If I Am Only For Myself, What Am I? On Saturday We Marched.

“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story needs to be told, especially if that person is a woman.”

– Lena Dunham

The election of our newest president brought me utter devastation. I stayed up all night during the evening of the final race and cried my eyes out on the streets of Manhattan as the reality of the results hit me. I was #withher, but even more importantly I was irrevocably against the rhetoric of hatred and ignorance which were deeply ingrained in his political platform. Partisanship aside, my strongest conviction is that we all have a responsibility to uphold human decency.

Among other things, this election was an insult to women across the world. Our president engaged in blatantly misogynistic dialogue both privately and publicly. The American people voted for him in spite of this, claiming that in lieu of his other positions they could forget about his disrespect for womankind. I understand this notion, and I understand that regardless of what’s said on the debate stage, people are typically going to vote for their party’s elected candidate. However, by giving him votes we validated every malicious action he ever committed, and in doing so we have taken an incredible step back in the advancement towards complete gender equality.

On Saturday, my friends and I marched. We took to the New York City streets with the belief that we deserved better. Ultimately, we weren’t marching against our president. We no longer want to give him that validation. We marched for ourselves and we marched for our futures, may they shine brighter than we could ever imagine. We refused to simply accept that this was the way things were and we decided that every single day we will dedicate ourselves to supporting female progress.

I saw men, women, and children from an array of backgrounds standing together. We all had our reasons for marching, but the common mantra was clear: Women Are Strong. I have always had a sense of being independent and driven, and I know in my heart that I am strong. Yet, being with these massive crowds, I was gifted with a vitality that I have never truly known. Togetherness. With this network of unwavering support in my corner, I have no doubt that I am and always will be unstoppable.

After marching I no longer felt the cloud of disappointment that was this election hovering over me. I felt the opposite. I felt sunshine and warm rays that signified the coming of a new day. Thousands surrounded me and I no longer felt alone. The people there lifted me up and the experience is one I will carry with me for the rest of my existence. Similar to the night of the election, I later shed some tears. However, this time they were tears of happiness, gratitude, and most importantly, love. Human decency is alive and well. #WhyIMarch

9 thoughts on “If I Am Only For Myself, What Am I? On Saturday We Marched.”

  1. Well said! I marched in Washington and my feelings and thoughts are the same as yours. Together, we will prevail. But you and I have always made a good team! ❤

  2. Being a male, it will probably be impossible for me to fully understand the viewpoint of a female, and therefore I will get some of it wrong, not understanding the struggles you go thru to get respect and feel threatened by creeps, but this demonstration was so great.

    I was raised as a Roman Catholic so I was taught that we should respect & be kind to others, i.e. a Good Samaritan. But it is so confusing why Trump keeps using the word God in all his speeches, since his actions do not represent his words. I am further disturbed by the God worshipping republican side who continue to disrespect women’s rights and the planet, and further saddened by the rudeness and hostility of their attacks and their bullying. I don’t even believe in a God anymore. It’s insanity on earth.

    Everyday since trumps Inauguration the unbelievable actions seem so fast & evil, but thinking about the large numbers that came out for this rally gives me belief that the good will prevail in the end as long as we all stand together and never give in, never give up fighting against fascism, tyranny, oppression, and stupidity. We the people vs them them bullies.

  3. Maddie…Thanks for this beautiful writing. I believe in a God, Who before the creation of the world, dreamt up womankind and infused within her incredible value, worth and purpose. No one can ever take that away. No lies can ever diminish that. The truth about who we are will prevail.
    Love you, Aunt Evie

  4. I’m very glad I finally read this! It is highly encouraging to a broken down old man like me that people your age actually give a damn. Don’t give up the fight! And don’t let any negative self-talk stop you from writing..and writing..and writing. There will be that quiet morning, sipping your coffee, or a late night staring out a window before you go to bed, or maybe you’re in the shower or on a park bench, when an idea pops into your head. You kick it around for a while and then decide, nah, no one will want to read that. STOP yourself from killing it off. I’m convinced that’s when the good stuff comes to us. Some would say, that’s when God speaks to us. Find moments of peace and quiet. Then listen.

    1. Thanks Mr. Ruckstaetter! This is awesome. Sometimes I tell myself no one will care what I have to say but then I think, why wouldn’t they? Your words give me some faith. I’ll do my best to listen.

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