Stop Asking What The Women’s March Is “About”

Shani Silver
Athena Talks
Published in
3 min readJan 16, 2017

Pairs well with “You Don’t Own Me,” by Lesley Gore.

Photo by me.

Stop asking what it’s about. Stop asking what I think it will accomplish. Stop trying to undermine a gathering of women by belittling them with questions you’d never ask a man. Stop thinking women have to explain their actions to you, rather than acknowledging you know full well what it’s about. Maybe you don’t.

I march because I’m scared, but not helpless. I march because I want to demonstrate that I can be scared and brave at the same time. I march to show little girls, including the one I used to be, that they can, despite elections, rejections, attacks, and punishments, do anything.

I march because I don’t just want to stay healthy, I want all women in this country to stay healthy. Especially those who, due to economic disadvantage and poor access to healthcare, are more susceptible to not being healthy. I march because a “pussy” isn’t a grabbable object. It isn’t just there for a man’s sexual pleasure. Goodness knows it’s vilified for ever being a part of a woman’s sexual pleasure. It is not something that in one breath you can desire and in the next take away safe, affordable care from. It’s a part of the human body that requires medical attention like any other part of you. It’s why you’re here, and it deserves more respect than ignorant, controlling, punishing regulation.

I march because the color of my skin, my ethnicity, and my religious background should not dictate how important my voice is, how privileged I am, or how valued I am. I march among hundreds of thousands of faces that are all beautifully, remarkably different, and all equal.

I march because I’m in mourning. I’m mourning the loss of opportunity, the chance to witness for myself a female Commander in Chief. A female leader. A female President. I don’t know if we will come that close again in my lifetime, so I mourn. And I march. That’s not called losing poorly, it’s called not being beaten.

I march because I was born to a strong woman, who was born to a strong woman, who was born to a strong woman. If they can do things like immigrating to the United States to start a new life, spending a career teaching children with disabilities, and raising two kids alone, the least I can do to honor their gender is take a walk.

I march to show President-elect Trump, his administration, and members of Congress who support him that they do not have my support – or my silence. And if they can start viewing and treating women as equals, as valuable for who we are, not what we look like, as vital for our country to flourish as men are, if they can move from their current, discriminatory mindset toward equality, I will be happy to support them when they get there. Until then, it is our feet that will move in unison in the right direction. That’s what it’s about.