I Have a Right to My Own Body.

My health should not be regulated by men. I should have the right to make the best choices for myself with the help of my doctor without repercussions from lawmakers. And Donald Trump is at the very least is a perpetrator of sexual abuse if not an all out rapist. He doesn’t represent me or the women of this country. Too many men get too little punishment for their actions against women, and it’s sickening.

 

What’s happening is not acceptable.

I was unable to march due to a prior commitment. I wish I had been able to. There were so many reasons to march. Affordable health care, LBGT rights, Rape culture, the list goes on. We have an administration in place that devalues women on a level beyond comprehension. We MUST say this is not acceptable and we will fight. 

I Am a Survivor of Sexual Assault

I am a survivor of sexual assault. I am a mother. I am a taxpayer who wants to see my tax dollars go to help my fellow human beings not to line the pockets of the wealthy. I worked for many years in the helping fields where I treated abused women and children. I am sick of the patriarchal bull that perpetuates violence, undervalues the contributions of women and minorities. I am a Catholic who has seen the word bastardized and twisted to support oppressive laws when we should be keeping a firm separation of church and state. I am sick in my heart at the injustice rape victims, abuse victims, and people of color face in our legal system, especially when the perpetrators are white males.

Equality for all

I marched to stand in unity with my brothers and sisters world wide, fighting for equality for ALL! Specific issues that resonate with me are unequal education rights, infanticide of baby girls, genital mutilation & gang rap practices, lack of voting/driving rights, arranged marriages of underaged girls and a lack of laws against domestic violence. These issues are common in many countries (China, India, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Pakistan, Mali, Nepal, etc). In addition, issues that plague the U.S., such as human trafficking, the woman tax, the gender wage gap, unconstitutional legislation in regards to women’s reproductive rights, lgbtq rights, racial and ethnic issues surrounding women globally.

The wonderful, courageous women who made me feel whole and human again

When I was thirteen, I was taken and repeatedly raped for about 24 hours.

It was summer in a small town almost 20 years ago, so no one noticed I was missing. Too scared to tell my parents, and not understanding what happened or what to do, I used all my paper route money to take a taxi about thirty miles to a Planned Parenthood the next town over.
I knew they could help me; I had seen their flyers once, in a booth at the county fair.

When I arrived beat up, cut up, and bruised, they let me use the phone. I called my parents and told them I was staying over at a friend’s house.
The women at the clinic bandaged me up, extensively. They cleaned the cuts, the abrasions on my wrists, the scrapes on my cheeks. They cleaned up a couple cigarette burns. They iced my bruised and swollen face. They talked me through my first physical. They tested me for sexually transmitted diseases. They gave me the morning after pill.
I’m in my late twenties, which means I’d have an adolescent child now, had I gotten pregnant.

One of the women there gave me a ride back to my little town, and I stayed at a friend’s house for a couple days, until I could pass for having fallen off my bike.

I know what they did was borderline illegal, due to my age. But, I am forever grateful.

I know now that I could have told my parents, but I wasn’t ready.
It was MY choice.

And those women, those wonderful, courageous women who held me while I sobbed, who cleaned my cuts and bandaged me up, who held my hair back while I got sick, who held ice on my face and cradled me until I stopped shaking, who wrapped me in blankets and made me feel safe and strong and capable and whole and human again, they are heroes.

I will forever stand with Planned Parenthood, because they stood with me, even when I couldn’t stand for myself.

I also marched for my loved ones, my friends and family, especially those who are people of color and members of the lqbtq community. I marched for immigrants, who are some of the people I hold most dear in this community.

I march, I RESIST.

I will never back down from this fight.

Women will not stand by

Women will not stand by

I marched to show that the women of this country will not stand by and watch their rights to safe, affordable, accessible health care be taken from them by a group of men who will never have to make the kinds of reproductive choices that the women of this country – and the world over – make every day. I marched because I want a future where any daughters that I may have will be judged by their intelligence, humor, and strength rather than their smile, hair, or body. Where those same daughters can walk on our streets at night without keys between their fingers or mace in their purse. A future where they will have the right to have children when, where, and how they choose, safely and with kind support. Where they will be guaranteed the same salary as a man with the same qualifications and job title. I marched because I want a world that is better for my future children than one where women are treated as less than men and rape victims are blamed for their assaults while rapists are merely given a slap on the wrist. We, as a nation, can and should be better. That is why I marched.

I have put up with this rape culture for too long

I marched because I am a woman, and the mother of a woman. I marched because this presidential election made me say “enough”. The minority elected a sexual predator and misogynistic liar with no qualifications to lead this country. I have put up with this rape culture for too long. My daughter was sexually harassed the first time by a fellow student in second grade. It was discovered by her teacher. When the parents were called in the father said that “maybe she was asking for it”. The teacher would not share this information normally, but we were close and she made us promise we would not act on the info. This was not the last incident in grade school and I am sure she had to put up with much more than I ever did because she was pretty, smart, fun, popular. She was everything I wished I could have been except assaulted , she was raped. I march because this has to stop. You may not tell me that it is OK to elect a man that tells people that because he is famous he can grab a woman’s pussy. He can mock a disabled man by acting like a fool. He can call women fat pigs and thinks he can bully people because of their appearance…..really…..by appearance? I know I am not the only one wondering where he gets the nerve, but I digress. I march for those who love a person of the same sex and have the right to do that. I march for a woman to make her own reproductive decisions. I march for that person that feels trapped in the body that does not feel right. I march for those human beings that want a chance to make life better in this country. I march for all the hard working people that deserve to make a living wage. I march for every child to know that they will not be hungry, especially at school. I march for every person to have healthcare and not for the hospital ceos and pharmaceutical companies to become billionaires. I march for accessibility to health care for those with mental illness and disabilities. I march because I have had it with our political leaders. I want to be the grandma with nothing to do but love and spoil my grandsons, bake cookies and read books, but now I will have to spend my last years trying to make right, everything that has gone so wrong.