Why I Marched

Why I Marched

Proud by Choice
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I was lucky enough to go to the Women's March on Washington with a group from my school. Anyone who has been in a public place with me knows that I absolutely HATE crowds. They make me freak out internally and very rarely externally.

So, you're probably asking yourself why in the hell this anxious by nature claustrophobic with a particular "fondness" for unending crowds went to a march where AT LEAST half a million people were.

I would like to say that the answer is simple, which would coincide with my usual snark, but it is actually pretty complex.

The Spark Notes answer is that I marched because I am out and proud.

Coming out was a bit of a hot mess for me, like too many things in my life. From what I remember, it just kind of happened while I was an emotional puddle. The weirdest thing is that the people I came out to knew and had known for a long time. They were just waiting for me to say something. My coming out story is like me, a little odd.

As the events leading up to the election unfolded, I felt more fear than I had ever while I was in that closet. I still am afraid, not just for myself, but for my friends of all different backgrounds. So many of my friends were already afraid, because people hated them for something that they can not hide, nor can they change. After the results of the election, their fear understandably escalated. For me, the Pulse Nightclub shooting put my fear at uncomfortable levels. After the election, the fear changed. It went from a black cloud to something that I use to add fuel to my internal fire.

Yes, I am afraid because there are those out there who want me dead because of something as intrinsic to me as my brown eyes, but, there are so many, like myself when I was younger, who are afraid of the effect that this intrinsic thing will have on those closest to them. Since I am so comfortable with my sexuality, my friends and I often make jokes along the lines of "Yeah if you ever go missing I'll just ask if people have seen the gayest person alive" to "I feel like if it were possible you would poop rainbows" to so many others. In this, I realized that there is no putting me back in that closet. Whenever I get scared, I reconcile my fear with the idea that there are so many out there who are scared to be who they are. While I would never push them to come out, I want to provide an example that, while being out, you can do kind of ok for yourself. I did not choose to love who I love, but I can choose to be proud about it. Seeing out, and proud individuals did, and continues to reassure me that it will be ok.

I am going to keep my comments about being a woman to a minimum, because, if not, it will be a thesis length tangent. My main reason for going to the march that is NOT my sexuality is the fact that too many people close to me, so close to me that they are a part of my heart, have been sexually assaulted/abused. The President's comments about women left me teeming with anger. I am not the only one who has people close to them that this happened to. In no universe is it ok for anyone's people to feel the way that those close to me have. I know I am not the only one that wants the nights I have spent holding crying friends until they fell asleep to end. They shouldn't have even had to happen to begin with.

I marched for those people who are a part of my heart. I marched for the countless women too scared to leave those relationships, let alone report what has happened to them. I marched for the victims of abuse across the gender spectrum. I marched for my fellow members of the LGBT community. I marched for the powerful women in my life. I marched for the numerous young girls out there, who need to know that they are not alone and that they are strong and powerful in their own way.


Cover Image Credit: Slate

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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