Today is the historic Women’s March on Washington, which has people gathering on all seven continents to affirm the dignity and rights of women everywhere. It has quickly become so much bigger than American politics. And I felt a little guilty today that I was unable to march. I saw other women posting on Facebook who shared this sentiment, wanting to be there in person, but only able to be there in Spirit – because of basketball games and dance recitals, baby nursing shedules and work commitments. Women busy tending to the lives of children and parents find it hard to get away. But before I felt too guilty that I could not “get out there” to support my fellow women, I realized that I had done a number of things today, including:
- I picked my POC son up from a sleep over that was all POC children (because I am committed to making sure that he has POC-exclusive experiences, for his own identity development).
- I called a Battered Womens organization and began the paperwork to have my home become a “safe house” for women escaping domestic violence (because for change to happen, doors need to be open).
- I packed up dress clothes that don’t fit me anymore and donated them to a non-profit that helps to get women back into the workplace (because not every woman can buy a new suit, and because recycling clothes honors Mother Earth).
- I called a friend who is battling ovarian cancer (because).
I realized that as I have done these things today, I have marched in my own way. Marched to the rhythm of my life, standing up for women with each small act of solidarity for women and other marginalized groups. And I am content to know that I do this every day, not just on the day after a devastating inaugeration, and I will continue to do these small acts every day that I can. In this way, I lead a life of little marches.
I don’t write this because I want accolades. In fact, I want just the opposite. I don’t need a pat on the back or a congratulations — no what I need is accountability. Accountability and encouragement. I need friends that will follow up with me and ask me “How’s it going?” … ones who can hear my struggles and give me the encouragement to continue marching each and every day.
I am so very thankful for all the friends that I have who march in the streets (whether they are at the Women’s March today, or the BLM protests that continue, or the many other issues that we will need to march for in the near future). Thank you for protecting my rights, because in doing so, you help me to march in my own way each and every day: to stand up for others rights by marching to the rhythm of my own life’s drummer. In the streets and in the kitchens and in the carpools, if we hold each other accountable for the stands that we can take and encourage each other in every place of protest, we will continue to make great strides together.