Why I Marched
The Women's March on Boston
On Saturday my mother, aunt, two teacher friends, and two daughters ( 10 and 8 years old) took the blue line from the T station in Revere into downtown Boston to join the Women's March. The previous night as I tried (and failed) to get to bed early, I read an email confirming that the turnout was going to be far greater than expected, over 90,000 people had registered for the march.
As we approached the Common it was clear that the turnout was even larger, and those who turned out were ready: pink knitted hats, signs with colorful and inspiring messages, choreographed picketing, face paint and rainbow flags.
Signs at the March on Boston
After the march, reports estimated that almost 200,000 people descended on the Boston Common and Public Gardens.
I didn't go because I have a long history of attending political protests, unlike many at the rally. One sign summed it up for baby-boomers and those old enough to remember: I Can't Believe We're Still Protesting This S*&#.
But despite my inexperience with protest, I was compelled to march. This campaign and its coverage has been loud, crude, and in our faces, including the faces of my two girls. So there's been a lot of conversations about politics in the car and at home. My eight year old wants to know why a man would grab a woman. My ten year old wants to know how climate change can be mitigated with the help of someone who doesn't believe in the science. And so I thought that it was time for more than talk.
Critics may argue that it's disappointing that the people who turned out for this rally hadn't been protesting before. Where was I for Black Lives Matter protests? Where was I for Get Out the Vote activities? Fair questions.
I spoke with a teacher at my daughter's school last week about how she teaches students about philanthropy. She said that she wants kids to know that we can be generous with our resources, and she referred to three types of philanthropic giving: time, talent, and treasure. Although political activism and philanthropy are different, I found the notion of time, talent and treasure to be germane to the conversations we were having at home with our girls. Giving money to a candidate or cause is not enough.
So we gave our time on Saturday, and were counted as just a few of the millions of people around the world who also wanted give their time and talents to help our lawmakers understand that we value human rights, safety and good health for all.
My girls and I learned that protests can be tedious-- we were at a standstill on the common for over an hour and half, squashed between a sea of people and port-a-potties. But the day was warm, most of those around us in good spirits. And on the way home that night, I thought that someday my girls will better understand the rhetoric of this election cycle and why we were compelled to march.
There are next steps for those who are interested, including the 10 Actions in 100 Days, which begins with writing postcards to your senators. https://www.womensmarch.com/ #whyimarch