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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39 thoughts on “I Marched

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  1. I live in Armenia and I was so proud of everyone who participated. I don’t like Trump, because he didn’t make me look at him as a decent human being, rather a sociopath/narcissist. I hope he will do good to your country and he will prove us wrong. I liked your post, it wasn’t aggressive, as Jenifer said it was beautifully articulated! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lilly! I agree. The decency is the problem, and I do hope he proves us all wrong. Did you have a march in Armenia? I was astounded by and grateful for all of the global marches that showed solidarity.

      1. No, we didn’t, since we have our own tyrant as a president 😂 but lots of Armenians were following the elections. Though our president at this point seems more decent (i never thought this might happen!). At least he doesn’t have tantrums on Twitter! I’m just glad that people are voicing their concerns 🙂 good job! 😉☺️

  2. Emily, I marched too! It was necessary for all the reasons you stated in this post and thanks for writing about it so beautifully. The crowds were amazing all around the world and it feels good to be uplifted by all the millions of people who believe in inclusion, kindness, and equality for all.

    1. It was uplifting. I was worried that we would face a lot of opposition just on the ground, but cars driving by honked and waved in solidarity. Glad you marched too!

  3. Yay! I love the way you have spoken your truth. It encourages me to do the same. I participated in the sister march in Chicago and I am so glad! Many sentiments were written on signage and uttered aloud by participants and yet there was an unspoken agreement to be considerate, peaceable, and kind. There were no skirmishes, no violence, no littering. After a year of disheartening loss, a brutal campaign season, and a stupefying election it felt good to be in a crowd of civil, civically-engaged citizens from all over the spectrum.

    1. Yes! That part of it felt great. I loved being in a crowd that wasn’t necessarily filled with people who had the exact same experiences or feelings as I do, but who were there to support and we all learned from each other. I love that you participated as well. 🙂

  4. I loved the marches, even though I myself didn’t make it to one, and am grateful to everyone who did go. So, thank you! I also love that so many people were there for so many different reasons, partly evident by the widely varying signs. I love that it was peaceful and gentle enough for children to attend. Something like this shows us that there is till hope and love and goodness in the world. 🙂

    1. Yes, it does show that. I was surprised to hear that some Canadians were turned away at the border if they admitted to wanting to attend the marches. Strange times we live in!

  5. Beautifully said, Emily. Your questions about ethics are truly thought provoking and unless we get back on track with those things we will experience far more hardship than is needed. Standing for what is right takes courage and is never ‘inappropriate’. There are many ways to stand for things that are just ‘right’, underlying principles that simply hold human happiness together, and that when violated bring misery and heartache in their wake. And women with ‘bleeding’ and sensitive hearts have inestimable power to bring about the course corrections, and have done so through the ages. So we need to move forward with faith and courage, looking for opportunities and never apologise for living with integrity. I love the quote that has been attributed at times to Mother Teresa (whether it is her saying, or whether she simply lived by it, I do not know). “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love”. Each small act of courage, from a ‘bleeding heart’ like yours, will bring the power we need to make the difference. So glad to be able to share these thoughts with you.

    1. I love your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to write them. Yes, we can do small things and we sometimes just need to do what we can where we are. I may not make a huge change to my country, but I can start with the people around me and hope to help them in some way.

  6. The title to your post reminded me of The Kite Runner’s final sentence…

    I’m very proud of you – first for marching and second, for sharing your experience and helping others understand that it’s healthy to join hands in positive fellowship and bring positive energy into a world that’s tainted with so many negative souls… May many others learn to stand up for what’s right.

    1. Nice connection! I hadn’t even thought of The Kite Runner. It is healthy to express yourself and to come together with many who you may not meet in other places. It was a nice day.

  7. Emily, I can’t begin to imagine what it is like in your country at the moment. Many miles away we were shocked at the candidates. We were then shocked by the results. Good for you and your companions who walked the walk of free expression. Some of the pics look lovely too 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for marching, Emily! I wish I could have gone. Seeing the incredible turnout of people from all walks of life fighting for humanity was the only thing that got me through that weekend. And I completely agree with you that this is not about party. While I’ve always voted democrat, I never had concerns about the mental health, morality or cognitive ability of previous Republican presidents. If Trump were a democrat I would be equally outraged and resistant.

    Thank you, too, for being brave enough to voice your thoughts publicly.

    1. I agree. I think this situation is unprecedented, and I am appalled at how many are choosing party over sense. I also see the Republican party as not being what it used to be, which shocks me even more that so many people are willing to stick with it when it doesn’t represent their values anymore. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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