I Marched

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what it’s for.” –Laurel Clark (astronaut killed in Columbia accident)

I marched with a group of 200 men and women on Saturday in one of the sister marches to the Women’s March on Washington.

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I know there are many who did not think this was “appropriate” or “necessary.” I know that not everybody agrees with me, and of course, I’m aware of how divided the United States is right now because of politics.

However, I dare say that this has little to do with politics. So, if it isn’t about politics, what is it about?

Well, many are saying that the women’s march was all about abortion and that is why they would not participate or why they disapprove.

For me, it wasn’t about that, although it was about women. My thoughts on abortion line up with what my church has said about abortion, that exceptional circumstances may make an abortion necessary, like rape, incest, or severe birth defects.

Some say it was about man-hating.

Well, that’s not what it was about. There were many men there, bearing t-shirts that read, “this is what a feminist looks like.” I saw old men and young men, and I didn’t tell them to get lost and neither did anybody else. I appreciated their solidarity and their willingness to stand up against what they thought was wrong.

And that is what I believe the women’s march was REALLY about: ethics.

At least for me, it was.

We have elected a man who ran as a Republican, and many are telling us to leave him alone, give him a chance, give him a break, and “we never opposed your Democrat so vehemently.” Well, not true, but for me it isn’t about him being a “Republican.” I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats. I am an independent voter. For me, it is about his not being genuine or ethical in anything, especially in his comments and conduct toward women, minorities, and those with disabilities.

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For me, the women’s march was about ethics.

Is it ethical to be chummy with Russia (in ways that are more complicated than this sentence conveys)?

Is it ethical to claim to be part of the party of family values, but to have been married several times, cheated several times, and sexually assaulted women?

Is it ethical to make fun of disabled people and then refuse to acknowledge the gravity of your actions or apologize for them?

I’m no politician; I’m no great scholar of U.S. government. I am a citizen who cares deeply about others and who recognizes her own privilege.

I am a citizen who is grateful for the women who have gone before me, protested in the streets, starved themselves in prisons, defended against domestic violence, spoken up for what was right, and were beaten, jailed, killed, and ridiculed for it.

I cannot sit silently now while so many are berated and ridiculed. If I have the chance to be like my foremothers who have made so many things possible for me in just the last 50 years, then I will take it.

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Again:

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what it’s for.” –Laurel Clark (astronaut killed in Columbia accident)

I can choose to stay home and be safe. I can choose to be silent and be safe. But I’ve got the ability to speak up and the ability to reach out, and I’m going to.

Here are the next steps in the Women’s March movement. I plan to take them, along with continuing to donate to good causes like my local food bank and international relief efforts.

I’ve always had an empathetic and bleeding heart. I’m sorry if that offends you, but I will continue to do what my conscience prompts me to.

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