Control or Equality?

I wrote this out on Thursday and I meant to post it yesterday for Feminist Friday but I was busy with the boys, homework, and then the pool so I just honestly didn’t have time and didn’t think about it until it was too late. I’m sorry about that. I really do try and stay on top of the blog along with everything else going on, but this week it was just too much. Anyway, this week is just going to have to be Feminist Saturday. – And let’s be honest, any day is a good day for a little feminism. 🙂
I had to write a paper on the different stances that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor took on abortion and how they both felt about Roe v. Wade. O’Connor was personally against abortion but thought women should have the ability to have them. She was okay with making it difficult for women though. The undue burden on the state was tricky with her. O’Connor defended outlandish restrictions that made a woman getting an abortion nearly impossible. She defended restrictions such as making women listen to speeches and then wait for their abortions or making young women get permission from their parents. These sorts of restrictions would drive women to risky abortions with unlicensed people, unsafe tools, and methods, as well as overseas.  Even though she tried to make outlandish restrictions she did not want it done away with completely. She did feel women should have some rights over their reproductive choices. This was very clear in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. She had asked the Solicitor General if they passed this new piece of legislation if they would be able to force women to have abortions in the future. He, of course, denied that but who really knows since it was not passed.

Ginsburg, on the other hand, felt women must control their bodies (which that included their reproductive rights and their right to abortions) to achieve legal and social equality. Ginsburg felt abortion rights should have been included under the 14th amendment and not just a court case decision that could be overturned. She felt women needed that right to make them equal in every way and didn’t think there should be any restrictions imposed by the state except those to protect women’s health itself.

I am clearly more in line with Ginsburg’s ideas on the topic and while I was doing research for my paper I found an interesting article. The reason I found this article was because the idea of the fetus being thought of as a human being and religion was first brought before the court with the Webster v. Reproductive Health Services case. I was raised Catholic, went to a Luthern school, and then continued my faith in a born again Christian church as an adult, yet I never viewed abortion as a religious issues. I always viewed it as a woman’s issue that strictly involved women. Religion had no place in the discussion, in my mind.

It’s a hard conversation to have because most pro-life people have their opinions rooted in their religion. While on the other hand, most pro-choice people have the opinions rooted in equality. One issue with this is there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. That line is continuously being crossed when it comes to abortion in states all over the country. Politicians are constantly trying to push new laws through the system that inhibit women from getting abortions and taking control over their reproductive rights.

The issue is very black and white to me. It is either pro-choice and equality or pro-life and control. There really is no middle ground in my eyes.


Anyway, enough of my rambling on. Here is the article I found and liked so much:

“This past Friday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the deceptively named “Tennessee Infants Protection Act,” a bill that does nothing for infants but prohibits physicians from performing abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. Tennessee Republicans blocked all efforts from Democrats to include exceptions for incest, mental health, or even rape. (After all, if a woman is raped, GOP lawmakers say it must be God’s will.)

The “pro-life” movement has never been about “life,” it has, and always will, be about control. Control over a woman’s reproduction—taken from the individual and given to GOP legislators, like Republican Billy Long.  The entire movement has been a scam from its inception: it all began with a single disingenuous conference call to come up with ways to gin up support for segregationist Bible colleges. Up until that point, churches didn’t have any problem with it. Why should they? The Bible says nothing about it. Even though abortion was practiced way back in Jesus’ time, He never said one word about it.

Yet when the Tennessee law was debated, among the countless other patriarchal attacks on women, I hear the same tired argument over and over again. I hear it in other statehouses, including my own, whenever the GOP tries to regulate women’s pregnancies. Unfortunately, I always see Democrats trying to argue on their terms, and falling for the same trap. So let’s talk:

As many of you know, I live in a conservative paradise: no services, few jobs, and guns—lots of guns. The same rednecks who brag about mowing down a family of deer or discussing their fantasies of killing folks they don’t like are always the same ones getting on their soapbox about the sanctity of life when it comes to abortion. One of my neighbors went on and on about “killing babies”—right after he made a joke about what to name a dead Syrian toddler. (I won’t repeat it. I couldn’t even pretend to like him after that. )

A politician isn’t usually that blatantly crass. (Although the new Trump-era GOP politicians are really testing the waters.) But they all make the same argument that frames it very black and white: God makes the baby,  and the evil woman kills the baby. (After all, she is just an empty vessel.) The zygote, however, is no different to them than an infant. To them, terminating a pregnancy—even if the cells are smaller than a dot (.)—is exactly the same thing as strangling a newborn baby. It’s crazy, but that’s how they think. Arguing with any rightwing politician or supporter with this kind of framing is a losing proposition every time.

