Saturday, January 21, 2017

This One's For The Girls

I am not an overt activist. I believe strongly in a number of causes, financially supporting some, and simply singing the praises of others. I get passionate about a few, and I can hold my own in a war of words about what I believe is right.

But until today, I had never taken to the streets to make my voice heard.

Thousands were invited to the Memphis Women's March via Facebook. Thousands said they were interested. Thousands attended. Including me.

The March started with a rally at the Judge D'Army Bailey Courthouse at Adams and Second Street. You could feel the electricity. Thousands of people, young and old, women, men, children, each with their own reason to lace up their shoes and shut down traffic on a Saturday morning. Appropriate that we should start our march at the courthouse named for a civil rights icon who fought for justice for all.

And the signs! So many clever words and images hoisted into the clear blue Memphis sky! Human rights, women's rights, reproductive rights, equal pay, climate change, gun violence, black lives matter, trans lives matter, pro-Hillary, anti-Trump, and don't shut out refugees. No matter the cause, we all stood together raising one voice, saying one thing: we are not happy with the direction things are going and we will not be quiet about our displeasure.

We were quite a spectacle, making our way across downtown Memphis from the courthouse to the National Civil Rights Museum, chanting "love trumps hate" and "no hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here." People stopped on the sidewalks to cheer us on. They hung out of high rise windows to throw a fist in the air to say "I'm with you!"

I felt such a sense of empowerment, that I was part of something much bigger than just the Memphis March.

So why did I put on pink and stand shoulder to shoulder with so many others? Because frankly, the current political climate scares me. As a woman and as a human being. I fear that my rights as a woman, and those of the women I love are in jeopardy. Because I am a believer in choice, and I fear that my choices will be whittled down to nothing. I fear that my right to choose anything at all could be revoked. Because I believe that climate change is a real issue, that Planned Parenthood provides desperately needed medical care to millions, and I really do care where I get grabbed.

And I'm not alone.

I may have been quiet about the queasy feeling before, but not today.

Today, I did something I've never done before. I marched in the streets for what I believe in. Now the real question: what will I do tomorrow?

Some of my favorite nasty women!
Photo Courtesy: Anna Marie Birkedahl
Photo Courtesy: Krista Pennie Myers


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