Why I Will March: a Bi-Partisan Approach

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There will be a Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017 and I will be there. As a teacher, mentor and friend, I felt the need to explain why I am going. The psychology of the fact that I feel the need to explain myself is an entirely different post and we won’t go there right now.

NOT Why I am Marching:

I am not marching because Hillary Clinton lost the election.

I am not marching because Donald Trump won the election.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States and I wish him the best of luck and support his journey. His success is my success.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Mrs. Clinton did not win the election; there must be something else she is supposed to do. I wish her luck and support her journey. Her success is my success.

Why I am Marching:

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a quiet activist my entire adult life. As a teacher and mentor I have shared my views and passions on Equal Rights for Women, Animal Rights and Children’s rights to a fair and equal education.

One thing this election has taught me is that I have been too passive for too long. I have allowed others to do the hard work of making sure that my beliefs are recognized. So, I will march.

I march to continue history. A history, which began long before me, and a history I am so very grateful for. A history that has made my journey a little bit easier.

I march so that my voice will be heard. Freedom of Speech is one our most cherished rights as American citizens and peaceful protest is our historical way to speak freely.

I march for Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They began the movement. Susan took a stand in 1872 by illegally voting in a presidential election, which created the call for women’s rights. Although the women’s right to vote(1920) came after her death, she and Elizabeth set the course for us to cast our vote and speak our voice. This is the first wave of feminism in the USA.

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I march for Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy establishes the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. Although she dies in 1962, a report is issued in 1963 documenting substantial discrimination against women in the workplace. It makes recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable childcare.

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I march for Mary McLeod Bethune who organized the National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of black women’s groups that lobbies against job discrimination, racism, and sexism.

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In 1966 The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded by a group of feminists including Betty Friedan(writer of the Feminine Mystique). The largest women’s rights group in the U.S, NOW seeks to end sexual discrimination, especially in the workplace, by means of legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations.

In 1970, more than 50,000 people march in New York City for the first Women’s Strike for Equality. And in 1977, 3,000 women march in Washington, D.C. on Women’s Equality Day to support the E.R.A.

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I march for Gloria Steinem. In 1971, Ms. Magazine is first published as a sample insert in New York magazine; 300,000 copies are sold out in 8 days. The first regular issue is published in July 1972. The magazine becomes the major forum for feminist voices, and cofounder and editor Gloria Steinem is launched as an icon of the modern feminist movement.

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I march for Title IX. In 1972 as part of the Education Amendments, Title IX was created; Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

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In 1974 Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the “going market rate.” A wage differential occurring “simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women” is unacceptable.

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Fed up with the way that male-run magazine Ladies’ Home Journal portrayed women, a group of activists decided to stage a sit-in. On March 18, 1970, approximately 100 women stormed the magazine’s office, refusing to leave for 11 hours. I march for them.

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Now a staple on college campuses, the earliest Take Back The Night marches were held in the ’70s in response to a spate of violent crimes against women. Two independent marches occurred in Philadelphia in 1975 and in Brussels in 1976 as women with candles walked through the streets at night.

I march for Geraldine Ferraro. 1984, the year I graduated college, Geraldine Ferraro is nominated as first female vice presidential candidate by the Democratic presidential candidate, Walter Mondale.

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In 1994 The Violence Against Women Act tightens federal penalties for sex offenders, funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, and provides for special training of police officers.

A true grass-roots movement, the Million Mom March was organized through word of mouth, which makes its impressive turnout all the more admirable. Held on Mother’s Day in May 2000, approximately three quarters of a million people showed up on Washington’s National Mall to advocate for stricter gun control. Attended by politicians and celebrities, the march also featured a “wall of death,” which displayed more than 4,001 names— all people who’d been victims of gun violence.

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In 2004, a million people converged on the Washington, DC mall in the largest march on Washington in U.S. history. Called the March for Women’s Lives, this was the first march focused on women’s reproductive freedom since 1992.

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I march for Lily Ledbetter. In 2009, President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck.

Sorry for the history lesson but, these are the reasons I will march.

We all need to stand for what we believe in.

Those who came before us paved the way for us to have a better life. Regardless if you are a Democrat, Republican or anything in between.

This beautiful country makes it possible for us to have our voices heard in an effort to change the things we believe need to be changed.

