Or rather, we gathered in solidarity. We didn’t have a permit to actually march, and so an estimated 10,000 people from all over Maine descended on our state house this morning, a “sister march” to our sisters actually marching on our nation’s capital. The diversity of ages in attendance was remarkable – tiny littles on their mama’s chests to elders with gray beards and canes – as was the atmosphere of kindness, love and respect. I didn’t hear a single harsh interaction; on the contrary, I was the recipient of smiles and gentle words.
I would be very surprised if anyone, ever in my lifetime, used the word radical in reference to me. Perhaps I am not the type of person one would expect to pound the pavement in protest, and that’s alright. I’ve even written here before how I don’t believe this is my season to be an activist. And yet, this didn’t feel radical for me – it felt right.
This was not specifically a pro-abortion or anti-Trump rally. This was a pro-women statement! It’s about the right to choose who we love – not just man or woman, but which man or woman. It’s about the right to an education, and the right to speak out on our beliefs. It’s being a voice for the trees, and the birds, and the water! It’s about the right to have six children, or zero, or somewhere in-between. It’s standing up for ourselves and our families, raising our boys to be strong compassionate men who respect and honor our daughters and sisters, working with them as equal partners. It’s about climbing the corporate ladder or devoting ourselves to our homes – and not being belittled for either choice. And yes, it’s about providing adequate care and services for women everywhere – regardless of color, marital status, tax bracket, or what have you, even if her choices don’t match up with your beliefs. It’s love and kindness, plain and simple.
Why wouldn’t you march for that?
I took my children and my veteran husband. Or rather, he took us – found us a parking spot and gave us an exit plan should we need to make a quick getaway (hope for the best, prepare for the worst). He’s not much for crowds, but he knew this was important to me, for me, and for our girls. It was such an experience.
And yet. I am left with a very strong feeling of, now what?