I marched at the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.
I marched mainly because my friend Heather bought my ticket and did all the logistical work for me. But also because of this, as my friend Marisa put so eloquently in a Facebook post:
“More and more over the past couple of years, my eyes have really been opened to the ways women have been able to Make It Work. The country can pay us less, not guarantee our maternity leave, and not offer any solutions to affordable childcare, and we’ll find a way to raise our children on whatever budget we have, take three half-hour pump breaks at work (if we’re lucky enough to even have a place to do it), and STILL meet all of our deadlines and generally kick ass at our jobs. And, when we struggle to keep it all afloat, women tend to internalize these problems and see them as personal failings instead of societal ones. But because we’re so good at taking it on ourselves, we often forget that the only reason it can be so hard for us is because society lets it be hard for us. In my personal and professional life, I want to help women realize that they can and should ask for more. (Dear USA: DO BETTER FOR YOUR WOMEN.) We need equal pay, better/guaranteed family leave, and access to affordable healthcare, childcare, and education.”
I feel, at my very core, that if women were the ones making our laws, things would be much different for us. Most of the women I know feel this incredible anxiety about work and their kids that men JUST DON’T HAVE. And it took me a long time to realize that maybe the reason we’re so anxious is because we’re trying to do two jobs in a society that only allows for one or the other.
OF COURSE WE’RE FUCKING GOING CRAZY.
I’ve been so lucky in my next career to work under capable bosses who happen to be women who are raising children of their own. There is a HUGE difference in having leadership who understands the difficulties of my home life than leadership who expects me to forget the other (very important) part of my life. Imagine if women were lucky enough to have that understanding not only in our professional life but also in our representation in government?
The easiest way to put this is: If you (and I’m assuming you are a woman here, forgive me) were making the laws instead of men, what would you do?
I doubt it would be wasting time on open carry laws or making sure LGBT people can’t marry each other. You would want to make things better for other women because that is what women do.
Being a woman can be a lonely thing. We have different body parts; different capabilities than the people who (mainly) represent us politically. It can make us feel different and less…worthy. Less strong. But what if the reason we feel different and less worthy is because we’ve been made to feel that way through centuries of repressive thinking and laws? Laws WE NEVER HELPED MAKE because we didn’t have a voice?
So! That is why I marched. It felt really good to be around so many supportive women who are fighting the same battles I am and who want to help other women. I hope it continues.