“We will extend our hand if you will unclench your fist…” ~ Barack Obama, Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009
These words struck me as so powerful 8 years ago. This is how I choose to live my life…with love, compassion and forgiveness. I will to continue to work for change and help heal divides.
This is how I feel today at the swearing in of a new president and this is one of the reasons I will march tomorrow.
Everyone has their own reasons for marching. The official Million Women March reasons are:
“We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
On a personal level, here are my reasons:
I march for myself, as a woman who worked side by side, doing the same jobs, with men who made more money than me.
I march for my family and friends, who’ve been in situations that lead to abortions and their right to choose.
I march for my daughters, so they can have a say over their bodies, reproductive choice, and the power to speak up when they feel disrespected and their personal space not honored.
I march for my gay and lesbian friends, who’ve just recently been given the right to marry. I march for those who feel that they weren’t born to the gender that they represent inside…and their rights to choose and be treated respectfully.
I march for those who seek the American dream but are discriminated against because they weren’t born here, or their culture is different, or they are people of color or practice a different religion.
I march for all of these because I am all of these, in some way or another. I have witnessed or felt this pain and I want to feel like I can do something beyond simply casting a vote.
I hope our steps make a difference in many things but most importantly, I hope we can help change the mindset that brought about the current administration.
Poster from Shepard Fairey‘s Inauguration series.