So, I will march and I hope you will support my efforts.   You don’t have to agree with me, all I ask is that your respect my right to share my thoughts and march.

Thank you for reading.

 

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8 thoughts on “Why I Will March: a Bi-Partisan Approach

  1. Thank you for this. I am grateful to hear my history reiterated here, in this way. And I will be there, too, marching with you. I “got” to the decision to march from a much less clear minded reason. Rather, when I imagined NOT going, I couldn’t imagine living with myself. It was a profound feeling that I have a voice and two legs, and I’d better use them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am marching because I have been complacent. I did not get involved before the election and I truly dislike the outcome. I will march for my granddaughter and all of the generations of women to come. We have come so far to be taking any steps backward. That is why I will march.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully said Jo. I truly believe that the lesson learned from this election is that we need to STAND, stand up for the things we believe it and not expect them to “just happen” the way they should. Secretary Clinton must have some bigger and better job to do for woman and mankind and now we must get back that spark, the one that the movement had in the 1960’s and we must STAND.
      Thank you for your response. I will see you in DC!!

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  3. Hhhmmm. Why I march? I’m mad, I’m stunned and I’m even breathless with the results of the election. That is not why I march. I’ve been raised by 2 of NYCs first policewomen who taught me to protest when necessary. That is not why I march. I’ve been groped at the photocopier, had to listen to my bosses VM which was solely the sounds of women being raped and had to get coffee for all the men in the conference room after 10 years of practicing law. That is not why I march. I’ve had to listen to a police officer tell me how my friend was violated in the most intrusive, violent manner possible while on her way to work. Somehow I was able to hold down my vomit and hold back my rage. That is not why I march.

    I march because I’m strong, I’m powerful and I have a voice. I’m so strong that my voice will not NOT be heard. I’m powerful because I never learned how to sit down and shut up. I have a voice because my mother, my grandmothers, all the women who somehow struggled against inequality gave that voice to me.

    I also march because I’m proud of where I came from – Queens, New York. 1 neighborhood away from the POTUS-elect (one GIANT n’hood away). We are not a perfect people as there are simply too many of us. But we are a tolerant people because there are, well, simply too many of us. We aren’t proponents of sexual assault, we don’t see women’s value solely in their looks and we aren’t bullies. In Queens, if we’ve got a problem with you, you’re going to know it. We’re going to look you in the eye lay it out piece by piece and then who knows what can happen. But we’ll never lurk, throw ridiculously childish antics from the safety of a podium and we’re never EVER going to deny who we are or where we came from. Yes, we are “street fighters” but we always rise up, like the children of immigrants so often do and we take very personally ANYONE among or from our midst that doesn’t abide by our rules of tolerance of immigrants and amazement at how beautiful the strength of a woman can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Anne…amazing…I am honored that you took the time to share this on this site. We are strong, powerful and our voices WILL be heard. I am originally a Jersey girl myself, from Italian immigrants no less!
      You completely get it…we are a family, a family of women and men who GET equality, who will no longer sit back and let things happen.
      I am using this site to help others have a better understanding of who we are and those who came before us to pave the way, those amazing women who did so much to allow us to have what we have, but the fight is not over, it’s our turn to stand up.
      I would love to know more about the two women you speak of(the police officers). Could you tell me about them? Would you mind if I did a story about them? Do you have any pictures you would be willing to share.
      I would also love to know more about you and your world, you are obviously full of strength and that is something we must share and teach.
      Thank you again…hope you stay in touch. Hope to see you in DC or MARCHING somewhere soon. Susan

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  4. This March would not be necessary if Hillary had won. The point that you are missing is the entire point of the March. It is about the urgent necessity to raise our voices against the current administration which may set us back decades in our fight for equality and the right to control our own bodies. It’s very nice to call on our past and summarize. But it’s the future we are marching for.

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    1. Hi Suzanne…thank you for your response. My post was about why ‘I’ will march. I agree with what you are saying but I also wanted to make sure that I voiced where we came from.

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  5. I am marching because I’m shocked and angry that the US lost its moral compass by electing Donald Trump. I’m marching because too many people are in denial about our newly elected leader’s abnormal behaviors, which clearly indicate mental illness. We have elected an incompetent pervert to be our next president, so I’m marching to show him that women in this country have solidarity. I’m marching to show Donald Trump that women in the US demand respect and equality, and we will prevail!

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