A week today I will be joining hundreds of thousands of other women and men as we march for equality, solidarity, the freedom to love who we want, and make choices for ourselves and our own bodies.
Sometimes I think of cancelling and going for a run instead. I could try for a sleep in or a pajama day or…just get my weekend chores done earlier. I’m kind of terrified to be quite honest. I don’t know what one does at a march and I’m dragging two of my friends with me. They are sacrificing their Saturday for me. Because I was bossy (as per usual) and demanded they come. Honestly I think I may have bullied them into it.
But in reality…beyond my fears and insecurities it’s not actually for me; it’s for us. It’s for my girls and their friends. It’s for (in no particular order besides how they come to mind) female CEOs who don’t take home the same salary as their male counterparts. It’s for teenage girls who find themselves using sex to survive, the one in four girls who will experience sexual violence in their lifetime, the girls who are sold to be married before the age of fifteen. It’s for the shame most females experience due to their periods, physical growth and changes, their insecurities due to their weight and shape and appearance, their fears of vulnerability….it’s for everyone who loves someone of the same sex, it’s for anyone who has felt alone or discriminated against because of their religion, their culture, their colour of skin. It’s for ALL OF US.
Kiran Gandhi ran a marathon in London, England during her period without using a tampon in 2015. My initial reaction was a little disgust first and then disapproval for how she went about fighting against the oppression placed upon the female body and its needs. Did she have to do that in order to make a statement? Was it necessary? But still she fought.
I remember when the show Vagina Monologues was trendy back in the late 90s. I wasn’t really interested in seeing it although I do vaguely remember trying to sit through a kichy version of it at some point in my early 20s. I thought Eve Ensler, although was a good writer, was full of shit and had created a show that was unnecessary, uncomfortable and unentertaining. But she fought.
I rolled my eyes at women fighting for their rights like it was just another way to get attention. Me. The highest attention seeker I know, besides my own children. I somehow had been brainwashed or taught throughout the years that those who stand up for their rights in a public forum are shit disturbers and that’s all. My need to not seem weak or cheesey made me feel like I had to go to the farthest end of the spectrum in a very crazy and confused way. I taught all my friends about sex at a young age as if it was the right thing to do. As if I had a responsibility to fulfill. I presented a tough exterior while at the same time taking on the role as a pleaser to guys as if it was the rebellious yet the cool/correct thing to do. I was a leader back then but of the most confused kind.
This Saturday I’m leading two of my closest friends into something I think we should all be doing more of. Not because it’s the right thing to do but it’s the human thing to do. I will teach by example and show my children that there are choices they can make for themselves, their community and for their world as they grow up and navigate through this life. To fight. To be the change they want to see. To love, be kind and not judge. To fight.