I mention all of the following because it holds significance in the Marches that happened around the world on January 21st, 2017.
In 1917, a woman by the name of Lucy Burns was arrested for picketing the White House in the United States of America.
On the 24th of April in 1928, the Canadian Supreme Court unanimously decided that women were not person enough to hold a seat in the Senate.
In 1930, on March 2nd, Mahatma Gandhi led a nonviolent civil disobedient method of protest.
On March 7th, 1965, 600 people marched from Selma to Montgomery to peacefully seek rights they were due.
August 28th, 1963 the March on Washington saw 250,000 people gather to help bring legal and societal changes toward a truly just society.
The day was a cold one up here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on January 21st, 2017 when I set out to march with millions of other people around the world in the Women’s March on Washington. This inclusive march invited all, regardless of the color of their skin, gender identity, or religious beliefs to show support that women’s rights were human rights.
When I first heard of this march, I was mildly intrigued. To be honest my initial reaction had me thinking that it was going to be a bunch of granola crunching feminist radicals making demands. I have had conversations with some that call themselves feminists and they proceeded to argue with me over the fact I rape myself by using a tampon (I wish I were kidding on this statement, but I am not). So while I was intrigued about the Women’s March, in no way did I want to be associated with some of the more radical thinkers that are out there.
I heard the words that the now elected President of the United States used in what has been referred to as locker room talk. I know that up here in Alberta, Canada, men make more money than I do in the same position and that as a woman, I am three times more likely to be responsible for the household chores. I can appreciate women being afraid to walk down the street and being catcalled or worse. I know what it feels like to be degraded on your choice of clothing. I have told my daughters that they needed to go and change or they were asking for trouble in what they were wearing because, for some unknown reason, it falls on women to ensure we are not enticing such comments by dressing too sexy.
The March of Women was much more than speaking out against all of those things I listed above. Considering I am not even American, it might seem a little funny that I decided to march at all or that cities across the world were hosting marches. I marched in support of the American people that held the belief that basic human rights are not a privilege that only an entitled few get. Basic human rights are for all humans.
Regardless of skin color.
Regardless of gender identity.
Regardless of religious beliefs.
Regardless of who you express your love too.
Regardless of all of this, we all deserve to be heard, understood and respected.
That is part of the reason why I marched with my youngest daughter beside me on January 21st, 2017.
Centuries of people before me have marched and peacefully protested when they felt things were not fair. The fact that I had the right to gather in a group and let my voice be heard on January 21st, 2017 is a testament to that. Women before me said oh hell no to being told they were not considered person enough to vote. To all those that marched in support of all being recognized as people regardless of their skin color. To all those that marched peacefully and made changes so that we can disagree and argue our points with each other, I thank you.
Just for the record, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I’ll march every damn day to keep those basic human rights for my children because when I march, I am not asking for special privileges.
I am asking that all people be treated equally.
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Debbi writes about what she thinks are life’s big questions and how she has found or is seeking to the find answers. The journey is not an easy one but one she needs with all the ups,downs and sharp turns in order to learn. She is a passionate lover of life that hopes by sharing her story you might come to understand you are not alone in your own journey.