The many reasons why I support the Women’s March
I had never felt more proud to be a woman than I did on Saturday, January 21. Thousands of people gathered in downtown San Luis Obispo’s Mitchell Park for many reasons of their own, but with one common feeling: female equality equals human equality. Regardless of gender identity, religion, race or any other difference, we shared a voice.
I marched for the women in my family. I come from along line of intelligent, beautiful and unafraid women who shaped me into who I am today. I appreciate my mother, my aunts, my grandmothers, and my cousins for their strength and independence.
I marched for my sisters, who include the girl who sits next to me in English, the girl who I was best friends with in middle school, the girl whose name is now Emily but used to be Emmanuel, and the girl who does not feel safe in her own skin because of its color and stayed home that rainy Saturday. She, especially, is my sister. And I marched with and for her.
The hype of the march seemingly ended on on Jan. 21, but I will fight for this cause for far longer than a day. I do not want the fire of this fight to die out. This is not a fundraiser or a petition or an “anti-anything” protest. This is a worldwide issue about the fundamental rights of women that requires the most strenuous of efforts to make sure our goal is reached.
As a teenager, it is hard to sit back and watch things happen that I have no control over, such as the results of the election.
“Stop saying that [teenagers] don’t care about world affairs; many of us are concerned about the world’s future, especially since we will be the next ones to inherit responsibility for it,” wrote Isabel Song, a freshman at UC Berkeley for Huffington Post.
Teenagers do care. In fact, 93 percent of teens want to volunteer, but only a portion of them actually step up to make a change, according to a study done by DoSomething.org.
“The problem is many of these teens are never shown or taught how they can start making a difference; in fact, we’re usually told we can’t,” wrote Song.
I love my country that legalized same sex marriage and allows freedom of speech, religion, and press. I love the people of this country who love me back for who I am as a human being and an intellectual, not because I am a woman or because I am white. I love the country that opened its arms to refugees and immigrants and gave better lives to people (especially people of color) who could not get the same anywhere else.
However, I do not love the country that rejects somebody for the color of their skin, the religion they practice, or the people they choose to love. I do not love the country that closes the door on families escaping horrible, dangerous places and need somewhere safe like America. This place, this country I love so much, has become unsafe and divided. Every generation sees their share of a divided society: Vietnam in the 70s, suffrage in the early 20th century, the Civil Rights movement, and more. History has repeated itself many times because we have been oblivious to it. Now, with the world at our fingertips and anything we want to know at the click of a mouse, we have no excuse to repeat the things that have already been done. This is the time to take a stand and change things for the better for the last time.
When I was at the Women’s March rally in the park, Erica Flores Baltodano, the keynote speaker, shared a few lines that stood out to me.
“I will be putting one foot in front of the other for the next four years to say that I am here, I am watching, and I am ready. And to the new inhabitants of the White House: we are all here. We are all watching. And we are all ready,” said Baltodano, who has background working on social-justice and civil rights issues in Los Angeles.
This is not going to be a cakewalk. Fighting for equal opportunities for all humans of every color, sex, and religion is going to be the fight of a lifetime. However, millions of people are on our side. Millions have opened their arms and their hearts to people who need it now that their country has turned its back on them.
I marched for the human race. And I will continue to march until my tracks leave trenches in the earth and a change has been made.