To Those Who Said “You Don’t March for Me”

To Those Who Said “You Don’t March for Me”

Dear Women:

There are some who said we did not march for all women, but only for women who think the same way as everyone at the march.

In a crowd that numbered millions (across the world), I doubt we all had the same thoughts on every issue.

I know my thoughts were everywhere as I moved through the streets of Washington, D.C. I agreed with some statements, I disagreed with others. I sometimes felt confident, and then I felt uncomfortable. I examined the discomfort and moved through it. I learned from it. The reality was more important than my own discomfort. I was surrounded by people: young, old, male, female, gender fluid, trans, white, black, asian, mixed, Christian, Muslim, Jew, unknown . . .  The one thing that connected us was a belief in the power of peaceful protest and love.

Because yes, we were surrounded by love.

At one point someone fell out of a tree. Within seconds, a call moved down the street for a doctor. A doctor appeared. A moment later, a call moved down the street for an ambulance (as cell phones weren’t working well at this point). And then, the entire street near me MOVED OVER to allow an ambulance through.

That is what we were marching for.

We were marching for us all. We were marching for the rights of everyone to live life fully, believing what and how they want to believe, loving who and how they want to love. We were marching to give you the freedom to have differing thoughts and opinions.

If you want to believe that you are the property of men, that you deserve less than men, that you shouldn’t be out in the work place equal to men, that your place is in the home, raising child after child, and that the decisions about your body belong to everyone but yourself . . .than it is your right to live life that way.

By that, I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with staying at home with your children. That is the whole point, it is all YOUR CHOICE, and nobody should tell you differently.

I marched so you can make your own choice. But YOUR BELIEF should not affect how other people live.

I finally understand, the problem lies in your believing in yourself. Your choice is not diminished by other people making other choices. Repeat that to yourself: Your choice is not diminished by the choices of others.

I get it. I understand that there was a lot of support for Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood at the rally. There were a lot of statements supporting LGBTQIA rights, or the rights of immigrants. There was a lot of discussion about equal pay, equal marriage, and the right to live without fear. You may disagree with some of these issues, but that is okay. It only becomes problematic when you try to say there is only ONE WAY to believe and all the rest are going to be damned for believing differently.

There are many ways to believe. There are many ways to live. That is what makes this country great.

The one issue that divides us the most, I believe, is that of abortion. I am sure you have heard this before, but you have to understand that Pro-Choice does not equal Pro-Abortion. Nobody is fighting to say “let’s all go get abortions.” No, we are fighting to say that women’s bodies belong to ourselves, and that we have the right to control how those bodies are used. While you may believe that life begins at conception, others believe that life begins when the baby can survive on its own, and some at birth. I can’t prove which one is correct, but it doesn’t matter. We will never agree on this, but agreeing to disagree would solve a lot of problems.

I marched for the right to disagree.

I am sorry that you saw this march as anything other than what it was. It was not whining because a candidate lost, it was uniting across difference to say we expect better of the world, of ourselves, and of our government.

So, sisters (and brothers) you may not believe it, but we were, indeed, marching for you as well.

Sincerely, and with peace in my heart,

A woman who marched for you.

9 thoughts on “To Those Who Said “You Don’t March for Me”

  1. I did not know that there had been a backlash. Your essay, however, is an excellent response. Never read anything better about the variety of beliefs about abortion. (I was in Boston –80,000 expected–latest report says 170,000, very exciting.) now that is has been proven we can march, what next? A demonstration is not a strategy.

    • Stay engaged. Make phone calls. Keep alert. Live my ideals. Ignore the orange buffoon while staying focused on the legislation. I plan to keep writing the truth and speaking out against injustice as well as creating art that breaks down walls.