When I was 15 years old, I was sexually assaulted while on a school trip by a man in an elevator who pushed the stop button, pinned me against the wall, stuck his hands down my pants and grabbed me between the legs, reached up under my shirt and grabbed my breasts and breathed his hot, stinky breath against my neck as I wondered in complete panic and fear if he was going to rape me before I summoned my courage and kneed him in the groin, re-started the elevator, waited for the doors to open and ran as fast as I could away from him. And now, 25 years later almost to the day, a man who has bragged about assaulting women in the exact same way I was assaulted as a 15-year-old girl has been sworn-in as the President on the United States.
Tomorrow I am marching for every girl and woman who has been told, implicitly by this most recent presidential election, that her body is up for grabs to anyone who wants it — that as long as a man has some perceived position of power over her, by his size or his age or his wealth or his title or his celebrity or his sex or the number of votes for him for highest office of our country, that he’s entitled to a piece of her. I am marching because women deserve quality and affordable health care and birth control, and the power to make reproductive choices. I am marching for equal pay for equal work, paid parental leave, and a livable minimum wage. I’m marching because LGBTQ people have the right to live and love freely, without discrimination. I’m marching for immigrants, for disabled people, and for everyone’s right to worship free of persecution or fear of being banned or walled off or sent to a country that is no longer, or never was, home. I’m marching because black lives matter, and so do their votes! I’m marching because our kids fucking matter — all of them — and they deserve quality public education led by someone who has extensive and respected experience in public education (as an educator, a former student, and a parent of public school kids). I’m marching because the damn planet matters and it won’t exist much longer if idiots keep denying the damage being done to it and blocking legislation to protect it. That’s #WhyI’mMarching. Why are you marching?