Yesterday, me and my closest 400,000 friends* took to the streets of New York City to join the millions of others in towns and cities around the United States and around the world to peacefully protest the new White House administration, and promote that women’s rights are human rights. Folks from all walks of life, not just women, took to the streets to make our voices heard, and the images taken from above the march sites are powerful. There’s an image going around the internet right now of an older woman holding a sign that says “I can’t believe I still have to protest this fucking shit.” I’m not sure if it was taken yesterday, or at one of the many other rallies where women still have to demand rights over their own bodies, but that message will not get out of my mind. We are still demanding, still fighting, for rights that shouldn’t have to be won.
I don’t want the government to tell me what I can do with my female reproductive organs, and I especially don’t want them to control decisions that are really just between me and my healthcare provider. That’s why I marched. I saw a sign that said “Planned Parenthood saved me from cervical cancer.” I saw other signs with smart saying, creative drawings of uteruses, and even vagina costumes (oh, and Chuck Schumer made an appearance!) The point is, people were there for a variety of reasons, their own reasons, whether they had female reproductive organs or not. But women’s rights are just the start.
In many ways, the real march, the march towards equality, towards freedom, to equal access to all that America has to offer, has just begun. The millions of marchers who came out on Saturday across the country–across the world–were just the start. Equal rights for women, gay, trans, hispanic, muslim, blacks...the list goes on of the fundamental equality issues that this administration is going to challenge. Not to mention access to health care, immigration, jobs–topics that are going to be deeply challenged as well. We need to keep our voices loud, our opinions heard, and keep pushing towards the freedoms that we so rightfully deserve. I urge you to call your local representatives, volunteer at your local shelter, show your support with organizations that are likely taking some of the harshest tolls, and most of all, remind yourself that change starts with YOU. You are not alone in this, we are not alone in this, and our voices will be heard.
““There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” Jane Austen
*Ok, fine, I’m not popular enough to have 400,000 friends, but we did all get along real nice.