Monday, January 23, 2017

#WhyIMarch(ed)


This past weekend, I participated in the Women's March on Washington's sister march in Cincinnati. Obviously, I would have loved to be in DC where the action was, but with two little guys who need their Mama, it just wasn't realistic. So a couple of my friends and I piled into a minivan, I strapped Crosby to my chest and away we marched. The day before the march, the Facebook event said approximately 6,000 participants were expected. Obviously, there's no way to pinpoint an exact number, but some estimated shows appoximately 12,000-14,000 in attendance. My group and I were toward the front of the march and as we completed the 1.5 mile loop, some participants were only just starting. It was crazy! Nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands in DC, LA, and Chicago, but more than enough for me.


Although my husband expressed interest in attending, I was apprehensive about bringing Charlie and was glad I didn't. It was a LOT of people. That being said, it was the most harmonious, unified, and peaceful protest I've experienced. It was very family-friendly and I witnessed several other Mommies with their babies strapped to their chests, as well as a lot more men than I was anticipating. We stood in Washington Park and listened to several speakers representing organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and the Cincinnati Islamic Center (as well as locally elected officials, an organization for disability rights, worker's rights and a few others that I'm forgetting). Once the march began, there were chants of "Love trumps hate" and "This is what democracy looks like." It filled me with such hope to be in solidarity which such a large group of people fighting for equality and justice in this country.


Prior to the event, people who were planning to march used the hashtag #WhyIMarch to explain their reasons for choosing to participate. I had my own reasons.

1. Because I am a sexual assault survivor who believes that no person should be victimized because of their gender.

2. Because I am raising two sweet boys who will be taught to fully understand what consent means.

3. Because I want to stand in solidarity with my Muslim sisters, my black sisters, my native sisters, and my Latina sisters who have been told that they don't belong. They do.

4. Because I want to protest an administration that openly discriminates against and objectifies half of the citizens it has sworn to protect.

5. Because I want to look back in 10, 20, 30+ years and know that I was on the right side of history.

6. Because I want to be an example for two impressionable children who will no longer be able to look up to the President as a model of decent, gracious, and kind behavior.

7. Because I believe that a woman's body belongs to her and her only.



It has since been reported that approximately 2.5 million people turned out worldwide for this event and I am so glad I can say that I was a part of this movement. However, I was also convicted by a friend who posted that this movement was primarily white women and it was now up to us to fight alongside women of color in their fight for equality.

Smashing the patriarchy is exhausting.


Did you march? What was your experience?

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