This weekend was one for the books. People around the country had all the feels for a number of reasons. Whether you were excited about Friday’s Presidential Inauguration (I was not), or pumped for Saturday’s women’s’ marches (I was), or doing a happy dance for the big football games on Sunday (my husband), it was a huge weekend. The events resulted in quite a lot of thought about how I want to raise my daughters to be strong and fearless.
My Mom attended the Women’s March on Washington Saturday and I could not be more proud of her for going. To be honest, I initially begged her not to go. Large crowds make me nervous ever since we were at the Boston Marathon, but the March was eventless in any negative way. Part of me wishes I was there too – to show my support for the cause – but I know my Mom marched for me. She marched for my daughters. She marched for any woman who wanted to be there and could not.
I know there are a lot of people out there who think the Women’s’ Marches were pointless. You all have a right to think that… a few of my friends are part of that group who laughed at the marches. They say they don’t need or want change. I’m not one of those people. I believe the millions of women, men, and children who gathered, in countless places worldwide, in peaceful protest, is incredible. To come together without violence in a united front proves that there is more love in this hateful world than we know. My Mom said you could feel it in the air – the energy – the positivity and passion – flooding the veins of everyone – in unison.
What do all those people want? Well, we all want something – I can’t speak for all the people there, but I can tell you what I want. I want my daughters to grow up in a place where she can decide what to do with her body. I want my daughters to be paid on the same level as a man for doing the same work. I want my daughters to feel empowered, strong, and unafraid of standing up for what they believe in.
Sexism is real.
If you’re a woman, you can’t lie and say you’ve never felt it – where a male thinks he is better than you. I’ve experienced it firsthand more times than I can count. In school, in the workplace, in a freakin’ grocery store. Do I think the government can change the existence of sexism in this country? Maybe… maybe if the people in charge acknowledged that it’s real. Maybe if they passed laws that would allow women paid maternity leave because having a baby is hard and we shouldn’t be punished financially for bringing the future of our country into this world. Maybe if they didn’t try to pass a law that would not give women the right to choose to do what they want with their body. Maybe if they passed a law that forced companies to give both men and women equal pay.
I also think it should be noted that the other purpose of the march was to save the rights we have NOW and to NOT go backward, which is what some of the administration wants to do. So many people think women are saying we have no rights and that is not true. Women (and men and children) are asking to keep the rights we already have first and to hopefully gain even more rights.
Moving forward, I don’t know what will happen next. I just know that there is a unified feeling of empowerment stronger than anything I’ve felt or witnessed in my life. Saturday’s events were just the beginning… the people in our country want to be heard. They want women’s rights and civil rights to be on the forefront of our country’s mind. If 500,000 people could march on Washington without a single arrest, then they deserve to be listened to. If more than 1 million people could march around the world, without exhibiting violence, then they deserve to be listened to.
It took me awhile to write this post. I worried about what my readers might think. I still do – I fear a little bit of backlash. I am not someone who stands on a soapbox because I’m always frightened someone will shoot me down. But the truth is – no one should be scared to speak up. I want my daughters to know their Mom isn’t afraid anymore. We can’t ask for change if we don’t open our mouths.
Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.