On Nov. 8, mothers all across the country walked with their daughters to cast their votes for what they’d thought would be the first woman president. On Jan. 21, 2017, they came together again, this time for a different reason.
Anywhere from 3.6 to 4.8 million people marched at the Women’s March on Saturday and that’s just in the United States alone. In more than 600 U.S. cities, in 60 countries and on seven different continents, mothers and their daughters walked together at Women’s Marches. They came with signs in their hands and knitted vaginas on their heads and warm granola bars in their pockets. For one day, feminism didn’t seem like a thing of the past but a hopeful force for the future uniting daughters with their mothers, as well as the mothers who fought before them.
“In my case, in a lot of women’s cases, we’re living out the unlived lives of our mothers. Our mothers did not have the encouragement, could not march metaphorically. We see this as a succession of ever-increasing strength,” Gloria Steinem told Mashable.
Familial bonds held strong. When you’re frightened for the future – as many of these women freely admitted to me that they were – you often turn to the person you love the most. So they reached out to each other.
Here are just a few of their stories.
“I want to send a message to my daughters and this new administration.”
Stefanie: “I’m going to the march because I feel it is not only my obligation as a mother, but as a legacy. My father was a civil rights advocate and he fought for civil rights in his community before Title VII was passed. I have spent my life as a labor employment lawyer making sure that employers do the right thing. I want to send a message to my daughters and this new administration: preserve the rights women have and add more. It’s also Erin’s birthday.”
“There is strength in numbers.”
Barb: ” I am marching with Anne, and my daughter-in-law Barrie, because we share the same beliefs, it feels good to do this together, and because this is a pivotal moment in our history.”
“There is a Jewish saying, ‘If not now, when?’That is how I feel.”
“If we can channel our anger beyond Facebook into real action things will change.”
Eddy Segal, who marched with her mother: “My mom is terrified. She now has a pre-existing condition. Treatment is prohibitively expensive. Thankfully she has been able to complete chemo under her current coverage but we do not know what she may need in the future.”
“We need to continue to organize … Its daunting and scary, but seeing so many others going through the same feelings is empowering.”
“We can’t go backwards.”
Adeline Chung-Feder: “I was planning to take my daughter to what I had hoped to be the first woman president’s inauguration … but we can’t go backwards and I feel so compelled that I want to be there to voice my concern. I want my daughter to be there to see this … so when she gets older she will appreciate what I did for her and what everyone did and hope it will instill the activism in her.”
“We’re marching for everyone.”
Kelsey: “There’s so many reasons to march. I’m a young disabled lesbian. My sister is also disabled. Trump offended everyone. Disabled people, gay people, poor people …”
Louise: “Except rich white men. There are so many reasons to march.”
Kelsey: “We’re marching for everyone.”
“I told my husband that I have to put my body in that place.”
Julie: “My daughter wanted to come because she said she ‘didn’t want to throw away her shot.'”
Hannah: “I’m not going to miss my shot!”
“Even though what happened in our community devastated the entire world, our government was unwilling to pass legislation to help prevent more tragedies.”
Both women are survivors of the Sandy Hook massacre.
Abbey: “Gun violence is a womens issue. Women are 16 times more likely to be killed by a gun than in other high-income countries. Guns are also the weapon of choice in domestic violence murders more than other weapons combined … Gun violence is connected to so many other issues our communities face, and that recognition is critical for showing solidarity and working cross-movement.”
“The movement must look grassroots up.”
“I don’t want to shelter my girls from the world.”
Keysha: “I want to teach my girls to be bold and strong. I want them to know that when they see something wrong that their voice is their power. I don’t want to shelter my girls from the world. I want them to know it’s up to them to change it and make it a better place.”
“They just want to disregard President Obama’s legacy. We won’t let them.”
Carmelita: “They want to undo the president’s legacy. Equality, rights, and the Affordable Care Act. Voting rights. LGBT rights.”
“Whether we all agree with each and every issue doesn’t matter. We all have to support one another.”
“This is just the kickoff. We’ll do this as long as this man is in office and beyond.”
Sandra: “This is the march towards changing the image of leadership in this country. We need to get more women in positions of power, and certainly as elected officials. People need to wake up.”
“This is our niece’s first march. We’re so happy to march with her.”