A Powerful Moment in History

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Saturday was an encouraging day for women in America. 2.9 million women were said to have marched across the world yesterday (according to politicususa.com), which is incredibly impressive. It is said to be the largest one day protest in U.S. history. That’s the power of the internet at work, folks.

 of Politicusus said, “An estimated 60,000 people marched in Atlanta. 250,000 are marching in Chicago. There are estimates of 250,000 people in Boston, and 200,000 more in Denver. In New York, the estimate ranges from 200,000-500,000. City officials estimate that 500,000 people participated in the main march in Washington, DC. In Los Angeles, the estimate is anywhere from 200,000-750,000. There were also protests of 60,000 in Oakland, CA, 50,000 in Philadelphia, 100,000 in Madison, WI, 20,000 in Pittsburgh, 20,000 in Nashville, TN, and 60,000 in St. Paul, MN.”

 In little old Collier County, a small version of that march happened, and I have never been so proud of my home town. This March was truly inspiring, and gave me a breath of fresh air. It felt so good to know that I, as a woman, am supported by my own community.

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(Photo above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

For those of you who don’t know, the Women’s March was for those who support equal rights for every woman and every human being who wanted to march for social justice. This was not an explicit Anti-Trump march. Rather, it was a march to tell the world that we will not let discriminatory policies be passed, and we will not give up our rights as women and as human beings.

Let me make this clear: I marched because I stand for equality. I stand for equality for every race, color, religion, sex, gender, and sexual orientation.  I marched because I  want every woman to have equal opportunities to men, because that is not the reality for many women across the country and the world. I marched because I believe it is a woman’s choice to do what she feels is right for her body. I am fortunate enough to have the choice, and my insurance covers my healthcare. Unfortunately that is not the case across the country. I march for the people and women who do not have the means to get annual check-ups and examinations because healthcare is too expensive… and they have to choose between food for their children or a visit to the doctors… and to those of you who are worried about women and children in other countries who do not even have as many rights as us here in the U.S…. we marched for them too. On the Monday after the march, Donald Trump signed an executive order to take away funding for international programs giving parenthood planning, HIV testing, and health screenings if those programs also help women with abortions… even if our U.S. dollars are not being spent on abortions. This is exactly the kind of thing we are marching against.  Yes, we are concerned with women around the WORLD, not just here in the U.S. This march extended far beyond the borders of our country. 

 I did not march because I am not personally heard, but because others are not heard.  I did not march because I feel like a second-class citizen, I marched for those who feel they are.  I marched for every woman who has been sexually assaulted and raped, and had to stay quiet. My marriage to Jason will never be questioned by the Supreme Court, but my very good friends still do not have that same security, and so I march. 

I am fortunate enough to have grown up in an environment where I was told that I can be anything I want to be some day. I have a great job, and I am covered by health insurance. I am supported by both of my parents, and I was never told that there was a limit in what I wanted to get out of life. I am so lucky, and for no reason…. because the color of my skin, the town I grew up in, the education I could afford, the success of my parents. I did not march for me. I marched for all the men and women across the world that do not share the same luck. 

If you don’t agree with me, if this upsets you, its okay. Protests are not meant to make everyone feel comfortable.

The Collier County site said, “We want to send a clear message to our community, that we are standing together in support of equal rights for all women, minorities, and immigrants. Women’s rights are human rights and as people we all deserve to be treated equally. We will not tolerate hatred, racism and sexism and we will fight for respect, dignity and justice for all. Our community is a welcoming community to all people and we want to keep it that way. Together as a unified community we can do it. It’s time that we get out and make our voices heard, it’s time that we join forces, it’s time to stand up for what we believe in. One fight – One voice – One people.”

Equality. That’s what I came for. Equality for all.

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(Photo above courtesy of Jeanie Camosy: Collier County)

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Unfortunately I came a little late to actually march in the streets because I wasn’t feeling too well, but I stayed around Cambier Park to see all of the different organizations that attended, and to hear all of the speakers. I went alone to this event because everyone that I knew that would be interested was working. 🙁 BUT I never felt alone while I was there. I saw some old friends and I even made some new ones!

