I Marched So My Granddaughters Don’t Have To

I grew up in an era that discouraged young women from believing they could do anything. A boss once told me that even though I was doing a great job, I wouldn’t get a very big raise. He said he knew my husband had just gotten a big promotion, and they needed to save the bigger raises for the men who were heads of households. We’ve come a long way, but women still make only 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. I’ve been an independent voter and have voted for both Republicans and Democrats. But I fear the new administration does not respect women (remember the Bill Bush tape). I have two young granddaughters. I don’t want them to have to march for equal rights. That’s one reason I marched. I hope the elected officials who represent me will have the guts to stand up for women and others who are marginalized.

My granddaughters and my grandson are the children of an immigrant. My son-in-law (as a child) and his family fled Nicaragua to escape the communist reign of the Sandinistas. They are model citizens of the United States now. My son-in-law is a science teacher. One of his sisters is a translator for the FBI. Like Ronald Reagan, they believed that the Statue of Liberty really meant the U.S. would be a refuge for people like themselves. Last night, the president signed an executive order that puts a huge dent in that belief.

That’s why I marched. And that’s why I weep.

My Mission is to Stand Up and Show Up

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.

Equal Rights, Love of Country, and Hope

I marched for a million reasons and some that can never truly be expressed through words.  I marched to have my own voice heard, but also to be the voice for others who can not speak or may not know they need to.  I marched because I believe in civil liberties, human rights, black lives matter, LGBTQ+ equality, My Rights to Choose, Love Trumping Hate, Free and Decent Education, and yes – love of my Country.  I marched because I have Hope over everything else.

It is My Turn to March for Equal Rights for ALL

I marched because I oppose everything Trump and his White House cabinet represent. I marched because he does NOT represent me or my country. I marched for women’s rights, refugee rights, LGBT rights, and equal rights for ALL. I marched because the women decades ago marched for my rights and it’s my turn to make a difference.

I Had to March; There was No Question Whether I Should

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Photo Credit – Sara Sawatzki, Open Road Photographer 2017

I am a Mother, Grandmother, Spouse, Aunt, Cousin, Daughter, Granddaughter and organic farmer (for 25 years).

I had to march; there was no question whether I should. I’ll be 70 years old in July and I have experienced the women’s rights movement and what was fought for in the 60’s. I’ve seen women’s rights slowly evolve so women have so many choices not thought possible for my generation. To see our rights erode for my daughters, seven granddaughters, and all women of all religions, cultures, sexuality, economic status is not acceptable. We have much more to do and shouldn’t have to be spending our time defending our rights that we have. We do not have equal pay, no matter what white males say.

I marched for environmental and social justice. A healthy and social environment will help ensure a positive future for future generations, men and women.

“Human rights are the bedrock of our society”

As a parent and disability advocate, it’s so important to me to stand up for equal rights for everyone in our country. That includes women, LBGTQ people, disabled people, people of color, immigrants, refugees, everyone. Human rights for all are the bedrock of our society and I will always show up when one of our neighbors needs someone to help fight for their basic rights.

We needed to know we are not alone

I marched because I wanted to show my son that women are strong and fierce. I marched because I do not support any of the new administration’s policies. I marched because America is already great; made so by women, immigrants, all different races and religions, including non-religious people. I marched because love is love and black lives matter. I marched because, like many of us, I felt heartbroken and betrayed on election night. For weeks after that day I could hardly look people in the eye. I couldn’t stop wondering if the people I’ve lived around for my entire life felt like my life was less valuable because of my gender, that my partner and son’s lives were less valuable because of their race, that my best friend’s life was less valuable because of who he loves. I needed to know, and I needed my family to know, that we were not alone. I needed to turn my despair into hope. I needed to remind myself that, even in this almost hopelessly red state, there are people that truly care about other people, without exception. That is why my family and I marched.