The naysayers are right, my rights are not at risk. At least not yet, but even under Obama not enough was done to protect black lives, immigrants, the Earth, even women. And yes, we are at risk. Republicans supposedly want small government and a free market, but they also want to tell me and others how to live as a woman. They want to take away mandates that provide protection for women, the disabled, children brought here by immigrant parents. So, yes, I march...I march to be part of the collective voice.
I march for:
- Minority women who have to fight much harder than me.
- Women's Health--specifically:
- Easily accessible contraception
- Well-women care
- Safe abortions (preferably as the last resort)
- Fertility rights--If my insurance is going to pay to treat your impotence, yours should pay to treat my infertility-- Infertility is a medical condition--treatment shouldn't be considered elective
- Motherhood is a right for all and women should have the help they need to become a mom--It shouldn't be a luxury...Moms and Dads deserve to be supported by society
- Better maternity care and understanding
- Pregnancy is not a pre-existing condition
- Equal coverage and cost for men and women
- An understanding that Pro-life and Pro-choice can coexist--We can work together to prevent abortions
- A recognition that immigrants enrich our country in ways beyond measure
- Protection for all no matter their sexual orientation
- A country that makes life easier for people with disabilities
- A beautiful Earth for my nieces, nephews, and students to inherit
- The end to rape culture
- The courage for my nieces to know that "no means no" and that saying "NO" doesn't make you less desirable
- The courage for my nephews to love and respect women--to understand boundaries and also that "no means no."
- Science, Logic, and the room to increase our understanding (Science is Not a Liberal Conspiracy!) Sure our Nation's Symbol is no longer endangered, but we should be worried to know some species of bumblebees are now endangered (our food supply depends on these pollinators)
Sure many of the things I march for already exist, and I hope and pray that they will always exist. However, it's harder to find something again once it is lost, so I march. I march so that my voice is heard. I march because it wasn't okay for my male babysitter to get away with molesting me when I was five years old. Something that went unpunished....Because he was never held accountable, he probably continued "grabbing pussy" until he retired. I march to support the men and women who rallied around me when my boyfriend tried to kill me, kidnapped me, and raped me. I march, because I kept it mostly quiet to protect him. I march for the many friends who have experienced the same thing. I march for a previous student who I couldn't protect from bullying and sexual abuse. I march because I've always been a loud, outspoken women, who believes in a better world.
But I also march for my more conservative friends--those men and women who struggle with the changes I desire. I believe there is room for traditional and progressive families. I believe pro-choice and pro-life advocates can work together. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall said, I may not agree with you, "but I'll defend to your death the right to say it." The march is just a start. We need to sit down together. We need to find our common ground. Even if you feel that being gay is a sin, you can still have compassion for the gay couple next door to you. Even if you've never personally discriminated against a black man or women, you can recognize that "equal" is still often separate. Even if your religion tells you that Islam is wrong, you can respect the commonalities between all great religions.
I will not stop marching, discussing, or acting until I know that I'm leaving this world a better place for my students, my nieces, and my nephews. I am grateful for my place in life--I'm truly blessed and because of this blessing I must do more to help those who are not yet as blessed. "It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." Hubert H. Humphrey (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/huberthhu163688.html)
I know my answer won't satisfy everyone, but at least it is my reasoning. Laugh if you will--I promise to not laugh at you, when passion drives your heart to proclaim why you march to the world, if this occurs in the future, as long as your voice comes from love and understanding.