March on, Sister!

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

As I type, women (and men and children) are marching in cities all over this country. I was not able to get there physically…so, this article will be my contribution to the cause.

I have read a lot of criticism on social media questioning the purpose of participating in such an event. How can it really change anything?

I guess the answer leads to another question: “what do you want it to accomplish?” If for nothing else, marching in unison for a common purpose is energizing and empowering. It serves as a visual manifestation of the phrase “strength in numbers.” It forces others to take notice. It encourages change. CNN is reporting that more people have descended on the Mall than there were at the Inauguration on Friday. That is sobering and impactful.

Chester County residents arrive in Washington D.C. for Saturday’s march. Courtesy: Kennett Area Democrats.

I was part of a Pro-Choice rally when I was a sophomore in college. I will never forget boarding a bus at the crack of dawn to make the journey to Washington. The energy of the crowd was electric. The best (and most memorable) part was reading all of the creative, inspiring, and hilarious posters that people were carrying. I have seen a bunch of great examples from this march, as well.

The speeches at the Women’s March were equally inspired. Gloria Steinem (at age 82!) was there. I read this quote from actress Scarlett Johansson that summed up precisely how I feel: “President Trump, I did not vote for you. That said, I respect that you are our [president], and I want to be able to support you. But first, I ask that you support me. Support my sister. Support my mother. Support my best friend . . . Support the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives. Support my daughter, who may actually . . . grow up in a country that is moving backwards, not forwards and who may potentially not be able to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter, Ivanka, has been privileged to have.” (full article

As women, we have proven time and time again, with organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the Million Mom March (regarding tighter gun safety regulations), that our voice is powerful. A peaceful protest is a mature way to assert one’s social/political beliefs.

As disappointed as I was in the outcome of the election, it’s not like I’m packing a bag for Canada. I am hopeful that this administration can bring some positive change for our country. I think we can all agree about that. The problem, as I see it, is whether we have a leader who can effectuate POSITIVE change. That remains to be seen. Certainly his penchant for bullying those who disagree with him is not a good sign. Perhaps taking away Trump’s Twitter account could Make America Great Again. Or, at least, it would be a good first step. Only time will tell.

For those of you who did get the chance to march today…how was it? Please, leave your comments in the section below.

Happy Weekend

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