This Sunday, January 21st, marks the anniversary of one of the most special things I have ever been a part of. Last year's Women's March instilled hope in me after the devastating loss of the 2016 election. With the anniversary march approaching on Saturday, I decided to talk about why I march, and will continue to march, for people everywhere.
I march for my foremothers, whose own marches paved the way for my activism today.
Yes, we still have a long way to go in facing injustice simply for being female. However, without the Suffragettes, we would not have the right to voice our opinions in the effective way that we do today. It's not just limited to the Suffragettes, though. People like Geraldine Ferraro, Shirley Chisholm, and yes, even Hillary Clinton, have since opened up an even wider path for women in politics. I think it is part of my own destiny to follow in their footsteps but also pave my own path.
I march because I am a pre existing condition.
My whole livelihood is affected by my endometriosis. On top of that, I don't hear in one ear, so I am basically a Republican's worst nightmare. Multiple government officials have threatened to take away healthcare coverage from people like me. I won't apologize for having these conditions. Until Republicans like Paul Ryan walk in my shoes, though, I would suggest that they shut up.
I march for the women who cannot have their voices heard.
I have taken a stand in the past year when talking about my sexual assault and mental health struggles. Some women, though, have found it increasingly difficult to do so in the wake of the Trump administration. I march for the women who search for their voice amongst the deafening silence that comes with pressures of society.
I march as a survivor of sexual assault.
"Victim" is a word that is so often thrown around in mainstream media. My identity, however, is not that of a victim, but of a survivor. Accepting that my innocence was robbed from me was hard, but now I feel it is my duty to march for those who do not have a voice. In a sense, the march last year gave me exactly what I needed to find the small voice from within. I listened to my inner activist, and she bloomed from the seeds that had been planted a long while back.
I march to pave the way for my own destiny.
I think that I have some pretty incredible role models to follow. However, it's all about making my own impact on the world. The Women's March has given me my voice, and it's something that only hate can truly drive out. I like to think that the most powerful force that humans have is love. By participating in the Women's March, I am surrounded by love and people who empower me. The saying goes that "empowered women empower women." In the case of the Women's March, there are not just one or two women ready to do that, but a whole movement ready to see its members succeed.
To be just one part of the wonderful phenomenon known as the Women's March, click here to see your local anniversary march.