I was pretty much glued to Facebook this Saturday.
Since I work in retail and Saturday is our busiest day, I couldn’t attend any of the women’s marches. I checked my phone constantly and loved seeing all the clever signs, huge turnout, and uplifting speeches.
It lifted my spirits knowing that approximately 500,000 women marched on the capital in unity without one arrest.
But, being from a small conservative town, I also saw a lot of backlash.
Plenty of my friends and family let me know they did not need feminism. They married good men and were quite content with the quality of their life. Or, they knew about women in Africa, Southeast Asia, or the Middle East who have it way worse than us, so we should stop our whining.
Of course, my side wasn’t all rainbows, butterflies and intelligent arguments either.
Seeing all this girl-hate made me seethe so much, that I actually forgot myself and fed right into it. I trolled some random girl by correcting the spelling and grammar in each of her posts. This isn’t me. This isn’t what I stand for. And, this isn’t going to get our cause any further.
Rather than fighting you, we are marching for you.
We are marching for accessible birth control for you and your daughters.
I needed birth control at age 12, not because I was sexually active, but because my acne was atrocious. The constant teasing led to extremely low self-esteem and depression. My friends have been on it to help with cramps and regulate their periods. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a teenager needing it to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I know abstinence is more your style, but please just don’t forget about the other benefits of birth control, because, you or your daughters just may need it.
We are marching for your equal pay.
Do you work just as hard as a male doing the exact same job? Why yes, yes you do. So, I want you to be paid equally. You deserve it, sister!
We are marching for you to have a cat-call free walk home.
I know when you’ve had a rough day at work the last thing you want to hear is some construction worker whistling and telling you to smile pretty for him.
We are marching for tougher rape sentences.
If someone violates you, your daughter, sister or friend, you don’t want to be judged for what you were wearing, questioned relentlessly or made to feel bad about ruining his promising swimming career. You just want that as*hole in jail.
I’m marching for you because you know what it feels like to be judged by your appearance.
You’ve been force-fed years of advertisements brainwashing you into thinking unless you buy the right makeup and look ravishing, you’re worthless.
I’m marching for that horrible moment when two lines may appear on your pregnancy test and you’re lost.
I’m marching for a safe option to end that pregnancy—if you choose. If you don’t choose to end it, I’m marching for zero judgement and endless support in your new life as a single mother.
I’m not just marching for American women’s rights.
I’m marching for women around the globe, trans women, LGBT men and women, the environment. I’m marching for our shared future. You may not need these “lady things” now. But, when you do, please know that I and countless other women support you.
But I’m not marching to whine about our newly elected president.
I’m marching to give him a chance for you. Maybe seeing that women are more than just a p*ssy, will actually make some policy changes.
You want him to succeed? Me too. I am demonstrating what I want from my newly appointed Commander in Chief.
Author: Staci Lerch-Moist
Image: @elephantjournal Instagram
Editor: Sara Kärpänen