Aging revealed
Published in

Aging revealed

Why I Marched

A very nice male friend of mine (my age) asked me yesterday why I marched. He asked whether he or any other man had ever failed to give me the respect he (and I) felt I was due.

I answered “of course,” because as a member of the business community of Phoenix when very few women owned businesses, I was never given proper respect — according to today’s rules. Which doesn’t take away from the fact that I was supported in my business by hundreds of men who became my clients, my employees, and my recommenders. I can honestly say men loved me. So I could just as easily have said “no.”

There were no rules back then. They’ve been written in the forty years or so that I’ve been in business. And they change all the time.

So I wasn’t marching for a particular set of rules, or even for a particular cause. Abortion rights didn’t bring me out there. Anti-Trump protesting didn’t bring me out there.

Something much stronger got me out there: a sense that every once in a while, the government must be reminded who they work for. It must be reminded that we’re out there, millions strong, with voices that must be heard if democracy is going to continue.

Yes, presidential elections are decided by an electoral college. But issues are not. Issues are often guided by the strength of public opinion, which is still most easily demonstrated by the massing of human bodies. Call it a “meat wall” if you will.

Yesterday was much more to me than anti-Trump, pro-women, or funding for Planned Parenthood (all common misconceptions). It was a reminder that in the 60s we got civil rights legislation passed because we marched in large enough numbers to make our elected representatives understand that we wanted civil right. And in the 70s we got out of Viet Nam because once again, we marched in large enough numbers to make our voices heard to the government.

I marched yesterday because for years I have wondered why the people haven’t marched to indicate our disapproval of the way the world is going. I’ve wondered where the young people were, the people who will have to live in the future that is being created for them by aging white men.

I marched because I wanted to set an example for those younger people, to join them, to make them understand that taking to the streets has been a way to get things done throughout my lifetime, and indeed throughout most of history.

I marched because when I realized they were finally marching, I could not help but join them. And what I witnessed wasn’t just a women’s march; it grew beyond that and became a march for our common humanity and our common concerns — I saw signs for water issues, immigration rights, climate change, children’s issues, peace on earth and basic respect for the humanity of everyone.

And I marched because as long as I have the energy to fight for the rights of all human beings, I will.

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francine hardaway

francine hardaway

7.2K Followers

Co-founder, Stealthmode Partners, helping entrepreneurs succeed