Turns out the only legacy my family tree provides is one of abuse, oppression, violence:
Determined to not end my life like a second chorus of Reba McIntyre’s Fancy song, or drown my sorrow and dysfunction with alcohol or pills– another family legacy - I got the hell out of dodge…aka: Mississippi.
I went to college, then to grad school, married a man that didn’t beat me, started a business, became a college professor, wrote several publications, and created a non-violent home for myself in a charming turn of the century home surrounded by my beloved horses and heritage breed livestock.
I did what women in my family said I couldn’t do – provide for myself, excel in academia, have a non-abusive relationship, hold my own with men in competitive industries, own and manage a successful business – and it felt amazing.
I’d broken the ancestral cycle of unending abuse and oppression, and for that I was pretty damn proud.
Saturday – a day that will go down in history as the day women awoke, rose up, and spoke – the epic Women’s March, the largest protest in American history. Boasting of between 3.6. to 4.6 million attendees across the United States (as I’m writing this post, the tally is still not in), the march rocked the world as we know it.
Gender inequality, violence against women, the pay gap, normalization of a rape culture, and human rights (including reproductive) were just a few of the centuries-long areas of inequality our culture has embraced as “acceptable” that characterized the Saturday’s Women’s March mission.
The attendance, impact, and influence the Women’s March proved to be much greater than many, including myself, anticipated. It wasn’t just Gloria Steinem groupies (I’m a proud card carrier) – it was women and men from all walks of life, from all over world, demanding fundamental rights for all.
The Women’s March on Washington presented a wide variety of inspirational speakers.
Here’s ten of my favorite quotes from the day:
As I listened to the empowering words of the D.C.’s speaker line-up, I began to realize something…I – and we – can dream bigger.
Sure, escaping an abusive fundamentalist cult (finally recognized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), breaking generational cycles of abuse and violence, and going toe to toe with chauvinistic patriarchy throughout my career as a business professional were “big” accomplishments given where I started from, but I can do more, go farther, and exceed culturally accepted gender restrictions.
Women across the world, can do more; we can dream bigger. A life characterized by gender inequality and restricted by archaic gender roles doesn’t have to be our future. We have the power to change it, make it better, and ensure fundamental rights are given to everyone.
The Women’s March was just the beginning.
It’s my hope that gender based pay gap, rape culture, and restricted reproductive rights will seem as far out there and barbaric to our children and grandchildren, as segregation in public schools, women not having the right to vote, and child labor seems to our current culture.
It’s a new era of equality, and women are dreaming bigger than ever before.
Here’s to surpassing oppression and ushering in an age of love!
It’s a great day to be a woman.
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