignorant man could have almost complete control over me is terrifying, and so many minorities across America, and the world, are deeply afraid for their human rights now that Trump has taken over. I thought everyone I know would be in support of the Women Against Trump marches, as even if you’re a male that doesn’t mean that you should be oblivious to the fact that Trump is degrading, sexist, and is putting women’s rights at risk. However I have heard a fair amount of people (including Piers Morgan, on national television) say that the protests are useless and we should just accept Trump, and unsuprisingly the majority of these people are privilaged inviduals who are under no serious threat from the Trump administration. Fair enough, if you’re a white straight male then that’s how you were born, but being privilaged shouldn’t reduce your tolerance and understanding of basic human rights.

Just because you are lucky enough to have no prejudice against you, it doesn’t mean you don’t know people who will be affected by Trump’s rule. One in ten people are LGBT+ so you’re bound to have a friend or family member who doesn’t identify as cisgender and heterosexual. 12.9% of UK citizens are not white British inviduals, so if like me you live in the UK, there’s no doubt you don’t know someone who is considered an ethnic minority group. And obviously, everyone knows someone who is a woman. So even if you’re privilaged, don’t flaunt it and state that the protests are pointless, because you’re just further degrading the rights of your friends, sisters, daughters, mothers and wives. If us minorities did not protest against Trump he would believe he had total power to ruin our lives and we cannot let him think that. Alone your protest may not get you far, however when we all chime in, there is a chance that things will change, and basic human rights are something we can’t afford to keep quiet about.

So even if you’re a straight white male, don’t let your privilages get in the way of supporting those around you and helping preserve their rights. Boasting about your rights and disregarding the Women Against Trump marches does not make you come off well, particularly to female, LGBT+ or ethnic minorities you know. So instead of taking your privilages for granted, help those whose rights are at risk.

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