I didn’t think that this blog was the place to talk about my very strong feelings about the results of the November U.S. election. And since I’m not comfortable avoiding the elephant in the room, I’ve chosen to remain silent.
But two things have happened that lead me to post this today, Inauguration Day: the beginning of dismantling the Affordable Healthcare Act and the upcoming Women’s March.
I’m not going to present the long lists of pros and cons for retaining the ACA (ObamaCare) legislation here. But one thing is clear to me. Although the ACA did not have a direct impact on my life, it has done far more good than harm for many of my clients and I think that’s a huge step in the right direction. Similarly, I won’t debate the merits of The Women’s March. Instead, I share my experience with this issue since, as I’m discovering that, not surprisingly, I’m not alone.
From the moment I read about this event, I had two thoughts: I’d love to be part of this and I’m not going to put my body through this. And when I told friends and family that I wasn’t going to Washington or even marching locally in Boston, the consistent reply was, “Of course you shouldn’t”. No one tried to convince me otherwise. Each of those women with whom I spoke are going and each seemed confident that I was right in choosing not to.
I couldn’t find a way to feel settled with my decision until I read this post, Why The Disability March is an Important Part of the Women’s March by Cathy Chester, An Empowered Spirit . Cathy’s thoughts cleared my own fog and allowed me to see the issues more clearly. And learning about the online disability response has helped me give voice to my silence.
Yes, this is another reminder of how my physical limits influence my choices (as if I need this to remember!). It’s reminded me how easy it is to feel invisible when you’re ‘other’ . But, I needed to also be reminded that there are other ways to be part of the party. And most importantly, to all who feel outside, excluded, invisible, we each have to speak up for those who can’t or won’t.