Not for Me But for My Friends.

I endured a grueling bus trip to be in DC on Saturday. I traveled from Iowa with friends. Not for me but for my friends.

I March for my black women friends who are worried that their husbands and sons will be killed in a traffic stop.

I marched for my immigrant friends so they would feel safe in the country they’ve adopted because their own country was not a healthy place to live.

I Marched for my Muslim friends, who deserve the right to choose their religion in a country taken from Native Americans by people escaping religious persecution.

I marched for my Great grandmother who lost her farm when her husband died, she had to sell grain in the name of her 5 year old son. For my great aunt who shared the story of her mother getting to vote. These stories of string women make up my family, may they watch over me and be proud.

For inequality in the workplace and everyday sexism we are so used to we barely notice. For a salary correction that awards equal work for equal pay.

Women are as capable of making decisions as men. Stop legislating our bodies. You cannot stop abortion, you can stop safe abortion. The Hyde amendment has kept your federal funds safe since 1976 when I was 10. Stop wasting your legislative efforts in non issues and spend time doing good.

I Marched Because I Want Our Voices to Be Heard!

I marched because I learned the importance of being an advocate in 1976 when I started my first job as a counselor at Planned Parenthood of Lincoln.  I saw the need for women to have affordable health care, birth control counseling, and pregnancy option counseling without being judged.  I marched because I fear that funding for Planned Parenthood will continue to be reduced and women will not have an option for free or affordable health care, that a woman’s rights to control reproduction, and that their right to have a safe and legal abortion will all be taken away.

In 1986, I started working as an Independent Living Advisor at the League of Human Dignity.  This involved advocating for the rights of students with disabilities to see that schools were applying the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  So many individuals with disabilities are still facing huge barriers to live independent lives without being judged by society based on the fact that they have a disability.  I am a woman with a disability and felt like my voice needed to be heard at the Women’s March.

I marched because the LGBTQ community faces barriers in regulations of employment discrimination, bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, as well as harassment on the basis of one’s sexual orientation.  I marched because I fear their rights with marriage equality will be stripped.

I marched to fight for the rights of woman to receive equal pay.   Women still are not receiving equal pay for equal work, let alone equal pay for work of equal value. This disparity not only affects women’s spending power, it penalizes their retirement security by creating gaps in Social Security and pensions.

I marched because of race discrimination.  Martin Luther King is one of my heroes and I marched for him.  I marched for Margaret Sanger, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and every person who has fought for the rights of all the causes that I believe in.

I marched because I want our voices to be heard!

Sexual harassment at work is ignored

It was encouraging to hear the organization beginning for the Women’s March the day after the Inauguration.
I wanted to participate, I NEEDED to participate, but as so many others like me, I had to work that day.  I haven’t the luxury of taking time off work, as I live paycheck to paycheck.  Since the election, I feel that is actually at risk.  Some of my female friends have been laid off work, others dismissed completely.   Can it be proven that is directly related to the election of Donald Trump?  Probably not, but I do believe it is, at least in part, a contributing factor.
Since I live in a rural area, women have always been seen as “just the caretakers.”  We have been relegated to teachers, nurses, secretaries, assistants.  In the past year, I have been passed up for a job promotion, to a young man who had no experience at all in my industry.  I applied for, interviewed, and was passed up for a Veteran Service Office position, despite my credentials and involvement with local vets, over a man who had never even joined a veteran’s organization.  During the interview, it was alluded to that “vets have a hard time with women who were allowed into the service.”
In January, I quit my job, because a young man yelled at me that I was a “fucking bitch.” I was in my manager’s office, and even though the incident happened in front of the manager, nothing was done.  When I gave notice, the manager was shocked that I would quit over such a minor incident.  He forced the young man to apologize, and begged me to stay, which I agreed to.  I did tell both of them if another incident like that ever happened again, I was taking them to court.  Neither seemed to get that what happened was sexual harassment.  It was all over their belief that as a secretary and the only female in the office, I should be happy to clean up their muddy messes.  When I offered them the vacuum cleaner, I was attacked.
The young man was the same one last fall who couldn’t wait to vote for Trump, and laughed deliriously at the “grab them by the pussy” comment.  The manager and the young man were a little shocked when I got angry that they were laughing.  I have seen more and more disrespect, not only towards women, but also minorities, LBGTQ, and the disabled.  It is like, somehow, we have turned from a polite society into a bigoted bunch of entitled babies, saying and doing anything regardless of consequences and who might get hurt.
I am sick at heart, and devoid of hope since Trump’s election, and inauguration.  He is certainly causing change in Washington, just like he promised.  It is not, however, the change his supporters anticipated.  The man needs to be stopped.  If that takes protests, so be it.  I have tried to call my senators, but their phones have been busy.  I have sent e-mails.
I have never felt unsafe in my community, my state, or my country.  I find myself looking at everyone I meet, wondering who is now friend or foe?
The darkness and hopelessness in my heart grows daily against this despot, who calls himself President.  He doesn’t represent me, or anyone resembling me.  He is a dangerous man.

I Marched for Women’s Rights

Say what you want, but women are not treated equally.

I’ll never forget times I’ve learned (twice now) that a male coworker who had less experience than me made more money than I did.

Or when I took a 12-week unpaid maternity leave after having my son and my boss snarkily referred to it as a vacation when I returned.

Or when I was roofied at a bar by a friend of a friend and was almost assaulted.

Or when men speak over me during meetings.

Or when my ideas aren’t taken seriously.

Or when I’ve had to ask a male coworker to present an idea for me because I knew it would be given more merit simply because it was coming from “one of the guys”.

Or when I’ve been labeled as aggressive and bitchy at work for behaviors that would be labeled as leadership if they came from a man.

Or when teachers, professors, and bosses have hit on me and put me in uncomfortable, inappropriate situations and suggested I would “benefit” in some way if I compromised my integrity.

Or when my ass was grabbed while waitressing.

Or when I walk somewhere alone at night with my keys between my fingers like Wolverine and have to be hyper vigilant due to the danger of being assaulted.

Or when people I work with don’t think I can excel at my job because I am the mother of 2 young children.

I could list every transgression I’ve suffered, but that’s not the point. I will be the first to admit that I have had a privileged life. Many more women have suffered and endured far more than I could ever imagine.

Until women are truly, unequivocally equal, we will continue to fight for these rights. THAT, is why we marched!

I am a County Supervisor and I deal with sexual discrimination.

I am a County Supervisor and deal with sexual discrimination on a continuous basis. I have been excluded from casual lunches, not afforded privileges offered to men (Executive Session) by male board members, listened to valid complaints from women who were a part of discriminatory job interviews; had the complaints of those women dismissed by male board members, and attacked verbally in the newspaper by a WOMAN for speaking out against the men who asked sexually discriminating questions in employment interviews.

Our current president is the epitome of a male expressing sexually discriminating statements with no negative consequences for him.  Women remain underpaid & underrepresented in our government and corporations.

What we must continue to do is speak out against sexual discrimination; be unafraid to speak the truth; support each other, call out people, men and women, that make grievous statements against women