Marching for my younger self, for my daughters, and for the voiceless

I did march, and I will again.
I marched for and with my two daughters, ages 7 and 9, to show them that others will stand up for their rights and their value as girls and women, even as the boys are talking over them and pushing them aside in their weekend robotics club.

I marched for my 12-year-old self who was sexually assaulted at the neighborhood swimming pool.

I marched for my 17-year-old self who drove to Planned Parenthood and got contraceptives and sex education because my boyfriend was pressuring me so much to have sex that I decided to give in.

 I marched for 21-year-old me trapped in a bad marriage who had an abortion and never regretted it, not once, not even a little bit.

 I marched for me at 23, when my boss found out I was going through a divorce and took that as an invitation to get my phone number from my employee file and call me repeatedly, drunk, at 2 am.

 I marched for 25-year-old me who put herself through college by bartending 5 nights a week but never felt safe walking or biking home from downtown.

 I marched for me at 29, remarried, kid-free, and healthy thanks to Planned Parenthood.

 I marched for me at 31, being charged $230 per month extra for health insurance just because I was a woman.

 I marched for me at 32, struggling with postpartum depression and breastfeeding and finding – just barely – the support I needed from tiny and underfunded nonprofit organizations here in Lincoln.

 I marched for 33-year-old me who desperately needed an IUD after birthing 2 babies in 21 months.

 I marched for me at 41, needing a mammogram due to a family history of breast cancer and worrying that I might lose my ACA insurance coverage before I could find time for the appointments.

But most of all – I marched for everyone who couldn’t. I marched for my friends who had to work or don’t have transportation or are in unsafe relationships or are too oppressed, too beat down, to think that marching will make a difference. I marched for those who have screamed and screamed until they have no more voice. I will speak for them.