Why? Because with this kind of framing, they always are on the side of â€śsaving the infant’s life,” and any argument to the contrary—rights, reproductive freedom—can always be framed that we want to end it. I don’t play that game at all, and neither should you. Stop arguing with them over the issue of abortion itself, but on whatever the offending legislation is. There is a BIG difference.

Whatever the offending legislation is, it will always be about making it more difficult to get an abortion. The problem I can always point out is that the legislation never achieves the primary objective of preventing a woman from getting an abortion in the first place. You see, wealthy women will go where it is legal. Women of lesser means will still make the cost-analysis that it will be cheaper in the long run even if they have to travel quite far. Poor women will do something drastic. You may make it more difficult, but you won’t stop abortion.

The entire irony of the pro-life movement is that even if they achieve their ultimate objective—overturning Roe v. Wade—abortion will still be available somewhere. Furthermore, like it or not, we are rapidly approaching an era where women won’t have to travel anywhere to have an abortion. It will soon be possible for a woman to ingest medication to stop her pregnancy in her own home. Trust me, when that happens, you can pass every stupid law you want, but it won’t stop.

No, if you really and truly believe that abortion is murder, and you really and truly want it to stop, there is only one way to do it. However, it entails the one thing that the religious right has never, ever been willing do to: make it easier for the woman to have the baby.

Fight outrageous daycare fees, and support programs that make daycare affordable. Ensure the child has healthcare, and at the very least, stop trying so damn hard to block food stamps for the baby!

Make it easier (and cheaper) for parents to adopt. Get women the help they need to support their baby—and abortion rates will drop dramatically, far more than any legislation ever could.

Is this really about stopping abortion? Then how about initiatives to give these women a hand in their desperate situation. This will not only solve the problem, it’s the “Christian” thing to do. Besides, if you force a woman to bear a child, shouldn’t you make sure you allow her some means to take care of the child? No?

Sure, at this point, we then argue about tax dollars going to provide for the most basic necessities for an infant to survive—but see what I did there? The high ground they claimed is gone. Wait, weren’t you just talking about the sanctity of life? I’m trying to save a born infant’s life and NOW you are telling me that if he/she dies it’s “not your damn problem”?? (Those were the exact words used, BTW.)

How “Christian” of you.

Of course, this has never been about stopping abortion. It’s the exact same reason the religious right opposes comprehensive sex education and access to contraception—two other ways to stop abortion.  This is all really about control–control of the woman.

If you want to argue for legislation to do that, I can’t stop you.

But I damn sure am not going to let you claim the moral high ground on it, either.”

First 100 Days

How has Trump hurt women you may ask? Well, I am here to inform you, and I’m not talking about grabbing women by the pussy or any of those sex scandals he was a part of. In the first 100 days of his presidency, he has not done much good for women, even if Ivanka Trump claims her father is “a tremendous champion of supporting families who believes in the potential of women.”

*Side note: the crowd she said that to booed her*

One of Trump’s first acts as president was to reinstate and broaden the global gag rule; its actual name is the Mexico City Policy. If you are unfamiliar with this policy the condensed version is that foreign NGOs must not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” with non-U.S. funds as a condition for receiving U.S. global family planning assistance. Trump added in that if they do not comply they will not receive any other U.S. global healthcare assistance, including U.S. global HIV and maternal and child health assistance.

The global gag rule was first put into place by President Ronald Reagan and has been rescinded and reinstated several times since.

This does not directly affect women in the United States but as a feminist I believe we should be protecting all women. For these countries to lose the assistance simply because they educate their patients is absurd. There was a study done that found when the gag rule is in effect it declines the availability of contraceptive services, which means both fertility and abortion rates were higher during the gag rule years than during non-gag rule years.

