I’m A Pro-life Mormon… This Is #WhyIMarch

As we were walking out of the metro to join the rally before this weekend’s Women’s March on Washington, I commented to my friends wondering how many people would be protesting the March. One of my friends was baffled as she asked, “Wait, do you really think people will be protesting AGAINST equality for women???? Aren’t we past this???”

I had hoped so as well, but when I logged on to Facebook last night, I saw that we are certainly not.

I’m choosing to interpret my many friends’ “What on earth do these women think they are marching for????” posts as actual questions. I’m here to provide some answers to those willing to listen and looking to understand.

I can’t speak for everyone, and we all have our individual reasons for marching, but here are just some of the many reasons I participated in the Women’s March on Saturday:

  • I march because I do not feel subservient to men, but I know many women are not as lucky as I am. (Both in other countries, and in the United States)
  • I march because I am a woman, but I am also heterosexual, Christian, and white. I have not experienced discrimination based on the color of my skin or my sexual orientation, and the discrimination based on my religon has never been dangerous or life threatening. I want everyone to be this blessed.
  • I march because freedom of religon is one of the most important principles our country was founded on. I believe this freedom should extend to all religons, including Islam. I will not support policies that discriminate against Muslims or members of any other religon. My rights do not surpass the rights of others.
    • For me this issue is also deeply religious. I believe in the Holy Bible and frequently recall the tale of “The Good Samaritan” eager to help and serve someone who believed differently than himself. I also believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that he was speaking as an inspired leader when he stated:

The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. Love of liberty was diffused into my soul by my grandfathers while they dandled me on their knees. …If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.We ought always to be aware of those prejudices which sometimes so strangely present themselves, and are so congenial to human nature, against our friends, neighbors, and brethren of the world, who choose to differ from us in opinion and in matters of faith. Our religion is between us and our God. Their religion is between them and their God.

  • I march because racism is holding us back in the United States today. Naturally those of us who have not been a victim of racism may not be as aware of this issue. I can promise that our society is still a very racist culture. This is not only backed by countless statistics, but also by countless personal experiences. I have heard first hand as people have made snap judgements or racist remarks based on a person’s skin color.
  • I march because I believe in ending racial profiling and police brutality targeting people of color.
  • I march because if a woman can do a job at the same level as a man, she deserves the same pay and respect.
  • I march because domestic violence is largely targeted towards women.
  • I march because I have experienced sexism in many shades.
    • I have sat through group projects in business classes pitching my ideas over and over again, only to have them dismissed until repeated word for word by a man.
    • I have received criticism for choosing to move across the country in order to pursue my career. (I’ve never heard heard of a man being criticized for this, but I have heard of many women who have experienced this same problem)
    • I have been told on multiple occassions that I’m unattractive to men because I am “too smart” and “don’t need to be taken care of”.
    • I have been harassed online and in person, by both people I knew and strangers.
    • I have been labeled as a “hard a**” and a “b**** who can’t take a joke” when I demanded respect from men who thought it was funny to repeatedly joke about taking advantage of me, being told that I should shake it off, and that “boys will be boys” when men continued to speak disrespectfully to me after I told them to stop.
    • I have been threatened with rape by a man on a dating website when I would not consent to meeting up to have sex. (I was again told by many people that telling him off was “out of line”)
  • I march because women and girls make up an estimated 98% of sex trafficking victims worldwide
    • Sex trafficking is a domestic issue as well as a foreign one. Many thousands are trafficked both in and out of our country each year.
  • I march because womens bodies are not respected as their own property worldwide.
    • Over 200 million women worldwide are effected by female genital mutilation
  • I march because almost every single woman I have spoken with has a story about a man feeling entitled to access to her body.
  • I march because when I dress modestly, it should be because I want to, not as a method of self-preservation.
  • I march because I am lucky enough to not be the 1 in the 1 in 5 statistic. I march because this statistic is too high.
  • I march because the way our president has treated women and minorities is not okay. I refuse to embrace a leader who through his example encourages bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia. I will not celebrate a president who encourages fear, hatred, and division.
  • I march because we should not settle for being “better than many other places”, but instead fight to become the best we can be, both politically and socially. We have come a long way on the road to equality, but we have farther to go.
  • I march because I believe in promoting love.
  • I march because I plan to keep the rights I have.
  • I march because I believe in progression, not regression.
  • I march because I love my country, and I believe we can do better.

