On Friday, I had a wonderful conversation with a local company. They reached out to me asking if I’d be willing to work with them on a new initiative – an initiative near and dear to my heart. I am a bit guarded when it comes to sharing my opinion on this page (believe it or not) because I want to work with companies. I want to promote myself locally, as hard as it is to do in this conservative state. As I was discussing details, my contact told me that we’d have to continue our discussion once the owner came back from the Women’s March in DC. At that time, I knew I wanted to work with this business. I also realized, much like Kevin McCallister, that I wasn’t afraid anymore: this will continue to be a space where I speak my mind.
I am a liberal Christian. I definitely don’t talk about religion on here, but it’s something I wanted to be clear about. What does that mean? Sometimes I don’t know. I know I believe in God and Jesus and I pray and worship. It means that I’m not perfect: I cuss and drink and live with my boyfriend of 9 years. I don’t often make it to church. It also means I believe in equality for all. It means I believe in helping those less fortunate – not just saying that I do, but really getting my hands dirty. And it means I could do a lot more. It means that I believe that one of my best friends – a man who offers to take me to work when the weather is bad, a man who has driven me to allergist appointments, a man who brings me pizza and does my laundry when our dryer goes out, a man who sat with me when my beloved grandfather passed away, a man who checks on my safety more than some members of my own family – deserves to marry his partner, a man he has been with for nearly two decades. It means that I believe in a woman’s right to choose (doesn’t necessarily mean I’m pro-abortion – happy to sort that one out for you). It means that I believe in your religious freedom and right to march and right to be and marry whoever the hell you want. It means that I support our military (and, frankly, it’s ignorant if you believe liberals do not support the military).
Here’s the thing: if you’re going to complain about women marching for equal rights and healthcare and treatment, marching to free ourselves from the fear of sexual assault, then you sure as shit better be ready to roll up your sleeves and put in some work. You are not superior because you do not need government assistance. You’re not superior if you’ve never been sexually harassed or assaulted. You’re not superior if you’ve never needed birth control or had to rely on Planned Parenthood for a live-saving Pap smear or mammogram. You’re not superior if you’re not an addict. You’re not superior if you’ve never known anyone who couldn’t afford tampons or pads or were able to feed their children. Doesn’t make you a better person. What makes you a good person is giving these women grace. Giving all women grace – even those who fundamentally disagree with you. It means donating your time to help these women because God knows they need it. It means letting go of judgement and pride and politics and asking how you can help.
I didn’t march this weekend. My mom and I discussed (with my sister’s blessing) taking my niece to the march in Lexington, but, we didn’t want to overwhelm her after she broke her arm last week. I wanted to march for equal pay. For equal treatment. For access to healthcare (you can read my post on women’s healthcare here). For freedom from sexual harassment and sexual assault. For our President to understand consent: you cannot grab my pussy unless I give you permission to do so. I wanted to march for me and my sisters and my niece and friends and for you. For us all. One thing that makes America great is our right to protest when we see bullshit. To protest when we’ve had enough. To protest to change laws and ways of thinking. That’s what all the men (and women) who fought for this country fought for. We’re not marching because Hillary lost: we’re marching because we will be heard. We will not go quietly. We’ll be marching until people stop commenting on who is the most beautiful First Lady (looking at you, Newt Gingrich and world), until we receive equal pay for equal jobs and experience, until we can walk down the street without being catcalled or grabbed, until colleges start recognizing rape as a legitimate threat on campuses, until we’re not judged for seeking access to life-saving healthcare and procedures, until we stop treating EACH OTHER like garbage, I will keep fighting. And I will not be afraid.