He has repeatedly come after Planned Parenthood. The first plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would have blocked access to Planned Parenthood for millions of women who rely on Medicaid. It obviously did not go through, thank god! He also signed a resolution giving states permission to deny funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortion services. Per Planned Parenthood they “see roughly 2.5 million patients annually and in 2014-2015 alone performed more than 635,000 pap tests and breast exams and diagnosed more than 171,000 sexually transmitted infections.”

He has proposed cutting programs that help victims of domestic violence. One expert said “If Trump’s cuts are applied across the board, roughly 260,000 fewer victims of domestic violence will be able to access the help they need through shelters and supportive services.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline said that if the budget is cut by 10% more than 180,000 calls would go unanswered annual. That is insane! This is something that not only protect women but it protects children and men who suffer from domestic violence.

He went out of his way to defend an accused sexual harasser. I don’t think anyone was surprised when Trump defended Bill O’Reilly (before he was fired from Fox News). In Trump’s interview, he says; “I think he’s a person I know well – he is a good person. I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled, because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” The kicker is that he defended O’Reilly in early April, which just happens to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Saying I’m unimpressed is an understatement.

Here’s to hoping the next 100 days goes better.


What Feminism Means To Me

I know it’s late. I’m sorry, I had homework then got distracted at the gym by a friend’s birthday and drinks. (Of course. :)).

For Feminist Friday I thought I would write about what I believe is feminism. What feminism means to me and how I try to live my life and raise my boys. I will be completely honest; I am new to the feminist movement. I have always had strong opinions about women being equal to men, abortion, and many other women’s issues, but the more I learn, the more I love it. The more I learn about the movement, past, and present, the more I want to model my life in a certain manor. There are plenty of misconceptions about feminism that cause people to think it’s something bad, obnoxious, or radical. I want to try and help change these views and ideas.

To get technical; per Merriam-Webster feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. And organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

Feminism is not about hating men. Everyone has heard that feminists hate men; everyone has heard of the feminazi. True, there are some women who say they are feminists and hate men, but I truly don’t believe they are feminist. I believe the whole idea behind feminism is making everyone equal; all genders, all races, all ages, all sexual preferences, etc. For me, feminism is the exact opposite of hating.

Feminism is about supporting men, as well. Gender equality means equality for men too. Feminism is good for men. It allows men to open up about their feelings and has options (like being a nurse or a stay at home dad) without backlash from society. It allows men to be physically strong or physically weak, aggressive or passive, be players or prudes, supports their family financially or has their partner support their family, enjoy violence or detest it, enjoy sports or dislike them, and the list goes on. It allows men to be who they truly are as well as support the women in their lives.

Feminism is not about the past. When I say this, I mean it’s not all about protesting the Miss USA pageant and burning bras, heels, porno videos, etc. Feminism has come a long way since the first wave of the feminist movement, the suffrage movement, and the 19th amendment. It has also come a long way since the second wave of feminism, Betty Friedan, and consciousness raising. Women in the 21st century have new battles to face and new people to include. It also has new heroes/heroines and new “villains.”

Feminism is all inclusive and intersectional. Feminism now needs to include women of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicities. We, as feminists, cannot exclude someone of a different race or sexual preference and think we are doing good for the world and for women. By including all these different women and men, we can only become more educated, sympathetic, caring, and empowered. Nothing good can come out of excluding a certain group of people.

Feminism is not about belittling women for their choices. This one covers so many different aspects of life. For me personally, it isn’t about putting down stay at home mothers or working mothers. Everyone has their own reasons for working or not working. Everyone’s family needs different things. And more than that, every woman needs different things. Feminism is about accepting and lifting up every woman, regardless of their choices or needs. Whether that be to shave or not to shave, to be sexually attracted to men or women, to wear make-up or not. Every single woman has different lifestyles, wants, needs, desires, etc. and as a feminist, I feel that we need to openly accept them all!

