By Sarah Anderson, Master of Social Work Student, 2016-2017 ITSW Experiential Scholar
I march because I want my voice and the voices of others to be heard. It is my first amendment right of freedom of speech.
I march because my voice is loud and I can be heard. I am not silenced by the color of my skin. I am White and my whiteness does not lead someone to question my competence. Some have their competence questioned because of their name or hair or color of their skin; racism is a real and current issue. As an ally, I march because I believe that a person is more than a stereotype. I march with women, with transgender and queer populations, and with people of color to stand up against oppression. Even the term “of color” divides people into two groups: us and them. There is much diversity in cultures and ethnicities. Each are beautiful and deserve to be heard. I march behind my sisters and queer of color who are stereotyped by gender AND color.
I march because my gender does not make me “hysterical” or “crazy.”
I march for equal pay for the families who are supported by women who are paid less than their male counterparts. I march for the single women who are supporting themselves, like myself.
I march because violence against anyone is not okay: men, women, transgender, agender. No one deserves to be victimized.
I march against rape culture that states it’s okay to pressure anyone into having sex for any reason, liking paying for a date.
I march because there are still people who think that women shouldn’t hold certain jobs, such as firefighters. It is not commonly mentioned about the gender of an older or smaller man who struggles to keep up with a man in his prime. As soon as a woman is in that position, her female status is used as a reason why she shouldn’t be allowed to complete a certain job. If someone can do the work, she should be able to hold a job.
I march because it is not weak to be a “girl.” Women, girls, fems, queers are strong. We are smart. We have strengths that we can bring to any position or circumstance.
I march because women all over the world are impacted by and connected to each other. My support of this movement can have an impact of courage for someone else, far away that may hear my words and feel strength. Her strength gives me strength.
I march because I will not give up. Some say that it is good enough here, that I should be grateful. I am grateful for what has been fought for and earned, but not everyone has had the same opportunity as me. I will fight through my words and my actions, marching for every single woman, even those who speak out against feminism. With a spirit of empathy or generosity, I march for the histories that some do not know. Every woman today is where she is because of the feminists of the past. Women can vote and own property because of those who marched before. We are not property in the United States.
I march for women’s access to abortion and freedom of choice over their bodies. Not everyone is in the situation to have a baby. There are many babies in the foster system and throughout the world that are in need of homes. Children need care and nurturing. Not all are in the position to give a child the love that they deserve. Social work stands for compassion and nonjudgment.
I march for a world of understanding and action. Women who want equal rights are not “snowflakes.” We are determined to stand up for equality, despite the criticism that we face for doing so.
Success is not standing on the backs of others by sacrificing those who are different; it is holding hands working together for equity for all people of all different types. World success means we embrace diversity of gender, color, age, class, orientation, and the myriad of identities and intersections to work toward the goal of a happy, healthy and safe life, however that is defined. It means that we do not give someone less based on a label that has a bias of not being as competent/important/smart/capable. This is why I march and will continue to march.
I will march and advocate any time I am able. I will speak out to news organizations, as I did in this clip. I will use any avenue to shout for equality for all.
The views and opinions expressed on the interACTION blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Utah or the College of Social Work.Tags: ITSW, Social Justice, Women's March