I live in a sleepy New England town with a population of about 8 thousand.
We live in a nice home, drive a van and the kids are part of a very good school system.
We go on vacation, travel to see family & enjoy a nice life in our sleepy town.
On Saturday, January 21, 2017 I went on my first protest march. The women’s march was a beautiful experience of unity & love.
I’m done having babies, so I didn’t march for my reproductive rights. I marched for my daughter, nieces & friends who don’t need to have their choice taken away by men in suits with no clue about a woman’s body.
I have insurance so I can go get checked out as needed without feeling that I’ll need to ransom an ovary to do it. But there was a time when Planned Parenthood was my only option as a temporary worker with no insurance and very little money.
College for me was almost 30 years ago so assault on campus is not a personal concern. . . but it is if I consider that my nieces and their friends are currently in college and should be heard when they say they were assaulted. My son will one day be in college and he needs to know assault is not acceptable. My daughter will also one day be in college and she needs to feel safe going and being there. I can’t always be there to protect, guide and defend them.
[wp_ad_camp_4]I do not encounter the daily trials of hunger, abuse, gender discrimination or even racial discrimination that many do, so I could sit home and choose to believe “If it’s not my reality, it’s not really happening.” I chose not to do that. Why? Because I know that many that came before me marched, fought were beaten and died so I could have what I have today.
I want my children, and yours, to have tomorrow.
So, on Saturday, January 21, 2016 I went on my first march and became an activist! The Women’s March created in me an activist for women of color, lesbians, disabled women, aging women, young women, poor women & rich women. Because no matter how “safe”, “heard” or “privileged” you feel, you’re not.
I didn’t know what to expect. Having seen many “Protests gone wrong” I knew there was a slight chance of mayhem. I went anyway.
I knew my intentions, and the intentions of those with me, were to make our voices heard. There was no hate, just a sense of love and needing to do right for the coming generations.
[wp_ad_camp_5]So I marched and joined my voice with millions around the world:
- For my son. He’s learning to respect those who respect him, stop when told “no” and stand up to bullies. He’s learning to be a good man by watching the men around him and aspiring to greatness by watching our leaders . . . I cannot let him watch a “leader” who undermines all that he’s learning to become.
- For my daughter. She needs to know that there are no limits to what she can accomplish. She needs to know that her body is her own and no one she dates or votes for has the right to tell her what she should do with it. She needs to see and know that leaders are leaders because they hold high ideals. She needs to be safe on campus or on the streets.
- For women of color who wake up every day to face this world with love & grace even though this world greets us with resistance. We know we and our children are targets for hate, yet we still rise, work and contribute to society.
- For our right to have equal pay for equal work. We don’t need to be judged by the color of our skin, we need to be judged by the skills we bring to the table.
- For my LGBT family and friends. They deserve to live their lives free from bias, full of love and free of violence. They deserve marriage, babies and all the same access as any of us do.
- For women around the world. Because when our rights as women are eroded anywhere it weakens the rights of women everywhere. We are a wave rising together, and the number of women, who in their own countries joined the march, shows an understanding of the moral wrongs that need to be right.[wp_ad_camp_4]
- For all women. Because human rights around the world are women’s rights and to have a man & cabinet that do not respect our rights is not okay.
- For me. Because I needed to connect with others, men & women, who felt as strongly as I do that a racist, misogynistic person in the highest post in the land was not okay.
I marched for all women, even those who opposed the march, because in the end we will all benefit.
What good will it do?
If marching did no good, why would we keep exercising our right to do it? The march wasn’t the whole wad, it was only the beginning of a movement. The march was to galvanize and send a message, the real work comes after the march. It comes in the form of taking 10 actions in the next 100 days and doing our part in our worlds once we leave the march.
So, on Saturday, January 21, 2017 I marched because I believe that being a woman doesn’t mean second class, it means life. I marched to solidify my determination to do my part to have conversations, teach, love & support all women.
Ways to make a difference
- Call your representatives. You can email or contact on social media, but nothing makes an impact as much as calling and having their phones ring off the hook. You can easily find your representatives number by Going To This Website and entering your zip code! They do listen.
- Join an organization that’s already working for you. Here are a few suggestions: Women’s March, ACLU, SwingLeft, Action Network , Injustice Boycott
- Learn as much as you can about what’s happening on major issues: Climate Change, Women’s Health, Healthcare, National Security
- Learn about your upcoming mid-term elections and who your candidate is. Help them by spreading the word
- Start an action group in your area by just banding with others and deciding what your main cause will be.
There are many ways to make sure your voice is heard that are easy but effective. Learn what they are and take action.
I feel a lot of frustration, but I’ve decided that channeling my frustration into action keeps me from feeling sick, useless and a victim to circumstance.
We cast our vote so we have all the right to work so our votes counts. How will you join the movement?