Growing up, I was more conservative than my parents and watched The O'Reilly Factor on a regular basis. But when it came time to register to vote, I registered as an Independent. I didn't want to be affiliated with the Republican or Democratic party. And that part still holds true today. Honestly, I think both parties are in desperate need of reform. So I find myself in the middle—where I agree and disagree with views on both sides. 

But here's what I know about myself as someone in the middle. I am pro-life. For both the unborn and those who exist on this earth today. I believe that laws won't ever fully prevent women from having abortions. They will only prevent safe abortions. I believe in granting access to resources, education, protection, and birth control. I believe we need to create a supportive environment for mothers and pregnant women. I'm also of the mindset that one cannot support rape culture and be pro-life, as rape culture is a major part of the problem. 

I also believe women deserve equal pay for equal work. Violence against women and misogyny are unacceptable. Femininity shouldn't be oppressed or feared. & Just because women have the right to vote, it doesn't mean the work is done. Clearly much is to be done when the punishment for rapists is a mere three-month sentence and the man holding the highest office in the country is Donald Trump.

Yes, I believe yesterday's Women's March was powerful and important.

Pro-life feminism

I know that many would call me a hypocrite—claiming to be pro-life and a feminist. Some have posted their outrage on Twitter that someone would claim to be both. That's okay. I accept that there will be judgement from some for claiming to be a feminist, along with judgement from others for being pro-life. That's fine, because I don't need the label.

Regardless, I will continue to cheer on all women. I will continue to take part in the conversation. & I will continue to speak out against discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, or culture. Which includes when that discrimination is brought forth by the leader of this nation.

The President ... should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.
— Theodore Roosevelt

Why yesterday's march was important to me

I applaud the people around the world who stood together in unity and took part in peaceful protest. I'll say it again, this election felt personal. You can read my rant on that in a previous post and how I felt like the silence from those around me was deafening after hearing about Trump's sexual assault comments. Instead I kept hearing, "Hillary is a crook." "He is the lesser of two evils." "Bill Clinton is worse." I listened to every argument. Still, I cannot see how this man was the better choice. 

It disturbed me to my core that this man could be president. I was aware that the video was from 15 years ago. I watched the apology. & I know that people can change. But I watched Trump throughout his campaign and nothing about his words, actions, or tweets showed me signs of a changed man. Instead, I saw and heard a narcissistic man who ran on a platform of exclusion, judgement, racism, misogyny, and hate. & It saddened me to think that anyone could think that we should just tolerate and excuse this.

That is why yesterday brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes as I saw pictures from DC, New York, Nashville, London, and hundreds more. Millions came together to speak out against this type of behavior. To let the world know that words and actions like what has been displayed will not be tolerated. And for that, I say thank you.

With love & respect 

As we continue to navigate the current political landscape in America, there will be a lot of voices that you'll disagree with—voices that seem hypocritical, judgmental, and hateful. I won't let that keep me from speaking my truth, and neither should you. Each person has their perspective and their way of seeing the world. That doesn't mean we can't be kind to one another. That we can't listen. That we can't be compassionate and open to conversations. I'll be one of them. To listen, support you, and join you in the fight.