Feminism is not about slut shaming. Women are sexual beings as well. Why is it okay for men to be sexual beings but not women? Because they are supposed to be pure and virginal? That’s such a load of shit. Women should be able to do what they please, dress how they please, and act as they please (as long as they aren’t putting anyone else in danger obviously). It’s so frustrating that men are praised for their sexual escapades but women are looked down on for the same thing.

Feminism isn’t about makeup or not shaving. People have these ideas that feminism is about not shaving, not wearing make-up, or being lesbian and that simply isn’t the case. I love wearing make-up and false eyelashes. I love wearing dresses and heels as well as rockin’ my leggings and muscle tees. I also love my husband, but I love and accept any woman who is the complete opposite of me, detests make-up, doesn’t shave, and is lesbian, or anywhere in between.

At the end of the day feminism, to me, must be all inclusive or it isn’t truly feminism. It’s hate with the excuse of feminism.


Feminism is for everyone!

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Did you join the march on Washington?

Usually my Feminist Friday posts are depressing, anger filled, and very opinionated. Today however it’s pleasant and encouraging. 🙂

Did you Join the march on Washington? If so, pat yourself on the back, give yourself a high five, treat yourself to a shot, or whatever it is you do to celebrate. If you haven’t seen the news yet the Woman’s March won a “Freedom of Expression Courage” award!

Millions of people marched across the country, and the world, making it the biggest single-day demonstration in United States history! FUCK YES! Go us! Every man, woman, and child who participated in that march should feel proud of what we accomplished.

PEN America (a non-profit organization that promotes literature and human rights defends free expression, supports persecuted writers, and promotes literary culture) announced they are presenting the Women’s March (its organizers and participants) with the 2017 PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression COurage Award.

I did a little research and this award “was established in 2015 to honor exceptional acts of courage in the exercise of freedom of expression.” ( Last year the award went to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and Lee-Anne Walters who were two very important women in exposing the lead poisoning of Flint’s water supply. In 2015 the award went to Charlie Hebdo. After their office was attacked and 12 people lost their lives the surviving staff vowed to continue their work. Their next edition had the mantra “All is Forgiven” and donated all the proceeds to the victims’ families.

That’s pretty freaking awesome if you ask me! For a march to be held in the same category as the awe inspiring men and women who have previously won this award gives me goose bumps. It gives me hope that even though we may have to suffer with a sexist pig as our president we can and will continue to promote love and equality. ❤

Follow Up To Monday’s Post

As a follow up to my feminist rant on Monday I wanted to post some of the great replies to the original post got. There are so many strong, independent, kind, and intelligent people in the world it makes my heart smile! ❤

From Boozilla:

“Somehow I think you are missing the point, although much of what you write is quite true. I appreciate your writing very much even though I often disagree with the “politics”. However. The truth is that despite it being a fabulous thing, having children is something that has been used to keep women under control for a long time. In terms of having a viable world? and healthy children? having no ability to restrict pregnancy does not produce a positive result, either. Poor child health and nutrition is a HUGE problem, and nobody really seems to be talking about that. I guess abortion is more “exciting”. Having reproductive control over herself, and not having some male or insurance company decide what can be done, is crucial to a woman being able to, in many cases, support herself and the family she chooses to have. If you disagree with abortion, that’s fine and you should not have one. But I do not believe it gives you the right to prevent others following their own dictates. There can be concern with late term abortions, for sure. But early term abortions are not terminations of viable human beings, which makes blanket rejection a somewhat specious argument. I generally wonder what people’s positions on the death penalty are, too, when abortion is a question. Also. Women ARE under attack. The pay inequity is stark. The opportunities are, in truth, limited. Health care, child care, basic things like that? are not available to many- it’s all a matter of money and who has it. You may not yet have had your fill of salacious remarks, inappropriate touching, (and not related to provocative dress, to be clear) dismissal of ideas and contributions and downright rip off of same in combination with being trundled off to second class work world unless total obedience to the paradigm is manifested- but all that exists and is getting stronger, and serves no one. Feminism, like every other -ism, and language in general now, gets distorted unimaginably. But women ARE a dispossessed group in many ways and feminism seeks- or should, anyway- to educate everyone in order to rectify a dysfunctional situation. Oppression of women allows men to not be who and what they are, as well. Enabling people to stoop to every occasion is not a recipe for success. I also agree that stridency, name calling, isolationism and intolerance are not acceptable in ANY venue. Patriarchy has been, to say the least, debased over the centuries and it doesn’t serve the highest interests of men OR women. This is what needs to change, and what I believe the essence of feminist action truly is. Responding to your point of view as well, I think the essence of what Christ tells us is: love is the way. Let’s hope we can work on all this together!”

