What’s that you say, it's Women’s Day? The Women’s March was a mere 6+ weeks ago. How can that be?
If you follow the political news cycle like I do, the Women’s March happened in the Middle Ages. I won’t bore you with all the political nonsense that's been eating at me in the interim, but I will share that I was invited to be part of a photo documentary book for Planned Parenthood, shot by the immensely talented, Nadine Robbins.
Nadine is a painter, designer, photographer. Her portrait paintings are beyond the beyond. So when Nadine mentioned she was shooting a Diane Arbus-y black and white photo book with a few local women who marched – and I could keep my clothes on (she paints contemporary nudes) – I jumped at the opportunity.
The book is slated to be mostly photos. So I’m not sure if any of this interview will appear in the book. Nevertheless, I persisted to answer Nadine's questions, and here they are...
Where and why did you march?
Right after the election, my outraged colleagues and I discussed plans to march together at the Women’s March on Washington. I help run a women-led national organization that pulls me deep into the world of politics. I travel to DC often, so Washington would have been the obvious march for me to attend. But as I knitted pussy hats on the train to and from my Hudson Valley home and Washington, my parental heartstrings tugged me towards my children.
My daughter and I had been having almost daily discussions about women’s issues. We worried Planned Parenthood would take a direct hit from this new extreme right-wing administration.
I remembered a time when women fought for reproductive rights, before woman had control of their bodies, before legalized abortion. It was during the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970’s when I discovered that the personal is political.
Defunding Planned Parenthood, an organization my daughter and I had both used and supported, was personal. So I decided to march in Boston in solidarity with her, near her home, against a sexist, anti-women administration that aimed to take basic human rights away from my most cherished loves, my children.
How did the March make you feel?
At the end of the march, I felt high, like I was floating above a dark cloud. I had accomplished something that was bigger than me. I had joined millions of people sending a strong message that women are listening, we’re watching…and if our reproductive rights are taken away, we will regroup and fight.
With the constant barrage of harmful, regressive policies spewing out of this administration and those who condone it, it’s been hard to sustain the enthusiasm. While a part of me would like to crawl under the covers and wait out the nightmare, the radiance of the march still shines hopeful.
What was the best sign?
There was a young guy holding a sign that said, “Mom would have been very proud of you. Love, DAD” He was smiling, but there was a story there that I’m sure would have broken my heart.
What do you plan to do now?
Acting on conviction is our best defense. I’m writing to ensure we don’t normalize this dangerous administration. And I’m working locally and nationally to vote Trump and his cronies out of office.
My hope is that we can harness the energy of the March into launching a movement that goes beyond the current administration. Change happens when people speak out and demand it. Respecting and protecting the notion that equal rights are human rights is always worth fighting for.