 

 

 

**Edited to add: When I looked on the website I did see that one of the many platforms they were advocating for was pro-choice… I prayed about it and felt very strongly that I should still attend for every other platform I do agree with. I do know the march organizers did not want pro-life groups to be part of the programming, and though I don’t agree with it, I understand their perspective and desire to maintain consistency. To me, a fetus is a baby, a human being. I’m not sure when the spirit enters that child’s body, but I believe it is shortly after conception. To many people, that baby is not a baby until it is born… so they view abortion as a form of birth control rather than the murder of an innocent child. I will advocate for abortion to be illegal because I believe differently… but I do understand the perspective of those hosting the march.

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18 thoughts on “I’m A Pro-life Mormon… This Is #WhyIMarch

  1. Katrina says:

    I can’t say that I am as eloquent as you but I must say you rock! I too believe in all these issues and do believe in the right to choose! I could and have never had an abortion but that’s my body not anyone else’s! I believe that every individual has the right to choose for themselves but I can also stand on my pro life self! Not everyone believes the same way and not everyone can handle the same situations in life! But I can tell you I am Pro woman! We are shut down shut out shut up far too much! Let’s keep fighting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gyrotonicoc says:

    Thank you for always taking time to investigate and find compassion for others who do not believe the same as you. I believe everything you said above is what the Higher Source (what every you want to call it, God, Universe etc) I believe in, would do. It is about standing in Love. We are not a perfect race of humans and I choose to keep pushing my self to see more, love more, voice more and inspire others to the same. You’re awesome. Keep up the writing. (fyi your blog post came up on another friends fb share that has no connection to you. Pretty cool to see)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. RBP says:

    Thank you. This was so good and insightful. The LDS Church’s stance on abortion is moderate. It is allowed in cases of rape, incest, when the life of the mother is at risk, or when the fetus could not survive outside the womb. // I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant. After the baby was born they treated the cancer aggressively. She died when the baby was two. She did not get to finish raising her children, and her children were not raised by their mom. As difficult as it would be, I’m glad we recognize such an excruciating decision should be left to the woman, her family, the Lord, and her physician. // Another friend I have is a lady I met when I was a missionary. She was raised in Utah in an active LDS family. She told me about the sexual abuse she experienced since childhood by her father, starting when she was four. Sometimes she and her sister would look at each other to see who was strong enough to face pleasing their father. If pregnancy had ever resulted from that, it would be an injustice for her or her sister to have to carry it through by decisions of lawmakers. // There are circumstances that most of us are blissfully unaware of, and we should all be charitable, not judging and condemning. // Thank you for marching and speaking up about your reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JTW says:

    Can you at least see why some people would be hesitant to join a march that supposedly supports the rights of all women, except those who believe that 60 million slaughtered babies since Roe v. Wade is genocide?

    Can you at least see why some people might view the entire march as nothing more than a pro-death march when pro-life groups are kicked out?

    Can you at least see why some people might feel that the message is lost when women parade around in “pussyhats” and dress up as reproductive organs?

    Can you at least see why some people might be upset when celebrities go to a family march and say crude things and threaten to blow up the Whitehouse?

    Can you at least see why some people might view the entire march as a hissy fit because the candidate of your choice didn’t win?

    The things you marched for are great but what was the point? What are you now doing to stop trafficking of women? What are you now doing to end domestic violence? What are you doing to ensure freedom of religion for all? How are we going to end racism? Is there an action plan to accomplish anything? Unless I missed it, nobody has provided any solutions whatsoever.

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      • tianamariec says:

        I’m sorry to hear that you felt judged for not marching. I would encourage you to share your reasons for not marching or not supporting the march very clearly with whoever made you feel that way. What I discovered when writing this post is that often things that appear obvious to us have never crossed the mind of those with an opposing view! I hope that you didn’t feel judged when reading my post, as this was only intended to help people understand why I made the decision I did, though it is certainly not the decision for everyone.

