I’m thinking about why I’m participating in the women’s march today. It’s fine if people disagree, but I’m not writing this to change minds or justify myself. Because I’m not going to write anything here that’s going to change anyone’s mind. I don’t write to preach or persuade.
I write to understand. Putting words on the page requires more thought than watching thoughts swim around in your head.
Maybe writing also helps me connect, but that’s a bonus. A lovely bonus, but something I can’t always expect.
So, back to the question. Why do I march?
To be a heard. To show the world that women can stand together. That we won’t sit quietly at our kitchen tables.
I remember the way people in my hometown treated my mother after my parents divorced. Adults actually said to me, a child, “Your mother must not love you.” But then she also lost a job for leaving work to see me in a school performance. She had almost no food in her fridge and had to borrow money from her mother to pay the rent, but she went to my performance anyway. “Your mother doesn’t love you,” they said.
Of course, then she was deemed irresponsible for losing a job. Life is hard for most of us. This isn’t a competition for who has it hardest. I’m marching for the ways that are hard for women. Helping women helps us all.
I’m marching because of the time my roommate called the police because of a man exposing himself near our apartment, and the police officer rolled his eyes and said, “What? Didn’t see anything you liked?”
I’m marching because violence against women is epidemic here and around the world. Because women need to control their own bodies and their own lives (two things you can’t separate).
I’m marching because still too many people see women as ornaments or things to control, own, and use.
I’m marching because as Audre Lorde said, “Your silence will not protect you.”
I’m marching for all the girls and the boys growing up right now who need a world in which they can be themselves and for all the girls and boys to follow.
And I’m marching to make those who would silence us, limit us, believe they can break our spirits will see otherwise.