I'm in Washington, DC, and I just finished making my march signs while all my east coast friends here are already asleep. While it feels like a no-brainer for me to be here for this women's march, since I'm in the sex & gender field and have previously been involved with activism, I've been reflecting on the various reasons why this march matters most to me. The list is very long, but here are the reasons why I'm marching that hit me the hardest:
I march because we need to be moving towards compassion, tolerance, and freedom, not away from it.
I march because we are innately sexual beings, who need connection, love, nurturing, choice, and consent, instead of shame, judgment, stigma, or coercion.
I march because caring about and taking care of the health of our fellow citizens -- mentally and physically -- matters.
I march so that all young girls -- black, white, brown, and every color and shade in between -- can know and believe that their minds matter, their bodies are strong and beautiful, and their voices should be heard. And so that they don't have to march in the future.
I march so that young boys can be taught empathy, to express their emotions, and to support each other in this vulnerability, instead of having it stifled, bullied, or shamed out of them...which leads to angry, disconnected men.
I march because I have to. I can't give into the fear. Or the anger. I have to keep my head high, my eyes and ears attuned, and my heart soft.
I march because we need to keep moving forward.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sexuality Speaker