March For Women’s Lives

Hedda, Katie, Chris, and I spent the morning and afternoon in the midst of the March for Women’s Lives in DC. The march was a rally mainly for the pro-choice lobby in the abortion battle, and most of the speakers talked about that. I was really kind of hoping they would talk about some of the other feminist issues, such as the glass ceiling and the wage disparity between men and women. The tight focus on abortion makes it seem like that’s the only issue facing women today; and while it is certainly an important issue, it shouldn’t be the only point around which feminists can rally.

Choosing to focus soley on such a polarizing issue alienates a lot of people who might otherwise support many other issues important to women. I’m not saying abortion isn’t an important issue. Far from it! Perhaps the most fundamental freedom necessary for a vibrant society is the freedom to choose what happens to one’s body. But it can’t be the only thing we talk about.

As can be expected, there was quite a bit of anti-Bush virtriol. The anger is well-justified, however. The policies of this administration are just as much a danger to the liberties of the American Woman as they are to the other sovereign nations in the world. It angers me to no end that the fundamentalist, religious zealots living in this nation feel they have the right to impose their personal moral standards on the rest of us. Our governmental leaders should be ever vigilant against religion intermingling with government. Instead, our President imposes his arbitrary moral views on those who do not want them. The founders of this nation were running away from just such state-sponsored religion. We must do better.

Kerry’s supporters were out in droves, although the candidate himself did not make an appearance. I was approached by one of them, and I told her I was a Nader supporter. (This was perhaps a lie, since I am not really supporting him in any way. However, if the election were held today, I would vote for him.) She stepped back, shaking her head, and said, “That’s too bad.” I replied, “You have your right to choose, and I have my right to choose.” She said nothing and walked away. To all of those who spit at those who would vote for Ralph Nader: What country is your candidate running for the Presidency of? Last I checked, in America, we were supposed to value the diversity around us. If you can’t respect my rational choice to vote for the person who I feel best represents me, then why should anyone respect you or the candidate you represent?

There have been no official numbers, but I have heard that the number of people out today were anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000. That’s a lot of feminists. You go, girls!