Yesterday, progressive men and women across the nation joined forces to rally and march against the War on Women. UniteWomen.org volunteers coordinated events in 45 states and the District of Columbia, featuring speakers from a variety of diverse organizations including NOW, Catholics for Choice, the Center for Inquiry, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, the National ERA Alliance, and many, many others.
Although I'm from New Jersey, I chose to attend the rally in DC. I admit that I'm guilty of accepting any and all excuses to visit my favorite city, but my main motivation for traveling was that I felt it was exceptionally important to help create a sizable presence outside the U.S. Capitol. I was very happy with my choice. The event was well-organized, the speakers were passionate and inspiring, and the crowd came through with loud voices, bold signs, good humor, and plenty of enthusiasm.
I loved that in DC - and I hope this was true around the nation - so many different groups were represented. Our speakers were male and female, religious and non-religious, caucasian and POC, straight and GLBTQ, younger and older, students and professionals, experienced activists and passionate newbies, joining forces to illustrate that the War on Women is something we all need to fight.
Perhaps my favorite take-away from the event was something several speakers mentioned: the fact that without reproductive freedom, all the other rights we're fighting for are impossible. Without the basic right to bodily integrity, what good is equal pay or anti-violence legislation? What good are any of our rights if we do not have final say in determining when and if we become mothers?
I know I'm not the only one who left one of yesterday's events inspired to do more, work harder, and speak louder as a voice for women's rights. Let's carry that enthusiasm with us as we prepare to make an event bigger statement in September!