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Brittany,

I’ve read many responses to this issue of pro/anti march and as a male I feel that, and will probably be seen as if I’m trying to offer an opinion on something that I am an outsider on. But I feel that I would like to share what I believe as an outsider and as a person of color. I will start here with your post.

I’d first like to offer some thoughts on what the march was doing. I believe that in this day and age, especially people that belong in our generation, have the belief that marching (and protesting, and I’m just going to use “peaceful protesting” here) isn’t really helping anything. It seems marching and, in your words, taking “a more methodical approach” aren’t equal, giving way to the belief that marching is nigh worthless. I do agree that if you have time and resources, donating or raising money for a cause/issue/belief to try and create change are major. Those things help immediately and on a more personal level than a march ever could.

And there lies the problem with marches that I think gives the public its current opinion of them. The things viewed as “real work” are felt immediately while the effects of marching take time. Sometimes lots of it. We feel the changes of community built shelter, or the feminine hygiene products donated to the homeless women in the city right now. Marches don’t work that way. But history has shown us that if you want to get the attention of Washington, marching is an extremely effective way to do so. The Civil Rights Movement marches of the 60’s, LGBTQ movements especially in the 70’s and 80’s, and yes, even the Women’s Rights marches that took place in the early 1900’s are all huge examples of marches that worked: Very, very slowly. Marches tend to get the lawmakers to amend, repeal, or just plain not pass laws in which the march is against (or do all the opposites if the march is for something) bringing about the change wanted or needed in due time because policy (usually) takes time.

This march in particular seems to be coming off as an anti-Trump rally more than a protection of Women’s rights (which you say in another article you assumed you already have. But make no mistake, those rights being there and those rights being protected by people with which they have no impact on are two very different things). I would agree that certain portrayals of it definitely give it that vibe. But this is about much more than that. For instance, President Trump signed an executive action on 1/23/2017 that bars international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US government funding. Doesn’t seem like much, especially if you’re pro-life. But the funding received doesn’t just go towards performing abortions. It paid for other very important and even abortion reducing care, including contraception access and post-abortion care and access to readily available feminine hygiene products. Passing a very broad sweeping action like that seemingly strips away rights from women that want to choose abortion, or even if we dial it back a bit, blocks women from getting contraception safely and easily and takes away the care that women who have had abortions are receiving. It’s those kinds of protections and laws that women were marching for and trying to stop or reverse. Not to mention the fear that women have about what this administration means for them and their health and quality of life in general.

I love that you applaud the women that marched even though you don’t share their sentiment. I feel it’s always a good start not to berate the side of the argument that you don’t agree with. However, I also feel that even people that do have an understanding what the march was about and disagree tend to dismiss it as doing nothing or not agreeing with their beliefs. Same goes for the other side. Because a women doesn’t agree with the march she’s demonized. My question is why can’t both realities exist? Why do we need to agree or disagree with the march or any other issue? Why can’t it be I marched and it’s fine that you didn’t or I didn’t march and I love that you did? Even the people that so say it’s fine still hold some dissenting opinion of the other side. While you say that you are okay with different opinions about the march, the beginning of your article sets a president that the other reality can’t exist. Any who these are just my long 2 cents. Hope you have a great day.

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