In just a few days thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands!) of women will converge on Washington D.C. to commemorate the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump with a protest.
This “Women’s March” started out sounding like such a great idea! After the election, so many of us wanted a place for women to come together in solidarity and express that the types of behaviors Trump exhibited in his campaign (especially his remarks about women) would not be tolerated from our Commander in Chief.
I was excited! This was something I could support. I share the same concerns that many of my more liberal friends do about President-Elect Donald Trump; I even posted them in a piece last spring explaining how his behavior was demeaning and dangerous for the progress of authentic feminism and women’s healthcare.
However, as we’ve all seen this week, my ideas about what is good for me and my sister females are not in line with the big businesses that are putting up the money for the March, so I am no longer welcome to march.
I guess I can’t be totally surprised since sponsor groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood have not taken kindly to a message of women’s health that does not promote abortion as the solution to all female problems. But I can’t help but feel just a little bit disappointed that after decades of division among women about our bodies and their abilities, we still can’t find common ground on something like this and set aside differences to at least stand together for something.
What has been made clear to me in the decision by the March organizers to uninvite pro-life women is that abortion and contraception will remain untouchable “rights” that are not open to conversation or dialogue. Regardless of how well-educated, articulate, successful, or numerous the women are who speak up to share their stories about alternative women’s healthcare, we will be dismissed and ignored by elite feminists.
And because of this, I will be marching in Washington D.C., not this week, but next. I will be at the March for Life.
I’ve been to the March for Life twice before, and each time I couldn’t help but feel just a little like an outsider. I am Catholic, so I recognized and felt familiar and comfortable with many marchers, but I admit I was frustrated. I was frustrated that the March for Life is a single issue event: it only addresses the injustice of abortion. And I want more.
I am a “Whole-Life” pro-lifer, meaning that I see value in dealing with the many other threats to human dignity beyond abortion. And I see value in addressing the many related issues that push women towards abortion; such as poverty, education, and women’s healthcare. Most of the people I met, while kind, welcoming, and beautifully passionate, just wanted to talk about the immorality and brutality of abortion without addressing any related issues; I want to take the conversation to the next level.
I want a March (a movement!) that brings together women from all political, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. I want these women to be sisters to one another, embracing and supporting each other as women– as sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers. There will be no US vs. THEM because ALL women will be part of it.
I want to talk about empowering women to understand and embrace their natural bodies. I want a shared awareness of the gift of fertility, the challenges of childbirth, the blessing of breastfeeding to be the framework of our movement. It’s time for a movement where women can come together to create policies and laws that recognize our natural female bodies as the guidelines. Where women say that our children must be supported both by men and our society because they matter. Where women hold one another’s babies and laugh and smile as they swap stories about their lives. Where all women know that our contributions are essential in all realms of society: politics, business, religion, and the home. Where women come together as women to do what the feminists of the last two waves failed to do, fight for WOMEN.
There are two marches occurring in the next two weeks in Washington DC. One will be disguised as a “Women’s March” while advocating for the suppression and destruction of women’s bodies. The other will be a “March for Life” that will not address many of the societal issues that are challenging women to choose life for their children.
I’ll be at the one that welcomes me as I am, a woman who wants to promote natural women’s healthcare. I’ll be at the March for Life even though I am not 100% in line with every other person marching. But at this march it is OK to disagree on some points and still stand side by side. So I will march for Life.
But I can’t help but hold out hope that someday soon there will be a different kind of march….. for Women AND Life.
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