My Marching Orders Continue

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I spent last Saturday morning at the Women’s March. If you were at a march as well, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Where were you? Who did you march with? And finally, the big one: Why did you march?

That’s the question, isn’t it? Why did we march?

While the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington did an excellent job of laying out a positive and comprehensive platform, I think every person participated for their own reasons.

Here are some photos I posted on Instagram that day, where I explained some of mine.

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Obviously, I was proud of Finn for rallying with us that day and being such an active participant. I didn’t set out to raise a feminist son, (and he still doesn’t love the title), but his actions speak louder than words.

Here are some other signs, photos and groups I saw and enjoyed that day.

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Here’s part of Tim’s take, which if you follow him on Instagram, you’ve already seen. If you don’t follow him, you probably should.

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An armchair quarterback, whom I love and respect deeply, posted this article from The Guardian the day after the march. (I call him an armchair quarterback because he’s really good at critiquing the plays, even when he’s not in the game himself.) The author argued that the organizers and participants in the march need to capitalize on the energy of the event and translate it into concrete goals and actions. Too many rebellions start with a bang and end with a whimper. His point was well made, so a friend immediately shared the 100-Day Action plan supported by the organizers of the march to keep the momentum going.

If you haven’t taken a look at it, especially if you marched, please do. What I most appreciate about Step One – The Sending of Postcards – is that they leave space for each person to fill in what is of greatest concern to them. They are not trying to make a blanket statement, or speak for everyone.

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For some, the march was about women’s equality, for others, respect and kindness in our civil dialogue. For many it was about women’s reproductive rights. I saw signs in favor of earth care, the ACA, common sense gun laws, LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, respect for science, and Love Wins. I’m not saying Trump is personally against all of those things, but the voting and governing coalition he put together certainly is as a whole. I did see more than a few signs about our new president and his disparaging comments about women and his coalition’s desire roll back women’s healthcare access, but they were by no means the dominant message.

For me, the march was about all of those things and more. That doesn’t mean I agree with every single person in the march, but I wanted to lend my voice, time, body and energy to a movement of women – for women, by women and supported by men.

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This sign was courtesy of Elizabeth Gilbert on Instagram.

I want women of all ages, colors and faiths to have a bigger seat at decision-making tables, starting with those in their own homes. Don’t tell me they haven’t earned it, aren’t ordained to it, or don’t care enough about it. None of that is true, except through the filter of those who feel threatened by it.

So, onward sisters and brothers of all political persuasions. Stay in relationship with one another. Keep Loving, keep talking, keep trying to find your way to common ground. It may seem further away than ever this week, but I’m not giving up hope and I pray those on the other side of the aisle won’t either.

Post Script:

Over the past week, the Women’s March on Washington has been fetèd and critiqued. I’ve read essays about how wonderful it was, how white it was, how effective it was and yet ultimately, how it won’t change a thing. I don’t pretend to know what the effect of the Women’s March will be on political policy as a whole. I only know what I experienced and how it will play out in the choices I make and those are all good.

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “My Marching Orders Continue

  1. I marched in DC. For me the march showed me that I am not alone, and because of that, I am more apt to turn my anger into action. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. I marched in San Diego, too. I hadn’t marched since the 80s (against nuclear armament), and I had planned to march with my husband. We were shocked at the crowds (we thought we went early), so not finding parking, he ended up dropping me at the trolley station. Being alone gave me a chance to think more, though, and to observe more. I felt stronger somehow. I loved the signs, the crowds. I thought there was great diversity in the crowd, and overwhelmed by the numbers.
    I believe my purpose in marching was proving (to myself as much as anyone) my commitment to working for a change from what we have now in Washington. My commitment is to make more political calls, and not limit myself to petitions and forwarding memes. I will work for change, even if I have to change.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Cheryl. I am sorry you had to march alone, but hope you felt included in the like-minded community. It did buoy me to be there with family and friends, but can imagine that being alone would have brought it’s own energy and significance to the event. Like you, I felt like it was a first step towards a longer and greater commitment to vocal and physical activism for causes I believe in. It reminded me to stay strong, not just for myself and my daughters, but for so many others (and the world) who will be affected by the policies being put in place.

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