On January 21st, last Saturday, thousands (including myself) gathered at the Jacksonville Landing, and other downtown venues with one major motive in mind, women's rights. Along with many other major cities across the nation, Jacksonville became the proud site of the post-inauguration Women's March.
While the chants and speeches varied from "love trumps hate" to "this is what democracy looks like" and the signs varied from "Grab him by the hair piece!" (my personal favorite) to "Planned Parenthood has a higher approval rating than the congress!" and "What kind of world are you creating for your daughter?" The overall message was unanimous: women's rights are human rights and need to be protected. So, maybe this all seems over exaggerated if you have not been keeping up with the recent news and now you wonder...
what's all the hullabaloo about?
Well, Donald Trump has been our president for a week and he has approved the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines and reinstated the global gag rule.
American Priorities: Economy > Environment
In regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline, sadly the approval was not all that surprising to me. The choice here was between protecting the environment while respecting cultures versus growing our own country's access to oil and money. Yeah, like the US is gonna turn down the increase in oil just to make sure our water is safe, and natural resources protected. Nope. This pipeline, according to Greenpeace and 160 other scientists, is potentially hazardous to our already delicate environment. Pipelines break sometimes, and WHEN this breaks it will devastate our water supply as well as cost millions to repair and contain. Not even mentioning the issues with the pipeline and tribe reserved lands.
The Global Gag Rule
Most notably our president has banned the funding of ANY AND ALL organizations that perform abortions, even those that discuss abortion with patients. This "gag" rule harms the billions of women in this country from receiving quality care that is safe and affordable. Our thirteenth amendment protects us from slavery and involuntary solitude but with this rule being reinstated women will have no choice but to give birth and become a mother if she becomes pregnant. To me, nothing is more disgusting than enforcing anti-abortion laws. It is sickening that us women are stuck having children just because of how our bodies naturally function. Biological slavery is the term used to describe this horrible circumstance.
The Bigger Picture
It has been said that America seems more divided than ever. Our political parties have continued to grow farther apart and there seems to be a shift in our priorities. It seems our generations are growing tensions. The younger generations are crying out for more civil rights, equality, free national healthcare and better education systems. The past generation is holding firm for economic growth, lower taxes, increased jobs and harsher border control. There is a large shift to happen here, the good news is that in a few more elections this new, more compassionate view will start to take hold.
Maybe it was not this election but we can not give up. Our environment and our human rights are too precious to sacrifice for economic growth and power.