I had my daughter Autumn late last year, a month before the election. As I was home caring for her in those first couple of months, I was wracked with worry about her future. Taking her to the march and seeing so many people supporting women made me see that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and that there is a growing movement to counteract the president’s hurtful policies toward women. Seeing so many young girls (and sons!) made me see our future is still bright!
My daughters. I want them to see that it matters when people stand up for each other. That there is strength in diversity and that everyone matters, that love and acceptance matters. I also marched for my uncle, who is bisexual. The LGBT community is sparse here and I think it’s important for him to know that there are friends in this area. That not everyone is filled with hate and discontent for LGBT people of Nebraska.
Like many people, I’ve gotten so burnt out and frustrated with politics and the election cycle. I don’t trust ANY particular politician (or individual, for that matter) to fully represent me and my beliefs; the only person who can do that is myself. As such, I’ve made it my mission to stand up and show up for the things I believe in. I marched because I believe that there are so many incredible, talented women who have earned more than what they’ve been given; I marched because our new President doesn’t even come close to meeting the moral, ethical, or intellectual standards that I would hold anyone to; I marched because I am responsible for and should be able to make decisions about my own body; I marched because when, one day, my daughters or nieces ask me where I was that day, I needed to be able to proudly answer that I stood up for myself and for the future of women’s rights and equality in this country.
I am a breast cancer survivor. I never thought I would get breast cancer at 37. It does not run in my family and I do not carry the gene mutation that causes many types of female cancer. Without a trip to the emergency room and a CAT scan for an unrelated issue, I would have never have caught it early. That is why women’s reproductive health means so much to me. Early detection is key. Hormone related cancers have to be maintained. Without Planned Parenthood many women would not have access to the care they desperately need.
The state of health care is at its infancy and probably at a total upheaval. So where will the disadvantaged or even the middle class go for treatment? Right now, cancer treatment is extremely expensive. I stand by my pink sisters as they have stood by me through the journey of diagnosis through maintenance treatment. And it doesn’t stop there. You then worry about cervical, uterine, ovarian and skin cancers all relating to reproductive health. And I could continue on with the various side effects of the treatments. Women need places like Planned Parenthood for many reasons. And for this reason I march with my sisters to hopefully spare one young woman from a horrible death, sparing her from radical treatments when for less invasive procedures are available. Especially when it is much cheaper to pay for treating the the disease at its earliest stages. I march to save my sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, mothers, cousins, friends, roommates, whoever that person might be. It is that simple.
I also march because I have two daughters. I have two intelligent daughters who deserve to grow up in a country that does not find it acceptable to grab women’s genitals and make comments about their place being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. I want more for my daughters. I want them to know that they are equal to boys and they should never be treated differently. I want my daughters to be able to love freely. To not be afraid to express their feelings. To not be afraid to explore new things. To have ambition to do what they love and to do it to the best of their ability. I want my daughters to know that life is not about being better than everyone else. Life is about being the best you and being happy being the best you possible. I march for them and all young girls who are too young to even know what rights they have and what rights need to be protected for them.
I march for the many reasons too long to report each one here. But the above explain the two important reasons I march for women today. I continue to stand up for women not only here but for women globally.
I marched with my husband and our three young daughters, aged 8, 6, and 4, whose self-created signs said “Girls Rule!”, “Women Need Respect,” and “Boo Trump” (the last was from my 4yo). We marched because of, well, all of the reasons my girls gave! Girls rule, and women DO need respect, especially during this regime which has given every indication of removing women from the decisions regarding their own bodies, and because of that: BOO TRUMP!
I marched for my daughter. For my sons. For their future. I marched because my husband held my hand and beamed with pride. I marched because I’m a nurse, and because reproductive health rights can make or break a woman’s life. I marched for the women both here and in the world who cannot, and even for the ones who think they should not. I marched because it’s my right and my duty as an American to speak up when I see something wrong. And lastly, I marched because I come from an amazing family…and my pretty badass mother raised me to do the right thing.
My daughter and I couldn’t march because we were both sick. I had every intention of marching with my 11-year-old. It’s important for her to know that her life – as a woman – will matter. Women are not objects, we can do everything we like, and we are in charge of our own bodies. Our lives matter, black lives matter, all lives matter.