From AllehRising:

“Just because you aren’t feeling or witnesses the effects of why we need feminism doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
On paper, we all have EQUAL rights. Sadly, reality tells a much different story.
How people are treated for just being a minority or a woman is atrocious. The United States is ruled by old, white men who are out of touch with reality.
I was sexually harassed at a place of work years ago by the boss/owner of company. You know what the general consensus was by my recruiting company/counselor/co-workers? I was wearing something that “showed the shape” of my breasts.
Yes, blouses that completely cover my chest and were plain somehow made this boss of mine bold enough to make comments and stare at my chest for long periods of time (I was the admin assistant/front desk person). I caught him many times and asked him what he was doing. No answer, kept staring. I quit. I fought a mental battle with myself and hated myself.
But that isn’t a unique story: this happens to so many women (and men, too).
Now please, not all men are like this and not all women are constantly angry or threaten/feel threatened by men. What people see when they see feminists on TV is anger and marches; rarely do you see the why’s (or choose not to).
Words like “triggered” get thrown around every time a woman has an opinion that isn’t the general consensus.
It’s fine to have religious beliefs and/or be pro-life; after all, your body is your body! But…in no way, shape or form does anyone have the right to tell another person what to do with their body. More to the point, some of these politicians have zero knowledge of the female anatomy. Some of them actually believe we can hold in our blood and make it come out at will. I don’t want that moron to be in charge of what he clearly knows nothing about nor care (or the life a goldfish, for that matter).
But above everything else I’ve seen on this particular post is the men agreeing with the idea feminism is overrated. It’s almost funny, if not a little sad.
Of course they agree; they have all this privilege and never had to think what others are thinking or feeling or, GASP, what other people might be going through.
They give men with intelligence and common sense a horrendous name. No, it’s more scary than anything else, come to think of it.
I don’t care what religion or lack of anyone has: don’t hide behind any deity(ies) to justify ignorance or bring others down. Don’t hide behind religion and dictate why certain people need to be treated differently.
But, when I also see stuff like this, I have a small sigh of relief. I genuinely don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve gone through. The story is just the tip of the iceberg. I used to have the same opinions, like “we don’t need feminism” and think it was all in someone’s misguided head.
So, I hope you keep your misconceptions about feminism. I hope you never have to see and experience what myself and so many others go through. I applaud you for having your opinion, even if we disagree.”

From nursinggrudgesandliquor:

“Never dismiss as fiction the struggles others face simply because you have not faced them. You lost me at wanting women to take some responsibility for sexual assault in I suppose some percentage related to the amount of our bodies that are not covered. You can say “I’m not saying she was asking for it” but you absolutely said asking for trouble. Having been sexually assaulted in broad daylight at age 16 wearing knee length shorts while walking in a park with a friend, what percentage of the blame would you assign to me based on the amount of clothing I was wearing? I have many thoughts on feminism but if you are still in that place where maybe sometimes we bring our own rapes on ourselves, it feels useless to discuss it more deeply.”

From Vic Crain:

“I enjoy some of your posts, probably most of them, but not this thread. It suggests that you have experienced a relatively sheltered life, and simply have no clue about the rest of the US, much less the world.

A good portion of this country is still in the early 1900s, and some of it craves for the early 1800s from a social perspective — and that means treating women as property, and beating your spouse to where she requires a doctor is a $25 misdemeanor if there is an arrest at all. (Yes, I can cite recent examples for this, and I’m not kidding about the penalty. As one abuser said, the entertainment value was worth the $25.)

