We had quite a weekend. Mike and I brought the boys to the Women’s March taking place in Philadelphia. March organizers expected the crowd to be only around 20,000 (we’re so close to D.C. that many headed down to the main event)…but at last estimate, more than 50,000 people marched in Philly! (And thanks to those of you who stopped to say hi – so fun meeting you!)
The energy of the march was incredible – people from all over the world, joining together in peaceful protest. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, and prompted so many interesting discussions with my boys. They each made their own posters (Pax picked Love = Power, and Raines picked Wild Feminist – I suspect because his Dad has that tshirt), and we talked about what it means to be a feminist (equal rights for all). They seemed surprised to hear that it’s a thing. “Of course women should get paid as much as men, Mom. You do EVERYTHING around here!” says Raines. (BWAH HA HA – score one for mom.)
But we also talked about ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘We are all Nasty Women’ and ‘The Future is Female’ and the nuances of what these slogans are really about, and the important historical context that goes with each one. As a parent, it was so rewarding to see the light of understanding dawn in their eyes, and then to see them resolutely march forward.
Here are some of our favorite pictures from the march in Philly….
Laura marched in the rain in Portland (naturally)….
….and Scotti marched in our tiny hometown of Marquette, MI. (A huge thank you to Et-images for sharing these gorgeous shots.)
Were you as inspired by your marching experience as I was? It was hopeful, but sobering as well. What will our next steps be? Locally, I’ll be looking out for Pennsylvania’s public schools – Salsa Wired For Change is creating a grassroots organization to ensure that all children in PA have access to quality public schools. At a national level, the Woman’s March is kicking off a 10 actions, 100 days campaign which seems like a decent place to start.
But the biggest change I’ll be making is to actively reach out to the people I know personally who have a different opinion than mine. Not to change them, necessarily, but to listen. I was really inspired by something Scotti posted on Facebook:
For years I never wanted to discuss politics for fear it would alienate those who were close to me…but now I realize I’ve been doing us all a disservice in NOT discussing politics. Let’s talk! Openly and honestly. With love and respect for one another. “Changing someone’s opinion isn’t the point of discussion. It is to broaden your perspective and realize that the world is bigger than the bubble that you live in. Discussion fuels progress. When we don’t have discussion, like a fire, progress dies. My final message to you: Talk about politics.”
(Scotti’s quote originally came from this article – I don’t love the whole article, but her final point, the above quote, is spot on.)
For more pictures of the Women’s March in Washington, Paris, and other places around the world…check out A Cup of Jo’s article on the topic.