Originally Published: January 13, 2018 6:05 a.m.
“I march because I’m tired of being negated from the time I can remember as being ‘just a girl.’
Being told my father wasn't paying for my college education because I’d just get married and have babies and waste all that money.
Working in a hardware/auto parts store and being told the (male) customer ‘would rather talk to a man,’ as though I didn’t have the brains to look up his spark plugs in the book just as the (male) owner would.
“Told to ‘settle down’ when I was upset.
Told by another employer I didn’t make as much as a (male) colleague because I wasn’t the head of a household as was my co-worker.
“And don’t even get me started on the sexual harassment!
“Am I angry? You bet I am. I look around and see that even in the last 50 years nothing has changed. There’s the same locker-room/boys-will-be-boys mentality, the same silence, the same attitudes, the same shame.
“That’s why I march. To bring awareness that we’re still fighting inequality on a personal level and on the economic level.
“I march and fight to see women validated.”
– Mary Cole
On the cusp of the second Women’s March, one wonders who, and how many, will appear at the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott on Saturday, Jan. 20. All are welcome; the March is non-partisan and peaceful.
In 2017, with roads closed because of snow and ice, 1,200 women, men and children marched enthusiastically, wrapped in warm clothes and hats, many carrying signs and posters that explained why they made the effort to show up.
Now, one year later, one does not have to search far to find reasons to march again, or to support those who do. Participants come to tell the world they, and those who cannot speak for themselves, will be heard.
Oprah Winfrey, at the Golden Globes ceremony Jan. 8, said the most powerful tool anybody has is speaking their truth.
“I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon.”
Immediately following the first Prescott Women’s March, women and men, liberal and conservative, formed a grassroots organization inspired by similar groups all over the country, Prescott Indivisible. Its members strive to make changes on a local, state and national level in education, environment, human rights and immigration.
Following is what several PI individuals have posted on the whyimarchprescott.blogspot.com website to explain why they will be marching Jan. 20:
Lois Case remembers when she was young, a woman needed either a father’s or husband’s permission to apply for a credit card. Women needed a man to co-sign for a loan. Finances were never shared with wives or daughters, or outside the home.
“My father would not help me apply for student loans or aid for college because he didn’t want anyone to know how much he made,” she said. Her father even covered up the financial information on tax returns before his wife could sign the papers.
She marches to make sure hard-earned civil rights in this country don’t return back to the backwards conventions of the 1950s.
Gail Cook marches because she can.
“I marched in Washington, D.C., the experience of a lifetime, starting when I got on the plane in Phoenix in the last boarding group and realized at least 99 percent of the passengers were going to the March. Some of the men were wearing (pink) hats.
“I felt I could make a difference and be a part of something important and just do something with my anger and frustration. I had never protested before in my life, and today I can’t remember how many protests I have participated in during the past year.
“I march for anyone in this country who has suffered discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender …”
Jennifer Massewill march for her two young sons.
“I am marching so that they may grow up to live in a more equitable and safe world. When women’s voices are heard and their stories are heeded, the world becomes a better place for everyone.”
Mary Cole said she feels a little grey hair or girth around the middle allows many men and, sadly, many younger women, to treat females of a certain age as less than second-class citizens. She wonders why men get more “distinguished looking” and are respected for their wisdom, prowess and success, and women are viewed as used-up fools. Why is this?
“Once our ‘beauty’ is gone and our childbearing years are behind us, what good are we to society? Husbands leave us for younger women; businesses decide we don’t have the ability and knowledge necessary to hire us; and if we speak out for ourselves, we’re considered harpies and trouble makers.”
Joanie Nickel — “I respect the gifts of all the women who came before me, who sacrificed life and freedom to make us all more free. That is why I march, and I ask others to do also.”
Rosemary Dixon — “I march because I have always marched … I march to fight injustice.
“Women in this country have been fighting for centuries. We know how and will endure as we always have endured. We will be heard. We are NOT going away.”
Maria-Elena Dunn — “I march for all of us and for our children’s children. But most importantly, I march for my son and daughter-in-law who are active duty U.S. Air Force pilots. They are out there, every day, defending our nation.
“I want to make sure that the nation that they are defending is one worth fighting for: an America which respects the tenets of our democracy, which is inclusive, which has a moral compass — a U.S. of A. which we are ALL proud to call home.”
Oprah talked about a new day on the horizon.
The Women’s March on Prescott is scheduled for noon Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott.
The event is sponsored by Prescott Indivisible and other organizations, according to PI’s website, prescottindivisible.org. The group’s representatives have been involved in the planning stages, and are seeking volunteers to commit to helping for one hour before and during the march. Contact Maria Lynam, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at email@example.com or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.