My head has been spinning for months now trying to articulate how I feel to the Internet. I’ve been afraid to share my true feelings with the world. I’m not sure what changed but I’m ready now..and I won’t apologize for how I feel.
Thankfully, we all are allowed to feel however we want. The range of emotions in this country (and around the world) right now is powerful. From love to hate, from proud to petty, from afraid to awakened. The list is long. I beg all of you to keep feeling, no matter what. And express those feelings respectfully.
On Friday, I watched our 45th president get sworn into office. I watched. I listened. I learned. It is history. On Saturday, I marched. Before you assume, please let me clear it up for you: I did not march because of the president. I marched so that all of our elected officials and people (not just men) around the world know that women’s right as just as important as anything else. More specifically: I marched for my beautiful, strong baby sister, who I pray never loses her sense of self and stays as confident as she is today (at almost fourteen). I marched for the strong woman who raised me, who sacrificed so I could have. And for my father who has never once disrespected me or asked me to silence my voice. I marched for my grandparents who started lives here and built them as best they could for us. I marched for the women and men who have encouraged me to think deeper, go further, to want more. I marched for every woman who came home and was met with a fist. For those whose dignity was taken from them. For those who never had a choice. That’s why I marched. The beauty of such a movement is that we all marched for different reasons. It was and always will be personal.
For me, Saturday’s march was not about right or wrong. Republican or Democrat. It was about using my voice for good. To stand up for something bigger than myself. To make it known to the every sexist man on this God green earth that women matter. That no means no. That my gender should not determine my pay or my rights.
Let me also say I know good men. Many marched beside me. Even those who didn’t, you are still good men who empower women and are fighting the good fight next to us. I am NOT saying all men are wrong or bad or sexist. But some are. I hope those some were watching.
To the women who didn’t march or say it was a waste of time, I respect your choice. However, please don’t put other women down. That does nothing for us. And no matter how you feel, we are an us. Empowered women empower women.
I don’t feel oppressed. But the fact is I make less than my male counterpart. And even though I don’t feel oppressed doesn’t not mean I can’t stand up for the oppressed. That’s called empathy, this world needs more of it.
I have never been more proud to be an American. A woman. A sister, daughter and friend. I will remain proud and will continue to make my voice heard.