Why I March

Something pretty amazing happened last Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of women came together all over the country — and the world — to peacefully march and make our voices heard.

This march was a lot of different things to a lot of different people — and we really need to keep that in mind.

There was not a one-size-fits-all purpose for these marches. Each individual who participated — male or female — had his or her own reasons for being there. But the one common thread I felt at my own city’s march in Madison, Wisconsin, was love, respect and a sense of solidarity. And most importantly, hope.

We are not alone. We will not go quietly into the night.

It’s frustrating to see the negative backlash from some over something so unifying and positive. Of course, none of these nay-sayers actually participated in a march, as far as I can tell. As is all too common in our society today, they sit safely behind a screen, passing judgment, making assumptions, missing the point.

I can only speak for my own reasons for being a part of what happened on January 21, 2017, a day I’ll never forget.

So here are my reasons for being a part of this historic day.

Note: With one exception, all of these photos are from the Women’s March in Madison, Wisconsin. #womensmarchmadison

Why I March:

– I March Because I Am Able

I am able to march both physically and logistically — my city had an organized march in which to participate. I know many who had to work or couldn’t be there for one reason or another, and I marched for them.

I so wanted to be with some of my best friends in DC for this march, too, and marching in Madison was my way of linking with them across the miles. I was proud of my city for having its own march, and I wanted to be a part of my own community. Turns out, we had the second-highest attendance percentage to population for our march!

– I March Because I Am Forever Grateful to Those Who Marched Before Me

The backlash I’ve seen only further proves to me that this so important right now. There is a LOT of ignorance, entitlement, judgment and more circulating. I’m frustrated by anyone who fails to appreciate all the blood, sweat and tears that went into granting them the rights they are clearly taking for granted. Rights that very much can and WILL be taken away without action. Some of this is already in motion, if you’re paying attention at all. If you weren’t there, you don’t know what it felt like, the sense of community, the LOVE.

I march for women like these, who have marched for me.

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– I March Because I Believe In My Country

It can be hard some days. I’ve blogged on a day I felt despair more than anything — we all have those days. But I believe in our process, in our rights and ability TO march, to gather together in solidarity. Don’t take it for granted. For me, personally, this wasn’t a protest as much as it was a reminder that we are here and we will fight for our rights. We’re watching.

– I March Because I Believe in My Right to Choose

Yes, that’s right, I’m pro-choice. A helpful reminder:

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That’s it. Period.

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– I March in Solidarity Because It Gives Me — and Others — Hope

It’s been a looooong, scary, uncertain election cycle, has it not? I felt better on Saturday than I’ve felt in months because I was surrounded by people who had the same fears, hopes and desires as I did.

I’ve been scrolling through the #womensmarchmadison on Twitter and came across this tweet:

filled me up with so much hope and confidence, and reminded me of the power we all hold when we speak up & work together”

Exactly!

And, finally,

– I March Because This is Bigger Than Women’s Rights

This is about human rights. If you think you’re exempt from worry and threat of your rights under this administration, you’re not paying attention. Or perhaps if you have very light skin, a penis, are a legal U.S. citizen and make a certain level of income, maybe you’re not worried. Good for you — but far too many of the people I’ve seen throwing shade at this peaceful coming-together across our nation and world, do not exactly fit that persona. Not even close. We marched for YOU, too, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.

I used to wish I could have been around in the 1960s/70s — the music, the fashion, civil rights, women’s rights. I felt like I missed so many huge things that have shaped our country and society, and I think “Oh, to be a part of those times!” But we have our own movement in 2017. If anything, this election cycle has been a HUGE wakeup call to myself and many others that our rights simply cannot be taken for granted. Not even for one hour of one day. We have to keep fighting to maintain the rights that came about from hard-fought efforts in the past. I can be a part of all of the things that fascinate me about the 60s and 70s now. We can make a difference now to be looked back on by the people in 2070. And so last Saturday, I cranked up some music as I finished up my signs, donned some retro stripes and marched for my — for our — future.

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Ending note: The work doesn’t stop here. It’s barely begun. Tweet at me @AdultishAlyssa with photos from your city’s march, what inspires you and what you are doing to make a difference!

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