The Women's March Was Not A Tantrum

01/21/2017 10:47 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2017
Women, men, and children gather at the Minnesota State Capitol for the Women’s March on January 21, 2017.
Lindsay Kelley
Women, men, and children gather at the Minnesota State Capitol for the Women’s March on January 21, 2017.

Today was not a tantrum. Today women, men, and children gathered in cities around the world by the hundreds of thousands to stand up for the rights of women, immigrants, Muslims, workers, and LGBT Americans. They did so in a constitutionally supported manner that has been enacted throughout history regardless of political affiliation (remember the Tea Party Protests of 2009.)

For my fellow women who feel the need to stand up in opposition to this march because you have never felt as though you don’t have control over your own body or because you have not been disrespected or undermined because you are a woman, please remember that just because you have not had these experiences, it does not exclude others from having had these experiences. Perhaps you feel as though you can make your own choices, be heard, vote, work if you want, control your own body, defend your own body, and that no one is stopping you. In truth, I share that privilege. But, I also recognize that this is not the case for all people. And, I recognize how our laws affect our citizens.

So today, women marched for women in states that have slashed their women’s health care budgets leading to a rise in pregnancy related deaths. They marched for low-income women who have been especially hard hit by this due to a loss of affordable birth control. They marched to stand up for equal healthcare rights including guaranteed access to preventive care and protection from gender discrimination in healthcare currently protected under the Affordable Care Act that is very near repeal.

They marched for the women who fall victim to voter suppression efforts such as Voter ID laws that our current administration supports that disproportionately exclude minorities, young people, low-income voters, seniors, and women.

They marched for the 1 in 5 women that have been victims of campus sexual assault so that college campuses follow their obligation under Title IX to investigate and respond to allegations of sexual assault regardless of whether a police report has been made because less than 10 percent of cases reported to police result in criminal charges against the perpetrator. They marched for the victims of sexual assault that are now told to give their self-proclaimed pussy-grabbing president a chance.

And, those are just a few examples.

Today was not about throwing tantrums, whining, avoiding responsibility, shouting profanities or bashing men. And, before you speak to me about the injustices of women around the world, know that women marched for them as well. They marched for their entrance into this country as they flee the countries where they have unequal rights, while our current America First administration stands in their way. They marched for the women who are under the threat of deportation under our current administration and would be subsequently ripped from their children.

Today was not about not getting our way, shirking responsibility, or throwing a tantrum. Today was not about being sore losers because these should not be partisan issues and these issues didn’t just stop being issues after November 8th. Today was about solidarity, justice, and freedom. Today was about holding our government accountable for its promise to serve and protect all of its people. Today was not a tantrum.

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