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(Photo above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

Men and women, young and old  attended this march. Muslims, Christians, Jews, black and white all came up to speak and represent our community.

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Groups like Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, Coalition for Quality Public Education, and SWFL Showing Up for Racial Justice, and more were all there gathering new members and speaking about how they reach out.

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They also had the Women’s March in DC live streaming, which was awesome to get to see.

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It was great to see our locals coming together in unity to stand for something we all believe in. I truly didn’t expect anything like this to happen in my community, which is made up of mostly conservatives. So this was a pleasant to surprise to see.

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(Last five photos above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

My favorite part of the day was when my Dad called me. Now, my Dad is a pretty conservative man, who unfortunately voted for Donald Trump. He and I always have interesting political debates. But my Dad called me towards the end of the event to let me know that he was proud that I was standing up for what I believe in, and that he fully supported me and women’s rights. (Yay Dad!) In the same moment, a man was getting up to speak at the event. His message was to remind MEN that this is their battle too. We are only strong when we stand together. Gender equality is not only a battle for women, but for men as well. Men, stand strong with your ladies! It was a really happy moment for me.  

It was great to see our locals coming together in unity to stand for something we all believe in. I truly didn’t expect anything like this to happen in my community, which is made up of mostly conservatives. So this was a pleasant to surprise to see.

When I got home, I was really happy to see all of the photos on my feed about the marches in other cities! I have friends scattered across the U.S. and it was super cool to see what the march looked like across the country. In fact, it was truly amazing to see all of the different stories from all around the world after the march.

My girl Carly in St. Petersburg, FL with her friends: 

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“It was a privilege to stand with other men and women who are committed to fighting for justice in our country. As exhausting and scary as the election season was, it was so energizing to see 20,000 people march in solidarity for equality and truth, right in my own city! I felt so lucky to be surrounded by friends, and to have my hand held by a man who loves and supports me and this movement. Women are powerful, and this march showed a glimpse of what we can do – when we stand together.”

Victoria Surr and her father at the March in Naples, Florida:

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Cathy Doherty alllllll the way from Ireland to little old Naples, Florida:

16114008_10154544870479355_537626789834998966_n 16265420_10154544870519355_5899136220458353317_n “As tourists from Ireland, it was a privilege to support. We had marches in Ireland. Take nothing for granted!”

My good friend Laycee and her fiancé Ruby, who were unable to march, because they were on a plane home from California:

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“We are unable to march today, so we rock our pride shirts while we travel back home. We can’t help but feel so overwhelmed by all the people coming together today and we truly wish we were marching in the streets with everyone”

Adnerb Ettecuod from Naples, Florida: 

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“I am so hopeful. I feel so much better knowing all of these smart, creative and passionate people are out here with me. “

My friend Jacqueline from Asheville, North Carolina:

16237197_10208516368447348_1598065882_n“I marched last Saturday in Asheville, 28 weeks pregnant, thinking about my unborn baby and the world he or she will grow up in. Especially if she’s a girl. I want her to feel valued and respected by those around her, safe when she walks down the street, and in control over her own body. I also thought about the expense of maternity care. I have good insurance and it’s still expensive. Look up online what it costs to deliver a baby, it’s crazy! I want under privileged women to have access to birth control, maternity care, and financial assistance when caring for an unplanned child and I’m 100% ok with my tax dollars supporting that through Medicaid. Just a few of the reasons I decided to march. I also want to be able to tell my child that I participated in the Women’s March and that he or she was with me.”

Chloe Fishell-Creviston from Naples, Florida:

“After Friday left me feeling so shitty and defeated, yesterday let me know that there is still hope and change can be made. I live in an extremely conservative city and couldn’t believe the number of women AND men who turned out for this march. This is just the beginning!”

My great friend Alexander in St. Petersburg, Florida: 

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 10.39.09 AM“It’s a beautiful day to smash the patriarchy!”


For those of you who came, marched, and conquered, I encourage you to look at this: https://www.womensmarch.com/100/

It isn’t over yet. Yes, we’re successful in raising awareness, but the real battle is in the policy and how we can make a difference.  Check out 10 Actions for the first 100 days Campaign to see where to start. 

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