To the Women Who Shamed Me For Marching For Them
Politics and Activism

To the Women Who Shamed Me For Marching For Them

You have the right to your own opinion, but only because your fellow women marched for it.

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Angelica Puzio

Dear some of my teachers, colleagues, mentors, and friends, who made it clear that they disapprove of me,

Yesterday, I was privileged (and I mean that literally) to take part in one of the largest protest marches in American history, and to be in the center of the action in Washington D.C. It was an unbelievably overwhelming experience, that was both euphoric and extremely difficult. I stood for so long that my legs were shaking by the end, and I endured a lot of sass and feeling like a sardine on a very crowded metro. I have lost my voice and almost my sanity after being trapped on a bus for 16 hours. And I did it for me, an assault survivor, a catcall victim, an oppression sufferer, and I did it for you, my fellow women.

I recognize, of course, that none of these hardships are even close to what some women experience on a day to day basis; some women are living under an oppressive patriarchal society that takes away many of the rights women have in America, including the right to protest. However, I am not marching because I am whining about the rights I don't have as an American; I am marching for all those women who cannot, and also for my rights as an American. I am marching to keep the rights I have, which women before me gained by marching, and I am using my privilege as a straight, white, American woman to speak and walk for those who can't, because I recognize that they are much worse off than I.

However, you would not have a voice to speak your opinion, a platform on which to speak it, the job in which you hold so much pride, the business you own, or right to have your voice count in this country if women like me hadn't marched for you. And, like me, those women didn't get any thanks either. I was so disappointed to come back after feeling like this country was really moving forward, to see women for whom I had spent all day on my aching feet telling me I was nothing but a whiny, stupid, fat girl. I supported you. I marched for you. I yelled for you. I fought for your right to be able to speak your mind, and it is your prerogative to use it to speak against me. However, don't forget from whence you came, and don't forget the people who helped get you there. Support your fellow women, because no one else will.

Icing my aching feet,

Erin

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