Some of the facts are obvious and well known, or should be:
(1) Women are paid roughly 2/3 of what men get for the same jobs.
(2) Women are underrepresented in the C-suite in major companies.
(3) Women cannot become President of the US. They can hold that position in other countries, but enough people will vote against them in the US simply based on gender to prevent them from winning. That was one of a number of factors working against Clinton in the last election, and a factor in analysts saying that any MALE candidate would have won against trump.
(4) The US is behind most other industrialized countries on maternity leave practices. For example, The Netherlands gives women 16 weeks of leave at 100% pay even if the mother is self-employed, plus a home health aide. Where exactly in the US can you find that? (OK, if you are a member of Congress, maybe.)

Domestic violence and incest are far more common in the US than most people are willing to acknowledge. There’s a lot of work to be done. If you haven’t seen it, you need to look more carefully. Even in affluent areas, it’s all around you. Who’s wearing dark glasses when they aren’t needed? Who has a little too much makeup? Long sleeves on a hot day? LOOK.

I’ve no patient for symbolic politics. I don’t care whose face is on the dollar bill. I care about the physical and mental well-being of people. Anything that distracts from that or that might take resources away from that is at least annoying and at worst horrific.

The Declaration of Independence promised “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” If people don’t have the opportunity for that, it’s a problem. If the problem results from their own bad decisions, well, can’t do much about that. But if the problem is based on skin color, accent, gender, sexual preference (which I don’t see as a choice), that’s something that needs to be fixed.

I also disagree with you on maternity choice. The is no role for the government in someone’s womb. What she does is between herself and her Deity. If Congress can tell you that you cannot abort a fetus, someday Congress could change and will be able to tell you that you can only have one child and have to abort the rest. Do you really want to give the government that power?

(I lose patience with so-called “right to life” people. They show no sign of caring for what happens to the child after it is born, so it’s not the life they care about, just birth. And they don’t want to pay extra taxes to help the babies abandoned at firehouses.)

Instead, one of the key issues of the century is what to do with the workers whose jobs are being killed by automation. Are we going to see women with low education pushed into sex work? Store cashiers, restaurant workers, drivers, some medical positions — those jobs are going away. What will happen to the people doing those jobs? That’s going to be a gender battle when people wake to it.

There are a lot of very real issues that will be addressed in the next decade. Whose face is on the dollar bill isn’t one of them. What you do with your womb shouldn’t be one of them.”


From braddahr (in response to Vic Crain and OP):

“I would essentially agree with you and add a couple thoughts:

Pretty sure that true feminism isn’t about dominating a man and emasculating him but I do recall that argument was used to try and keep women from voting and essentially being treated as human beings instead of property.

I think we can be pro-life – for all life and not just fetuses – and still give women choice. Apparently some states are allowing rapists to sue victims to keep them from aborting the baby created from the rape. Somewhere in there we need to allow for hard choices to be made.

I’m not an expert in these matters but I think the advances we see are tempered by sad realities. For example, while more women are in university I believe that the fewer men get more of the jobs and then are often paid more for the same work as a woman is doing (very capably usually).

While more opportunities exist now than ever before I believe feminists see the significant inequalities across society between men and women and the violence against females of all ages as intricacy linked. One begets the other.”

Why I March

I was perusing Huffington Post a while ago and saw this article about the laws states have passed to try and make getting an abortion much harder. It makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t even begin to understand the struggles women in these states are going through.

I understand some of us won’t agree on abortion, that’s a given. But fuck it, it’s my blog and I can write about whatever the hell I want. And I am pro-choice. 100%. You can say anything you want to me but it won’t change my mind.

My body, my rights.

Plain and simple.

Here is the original post.

Just another example of #whyimarch

“We march with women past, present, and future.

We march because we can, we have, and we will.”

Women’s March

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

Who else will be marching in their city this Saturday? I am going to be in Oakland with Tyson’s cousins if anyone in the area wants to meet up. 🙂 The more the merrier!

If you want to go and need to find a sister march visit the Woman’s March Website.

Are any of you making posters? I found some examples that I really liked and thought I would share them with you. But for some reason I can’t download the photos and insert them into the blog so here’s the web page I found them on. ❤

Watch this video to get ready for your march.


Why do you march?