Why I Chose To Be Part Of The Women's March
Men and women are different. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated equally. Around the globe this weekend, on all seven continents, millions of humans marched. Each who chose to show up did so for their own reasons.
My reasons were simple.
As a father, I marched to show my daughter that I support her. I wanted my son to see that a strong man is one who helps and supports others. As with everything, I lead by example.
As a male, I wanted all the women around me to know that I support them. That if men's minds are not changed, nothing will change. I want my voice and actions to be part of the change.
As an American, I'm not happy that we have a bully in the White House. I want him and his staff to know that they've got a lot of work to do and need to start doing it. He is our President and should start acting like it.
The Women's March to me was about awareness more than anything else. The variety of causes and concerns were all over the map.
The pussy hats and ovary signs get all the headlines. But, each person who marched brought their own causes they were passionate about.
One of the speakers encouraged the masses "To organize around the cause that means the most to you and be an ally to others."
That advice is what the energy of the day felt like to me.
There was a special moment where everyone was encouraged to lock eyes with someone we didn't know. Without words to tell them that you saw them, supported them and were there for them.
I happened to turn and lock eyes with a young black woman in an American flag hat. Earlier, she had made me smile when she screamed out to the Minister on stage "Girl, you've got groupies here!"
It was a quiet moment among the masses. A special moment.
Later, I noticed her lost and looking for her friends. We locked eyes again, I gave her a big smile and pointed beside me. It was a little thing, but we both knew we were there for each other even if we didn't know each other.
The reports of the crowds being heavily white were true for here in Boston.
Emily and I discussed how weird that felt. I've been reading my friend's thoughts on why they chose not to take part. Their words give me plenty to think about. I look forward to future marches where more feel included and choose to take part.
It also reminded me that I need to show up.
I need to march alongside those marching for Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock and any other marginalized group. Pink and white are only two colors in the big box of crayons and I want to support them all.
This march needs to be the beginning. Chanting, waving signs and marching raises awareness, but it doesn't do anything.
You have to work, put in the hours, fight for what you want changed to make things happen.
Nothing changed in the last 48 hours except a whole lot of people feel energized. What you do with that energy is what matters and I hope people take that to heart and don't go back and hide behind their screens.
Change is never easy. There will be yelling, hate and a roller coaster of emotions.
Change takes more than sharing memes, unfollowing people and complaining.
Change means you have to work with people who disagree with you. Have conversations with your mouth instead of your thumbs. Put in the hours of work for what you believe in.
I'm glad I went to the march. I'm glad my daughter was beside me the whole time.
The march wasn't perfect, but it was another piece of the puzzle for change.
We need to move beyond our differences and figure out how to ensure our country stays as great as it already is and make it even better.