I do not march against Donald Trump. Let me be clear: to do that would be small-minded and pointless. I understand that he has been elected president of the United States. I know how the electoral college works and I respect that. To march against a single person is so much smaller than why I march.
I march for feminism. Today’s women’s rights are not equal rights and no man can tell me that they are. I demand equal pay for equal work, I demand representation and respect and choice. My body is my own and no leadership of old white men should ever be able to tell me what to do with my uterus.
I march to end sexual violence. I stand among and beside those who have experienced the terror and shame that comes with sexual assault and I cry, “It is not okay!” It is not okay to excuse depravity with victim-blaming. It’s not okay to subvert respect with so-called “jokes.” It’s not okay to act like consent is anything less than imperative.
I march for education. I will fight with every ounce of my being to obtain and maintain fundamental rights of education for every child in this country. If we want a successful nation, it starts with providing quality education for everyone. That means public, accountable, cutting-edge schools, consistently working to implement proven practice. It also means respecting and paying teachers.
I march for healthcare. Modern medicine is a human right, not a luxury of the wealthy. No person should be financially bankrupt because they survive disease or accident, or because of easily manufactured medicine necessary for quality of life.
I march for LGBTQ rights. A person is a person no matter their sexual orientation and I demand that these consenting adults have access to the same systems that benefit my own marriage.
I march to declare that the man leading this country does not espouse the values I hold most dear.
I march to stand in solidarity with my sisters and my brothers. Your values are important to me! No, I cannot claim to know what it’s like to be black or Muslim or an immigrant. I am young, I am educated, I am a middle class woman, a parent, and healthy. And I stand beside all of you who are some or none of those things. We have a voice and I stand to make yours heard just as loud as mine.
Most of all, I march for my son. My child is one year old. He will not remember this day, and he may not remember the next four years. But his life will be impacted by the upcoming events, perhaps more than will my own. I march today to tell him that I was here, that I did everything in my power to make the world better for him.
I march for my child. I march for me. I march for all of us.