More than one steady march today

I know quite a few women marching in the D.C. rally today for women’s rights. And some in our local rally here in Chicago.

While I am generally outspoken, I am not much of a marcher. It is not that I don’t value the message and the show of solidarity. I do. I certainly do. It’s that I am a pragmatist to the nth degree. My “marching” takes place quietly, usually one on one.

I’ve been marching for many years. It’s not marching in any real sense of the word, but it is helping other women make progress. I’ve mentored a couple of younger women who have now both been promoted, one within her company and another in a new position at a company of her choosing. I am so darn proud of both. They went from uncertain missteps to confident plans of action in a matter of months. This progress has more to do with their mettle than my coaching—but I was happy to help them speed up their trajectory.

Will this help us preserve women’s rights? I think so. The more successful women we have who vote with their pocketbooks, the less likely we are to have the travesty that occurred within this last U.S. election.

I “march” when I support friends who decide to work towards supporting themselves financially. You can’t be equal if you don’t have the power to walk away should you have to do so.

I admire what my friends are doing this weekend. But I also admire those women who are quietly making the world a different place than it used to be. One that is friendlier towards women—or if not friendlier, one in which women at least hold enough power to hold their own against those who would desire to subjugate them.

That is a world in which I’d like to see any granddaughter of mine grow up and thrive.

While the loud revolution bangs the drums, I applaud those who are also fueling a quiet revolution. Many times, those quiet changes are the ones that last beyond rallies and speeches.

Today, while I send good vibes to the marchers, I will be teaching my youngest how to do laundry. And I may ask him to watch “Suffragette” with me, an ask I’m sure will make him roll his eyes.

Just another way some of us “march”—by raising men from whom future generations of women will not have to defend themselves. Men who take their equal share of work inside and outside of the home. Men who see entitlement as a blind for the lazy.

Huzzah to all of us who work for the greater good today. May we each spur change in our own way, respecting the fact that all types are needed in the larger march towards true women’s equality.

I cannot help but think of my mother, who helped pave the way for so many women to succeed. Without fanfare, in her no-nonsense way, she put opportunities in front of those most qualified. And she helped make sure there was a subset that was “most qualified.” She raised her six daughters to be self-sufficient.

I can’t think of a better way to support women’s rights.

And yet, I was feeling today that I may not be living up to her example. When a friend asked if I was headed downtown for the march, my response was that I was not. And I wondered if she would feel I was not quite doing my part in teaching my boys the lesson in front of us to learn.

Her response was eloquent and kind, just like her: “It is enough that your boys are being raised by you. Your example each day is enough. In you, they see what a strong woman looks like. And they will support other strong women.”

My admiration goes out to the women who do the quiet marching every day, as well as to those whose role it is to raise their voices in a more public display.

Both move us forward. And really, that is the only direction in which we should be willing to go.

 

 

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. There are many ways to inspire and show our support in the world. Your attitude and actions are just as important as a March and we can do that everyday! 💚

    1. candidkay says:

      We each contribute in our own way, yes:).And we eventually get there!

  2. The world needs more good role models right now.

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree! Here’s to doing our part as best we can :-).

  3. srbottch says:

    I think role models of all sorts help move us forward. My mothers was a role model, not that she tried to be one. But she did try to be a good mother, a good wife and she was. It wasn’t easy for a girl pregnant at 18 without even a high school diploma. But she grew and learned along the way. Growth is important. She didn’t reach me household chores but she did instill honesty, trust and respect for all people. She did Steve march, either. By the way, what was the ‘travesty’ of the election?

    1. candidkay says:

      Your mother sounds like she was a strong, amazing woman. I think most of us teach best what we live–sounds like she lived well! When I referred to the election as a travesty, I was referring to the fact that so many women voted for a man who made it clear that his policies would start to erode women’s rights from the get-go.

  4. Archita says:

    Absolutely agree with you. It’s another kind of marching, moving ahead fearlessly and independently while helping others to move forward too!! Always love your insightful posts. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you for the kind words! Glad my posts have resonated with you:). Yes–it’s the daily march that helps us get to the finish line, right?

  5. I applaud all the marchers, the quiet ones and the loud 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Me too:). I love that–for the most part–the tone was respectful and not vindictive.

  6. Sounds like you know exactly what stand you’re taking. Acknowledging and accepting who we are – this is what matters – so we can bring our best foot forward whether in a literal march, or a quiet march as you so vividly describe.

  7. I love this! We march every day in our own ways!

    1. candidkay says:

      We certainly do:).

  8. Bernadette says:

    You have made so important points about ways to support equal rights. The point about raising your son to be a feminist is one that resonates with me. I raised three sons and made sure that they respected women as their equals.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you have done the world such a service. Even if we are unable to get it right in this generation, I have high hopes for the next!

  9. I love this post. I also felt a twinge of guilt at not marching in my home town (way down here in Australia) when many of my friends did – but I had a prior engagement, and did not cancel. I agree…not everyone has to march to make a difference. But I have loved seeing all the social media images and posts about the marches around the world. How wonderful.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I am with you on loving seeing the marches around the world! It has been amazing to watch the feeds. One election may have done more to galvanize us around the world to work for good than years of other things :-).

  10. Aunt Beulah says:

    All women who are concerned about women’s rights should have the chance to read this, Kay, and to understand there are alternate, but equally important, ways of marching. It is a thoughtful, supportive piece.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you :-). It was nice to get comments of support from friends who felt the same way I did about not being able to march today or just not feeling it was for them. Even though they support the cause.

  11. Dale says:

    March on quietly, Sister. March on. It is what I do with my boys (I so hope they realise it one day…)

    1. candidkay says:

      I bet they realize it now :-). They may just not be willing to admit it :-).

      1. Dale says:

        I so hope so!!

  12. Activism and change take different forms. Marching among them! I wish I could march.

    1. candidkay says:

      I love seeing what all of my various friends are doing. Summer marching. Some did a day of service this week. Some are just taking time to spend with her children and really talk about the issues. I love that we are each contributing in her own way.

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