On Saturday, I stood among half a million people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations in hope of conveying a message that I believe in. It was overwhelming, exhausting, exhilarating, and inspiring. It is difficult to put into words the spectrum of emotions that I took home with me that evening. Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for backlash from a slew of sources to attempt to muffle the noise the marches created.
I’ve read some articles, blogs, and comments on the march from both sides of the isle. The mixture of reactions to Saturday left me hopeful yet confused, inspired yet frustrated. I try to empathize with the views and opinions of others while I understand I process everything through a lens of my own bias. Sometimes understanding is easier than others but no matter what, I try.
To the women who do not support the Women’s March and its many messages, I respect your opinion and I am open to listening to your point of view. I will try to see things through your eyes and disagree civilly when we collide. I will not dismiss your opinions as stupid, uneducated, or hateful. In return, I ask you to please offer me the same chance. Do not dismiss my opinion as whiny or ungrateful.
Productivity occurs when we engage in meaningful, understanding conversations with one another. Will we all agree on everything? No. Will we maybe agree on somethings? Probably. I will continue to read rebuttals to the march and try to see things from a new perspective, in the meantime I would like to share a few of the reasons I felt compelled to march and I hope that if you disagree you will at least give it some meaningful thought.
I march because although women in American may be equal to men on paper, we are not always in practice.
I march because I understand my position of privilege as a well-educated, white women in this country and feel an obligation to try to use it for the benefit of others.
I march because if teaching was a male-dominated profession do you really think so many of us would struggle to make ends meet?
I march because although women in other parts of the world have it A LOT worse does not mean I should settle. What kind of example does that set?
I march because although I currently have control over my own uterus, I fear that that may change.
I march because I teach in a classroom full of immigrants where SEVEN different languages are spoken and not a damn kid is bothered by another’s gender, accent, skintone or dress. I can’t see that as anything other than incredible.
I march because on a 95 degree day, I second guess if it is really hot enough to justify running in a sports bra, worrying my adaptation to the weather will be misinterpreted as an invitation for crude sexual advancements.
I march because my grandmother and my mother worked hard so that I could grow up in a more equal society than they did and although they’ve done a damn good job, we still have work to do. I march because I want my 2-year-old niece to have fewer inequalities to fight when she’s my age.
These are some of my reasons. I am sure, regardless of opinion on the march many women agree and many women disagree with my reasoning. And that’s okay. Healthy disagreement moves us forward, but only if we work at it. Only if we listen. Only if we admit when we are wrong.
We’re all trying to figure out this life thing for the first time. Listen to one another because there is always, ALWAYS more to learn.