We Marched with Mom

By Abi Rahman-Davies
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Women’s March 2018 marked the second year of thunderous shaking of the glass ceiling. Millions of allies across the country joined their communities in the streets to call for urgent changes to our current patriarchal system that have held back women, and all Americans, from the benefits of a truly egalitarian society. The past two women-focused, women-powered protests, under the shadow of the Trump Administration, has been both a physical, emotional, and political unpacking of discrimination, hate, violence, and sexual assault perpetrated for far too long.

We asked ourselves: ‘Who would understand the long, fatiguing, and ultimately empowering experience more than women who have experienced it the most? Who could possibly understand our own fears, anger, and frustrations without judgment? Who sacrificed the most to make us the passionate individuals we are, leading us to fight for equality at Women’s March in the first place?’  Mom.

Sabrina Cereceres, 20, Los Angeles and Phoenix

Last year, I was lucky enough to be a part of the largest march in the US – Women’s March Los Angeles. It was my very first protest at the age of 19 and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The number of people that attended was not overwhelming, it was empowering. I teared up many times on my way to the march’s meeting ground among all of the honks and shouts and praise. I had entered a new world full of people who were going to support me without thinking twice. Although I was so amazed by the march, there was one thing missing. My mother.

Of all the people at the march who wanted to support me, and who I wanted to support in return, wasn’t by my side. After Women’s March 2017, I came home and my mom told me how proud she was that I was “a part of the beginning of this huge movement for women that would go down in history.” She also expressed that she regretted not going to our local march in Tucson and that although she still felt a part of the movement by watching accounts of the Women’s March on social media, she wished that she could be there in person. For many of my friends, this was the case for their moms, too. They felt a disconnect and wanted a second chance to be a part of this movement. After all, it represents everything they have worked for in their lives. So this year, we #MarchwithMom.

For many of us, the Women’s March was our moms’ first major protest and the consensus is that we all had a blast sharing this experience with them. We felt more empowered because we were marching not only for the values we’ve been taught our whole lives, but with the women who taught us those values.

I #MarchwithMom because… It was both of us. #MeToo #Survivors. I held this sign proud as I marched this weekend, right beside my mom. And without my mom, I wouldn’t have been allowed to even write those words, let alone leave the house. So this weekend, I also marched for my mom, and she marched for me. This was her first protest and my third, but we still had the same feelings: “empowered and safer.” As soon as we arrived at Women’s March Phoenix, I immediately found the same sensation that I did the year before in LA: all these people who were marching with her, supported her and everything she stands for.

My mom was amazed and felt that it safe as a woman to “step outside of the boundaries… [and] all these people are literally in that step that you’re making, it’s not just you. And you’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for all these people.” There was a symbiosis about the Women’s March that isn’t found in such large quantities, and to find that “give and take” relationship in our community with my mom was perhaps the most powerful experience that I will get in life; and my mom agrees: “We all deserve respect and equality, and with what’s happening now, that PTA mom and that punk rock guy can put aside their differences and connect on the basic level of being human.”

Natalia Abrams, 38, Los Angeles 

I marched with my mom because this was her first protest, and while my mother, who was an educator her entire life, had been on picket lines she had never felt compelled to attend anything like this. After a year of feeling under attack as a woman, a teacher, and an American – the only option was attending this years march. I held a sign that said, “When we fight, we win!” This is something I truly believe and one of the most impactful parts of this year’s Women’s March was all of the first timers, it only means this movement is growing and cannot be stopped.

Cody Hounanian, 26, Los Angeles

I marched with my mom because Women deserve equality in the workplace. Before we marched, I asked my mom a question that I realized I hadn’t asked her enough, “which issues matter most to you?” My mom proudly responded that she wanted to “end wage discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.” Even more importantly, she wants it to end now. As a lifelong professional, she too faced obstacles and harassment that I may never understand.

For the first time, my mom was out on the streets fighting for her own rights. I was there to support her in every way. Together, we were joining forces to make the world a better place for my mom, for me, and for future generations.

This experience was an important reminder that organizing for real change means we must join our friends, family and community members in these moments, and more importantly, must listen to those who are closest to us. Mobilizing a movement can simply mean inviting mom. It is the real-life version of love trumping hate.

Samantha Morgan, 28, Los Angeles

I marched with my mom because this was the first protest my mom has ever attended. This was the first time in fifty years that she felt her attendance at a protest was imperative. My mom has always cared about social activism and equality. Until Women’s March 2018, she has never actively participated in a movement intended solely to disrupt and destroy the shackles of racial and patriarchal oppression. She has been a member of a team, a part of a larger group with a similar goal. But she has never stood shoulder to shoulder among hundreds of thousands of strangers with like-minded goals, able to feel the tangible wave of love, strength, and hope that inspires so many social and political activists. I am so thankful I got to march with mom. I just hope my future daughter doesn’t have to.

The next step is that we all need to March with Mom all the way to the polls! Everything is on the line in November. It is important that we use our vote as our voices and stand up for all of the issues that matter most. That includes, #MeTOO, Healthcare, Wage Equality, and much more. If everyone who attended the Women’s Marches nationwide marched with their mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, neighbor (you get it!) to the polls the current pink wave that is taking over the nation will become an unstoppable TSUNAMI in November! Let’s grab’em by the midterms.  #MsMarches #MarchwithMom #PowertothePolls

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