Why We Marched

I didn’t intend to write about the Women’s March – the March wasn’t about me. But then someone questioned my integrity and parenting so maybe I do need to talk about why we participated because apparently not everyone takes the opportunity to educate themselves before making judgements.

I posted a picture of Juliana at the March with one of the signs that we made and a family member took issue with it. I am specifically pointing out that it was a family member to make it clear that he could have contacted me directly with his concerns – I could have been instantly reached via text. He also could have commented on the photo so I would have seen his response, but he didn’t. Instead he went to his own Facebook wall and posted that he was offended that an 11-year old girl being used as a political pawn in a march to support baby killers. I think that he missed the whole point – estimates put the total global participation at over 4 Million people – this wasn’t about a single issue. However, I know that there are some people who look at politics and see only one issue, therefore everything must be related to that one issue.

The sign that Juliana carried had the words: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – damental Human Rights”. As she was making the sign, she laughed because everyone should have fundamental human rights – kids get it. Friday night when I talked to her about the March she asked some questions and I explained some of the goals of the March. {If you want to know more about the Unity Principles, you can read them here} We are fortunate that the school that she attends has programs that incorporate social justice topics – I remember when they were studying the civil rights movement and she came to me in tears to ask why anyone would think less of someone because of the color of their skin.

I talked to her the day after the March as well. I asked if she was glad that we went and how she felt about the day. Here is her response:

“I think that the March was important and it was kind of cool to be part of something that could help create change. All people deserve to be treated with equal respect – no one should have different rights – people can’t control how they were born.”

An election has never impacted me like this one. It made me feel helpless and at the same time it made me want to try harder. It reminded me of every time I’ve seen a man promoted over a more qualified women. It reminded me that women with passionate arguments in the workplace are often told to calm down while men loud opinions are praised for their leadership skills. It reminded me that women need to be twice as good at their jobs to gain the same level of respect and look good doing it…but not too good.

I’ve heard people say that women have come so far and it’s true. And I am grateful for the women who came before me, but the work is not done. I am incredibly fortunate to have a husband who gets it and wants the best possible future for all of his children. I was impressed with the number of husbands and families that marched together – we can all be stronger together.

This day was one of the first times since the election that I felt a glimmer of hope. The experience was 100% positive – the signs were witty and the participants were friendly. There were no negative chants or signs. It was about equality and people coming together to support each other. I think that this article does a great job of telling why it was important so I will link instead of going on here.

My hope is the same as Juliana’s – that this is the start of creating change. That’s how I see this event – not a single day but a start, and I am evaluating the best way to lend my talents to the effort.


4 comments to Why We Marched

  • Dave P.

    Kudos and best wishes to you and your entire family! I loved seeing the picture of J. on Facebook – it definitely made me smile to read the sign. Hopefully many minds can be opened up to broader viewpoints and more acceptance in the coming future. And hopefully rights and privileges can be extended appropriately while never being reduced. I am a cynical optimist (or perhaps more accurately, a realistic optimist) – I have high hopes that we can continue to improve this world and help bring equality and opportunity to all, while being incredibly aware of the real world in which we live and the current political climate that may make even maintaining the status quo of rights difficult. We will see, but I’m still optimistic. I applaud you for marching and for taking J. with you. I (symbolically) stand with you!

  • Francina S

    Thank you Jen. You continue to inspire me which makes me a better mom to my awesome daughter.

  • Julie Oldach

    Hi Sweetie – I must say I feel better after reading your explanation. I didn’t comment when I saw Juliana but felt a little sick about it – You see I had just seen Madonna on TV saying something like I REALLY HONESTLY WAS THINKING ABOUT OR CONSIDERING BURNING THE WHITEHOUSE DOWN & their were other things that just made me sick to my stomach. Just can’t go along with some of these rights….like killing babies etc. Love you all & should never have doubted you for a moment I’d vote you for No. 1 best mother anytime! GRAM

  • hello haha narf

    well said.
    i only wish i could have been there with you and j. would have been a pleasure to stand and march with you both.