WHY I MARCH

It is estimated that almost three million people came together on Saturday to show support for women and women's rights in cities all across the country. The crowd at the Women's March in Washington D.C. was estimated to be three times bigger than that of the crowd attending the inauguration. It was the largest protest in US history. It was estimated that more than six thousand people attended the Women's March in KCMO and I was one of them. I stood in a sea of women, men supporting wives, daughters and sisters, and families. We stood in support for equality, for our bodies/our choice, for the environment, for respect. 

You can do anything. Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.
             - Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States

I watched my Instagram feed and Facebook newsfeed fill up with images of friends posting images of their own from the marches they attended and it was beautiful and inspiring. Tucked in between all of them was a post from a woman I know from high school. It was a long entry about how she has never been made to feel like a second class citizen. She has always had her voice heard. She has always had control over her body. She has had every advantage and her belief is that if you haven't had all of the above, well...that's your own damn fault. Her posting pointed out that women in other countries have it far worse than we have here and that the women attending the Women's Marches were whiners. Later on, I discovered that her post had been removed due to plagiarism. She had copied and pasted words written by another woman. There's some irony in a person claiming to have her own voice, using the words of another.  

First of all, I want to congratulate this woman and all of those who feel this way. I am so happy for you that you have been able to live with such privilege. That's not sarcasm. You have been lucky and privileged. Really, I can say that I have also lived a similarly privileged existence with only some mild misogyny in the work place. For the most part, I've been pretty lucky to work with people who value my work more than my gender. I realize that this is rare since I am in a male dominated field, but I didn't take part in the Women's March just for myself. I marched for those women in this country who have not been so privileged. I marched for the mother who works two jobs who has to choose between getting her yearly pap smear and mammogram or buying new shoes for her child. I march for the that same woman who's closest clinic had to close down because of budget cuts and now has to try to get to a clinic on the other side of town, probably by bus, without missing work. 

I march for the LGBTQ community whose jobs and housing will be put in jeopardy with the Federal Amendment Defense Act. I march for my gay friends who are married who are at risk of having that marriage now be invalid or those who wish to marry being denied their basic civil right to marry. I march for immigrants who are at risk of having their families torn apart by deportation. I march for immigrants who could be taken away from a life they have worked so hard for. I march because I recognize that life for women in other countries is worse and I even march for the woman who posted the anti-march letter. I march in solidarity with other women in the belief that we are deserving of respect and equality, not just from our employers or our partners, but from our President.

It doesn't really matter what (they) write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass   
       - Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States

 

It is our responsibility, particularly now under this current administration, to assure our daughters and sisters that they hold more value than being an ass to grab or a trophy. The U.S. sets an example globally and we have responsibility to hold that example to its highest standard. This is not whining. This is a battle cry and it doesn't just start and end with a march. I will continue to shout and scream for what is right. The website for the Women's March is proposing ten action over the next one hundred days. I've already sent my postcard to my Senator. I have a feeling my Senator is going to get real tired of my voice this year.