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    • tianamariec says:

      I can definitely understand why people may not want have wanted to participate in the march.. I considered all of these things before making my decision. For me, it was more important to march against all of the terrible things I listed in my blog post than to worry about how other people are choosing to express themselves during the march. I did not wear a “pussyhat” or carry a crude sign, and most of the signs I saw were not crude. I can respect that people may not want to be a part of a march with people who chose to approach feminism in a crude and aggressive manner. My decision is not for everyone. I can see how some people may view the march as a hissy fit, which is why I wrote this post… to explain that we are marching with a purpose, not just because we are sad that our candidate did not win. To those of us who marched and oppose Donald Trump as President, we see him as a very dangerous man who is doing a lot of harm to our country and to society, not merely by passing laws but also through his example. I hope that those who are upset that celebrities attended a march and made crude comments are equally as upset to have a celebrity who makes crude comments sitting in the white house as our country’s leader and example.

      I do believe you have some facts incorrect, and I think it’s important that everyone have an accurate understanding of these things:

      -Pro-life groups were not kicked out of the march. Many attendees were pro-life and even held signs stating that they were pro-life feminists. They were simply excluded from the programming in order to maintain consistency.

      -However, I may be mistaken, but I do not believe any celebrities threatened to blow up the white house. I do recall one mentioning in humorous frustration that she had dreamed of blowing up the white house, and while some did cheer at that, the majority of the crowd where I was actually boo-ed and said “noooooo!” because we did not want that to be the message of the march. This is very different than “threatening” and while absolutely NOT okay, these mentions of wanting to kill the president are something I have heard many times from both sides of the political system when the president elected is not someone they agree with.

      -Yes, you did miss the solutions. If you go look at the Women’s March website (womensmarch.com), they are implementing an action plan for everyone in the march to follow. The first thing we will be doing is writing to our senators about what issues we marched for and why they are important to us. Additionally, many of us serve and volunteer in our communities to help change these things. Many of these women are working full time in nonprofits fighting against all of these things. I personally have donated several times to nonprofit organizations that fight against domestic violence, sex trafficking, and many more of these issues. We are not all able to constantly fight every issue we are passionate about, but I can assure you that most of us are trying to do what we can to stand up for what we believe in and make a difference. One thing we were able to do was march in solidarity and spread awareness stating that we stand together against these issues, which I believe is important for any cause. Many of the questions you have asked I don’t have a solid solution to… “how do we end racism?” is a complicated question, but one that I believe begins by spreading awareness that there is a problem in the first place, and stating that it will not be tolerated.

      I respect and understand many of the reasons you did not take part in the march, I hope that you will be able to respect and understand my reasons for participating as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JTW says:

        To open you blog you included the following quote, “Wait, do you really think people will be protesting AGAINST equality for women???? Aren’t we past this???”

        That statement is offensive to people who do not approve of the march or think that methods used this weekend were offensive and hurt the cause of women’s rights. My response was aimed at that and I provided what I believe to be valid reasons why a woman might oppose the march that go far beyond being against equality. In fact, I am in favor of equality. But my version of what constitutes equality may not be the same as you or the other 3 million marchers. As I stated above, the first and foremost equality that women should be marching for is the equality of the weakest among us-the unborn. Yet the march was about the ability to have unfettered freedom to kill the unborn at any time prior to birth and with the taxpayer paying for it. For that reason alone I could not support the march. As has been pointed out pro-life organizations were ousted from the events and pro-life women were harassed.

        The many great reasons you marched were all secondary to the first one and were lost on most bystanders. I know this because the majority of the signs were all about reproductive rights.I know this because a quick perusal of @womensmarch shows just what issues are most important and Abortion is #1. I know this because women wore “pussyhats.” I know this because women dressed up as vaginas. Certainly women are more than their reproductive organs, are they not?

        Finally, if this is about womens rights then why does the platform look like the Democrat party platform? What does climate change or immigration have to do with women’s rights?

        I congratulate you for being civilly active and exercising your 1st Amendment rights but I hope you can see that there are valid reasons beyond being against equality for women to be disgusted with the march.

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  5. MB says:

    Today, I saw two articles/speeches today from LDS leaders telling us we must standup for religious freedom and be active in our communities. You did just that.

    Marching may seem minor to some but it has shined a light on the Women’s Rights with over 600 marches around the world. That is a huge collective response to Trump and his campaign.

    We must stand up for other women who have been effected by the evil in this world. Not everyone is so lucky to never to have felt less than, talked down to, taken advantage of, touched inappropriately, date raped, beaten, abused, or killed. Sadly, racism and sexism is common in America where we expect better from our society.

    So even if we don’t agree with all the societal issues, we must stand up for the rights of others to live to their own free agency because it is NOT our job to judge others. We do not live in a bubble where only LDS standards are upheld in society. Some people will say things in ways we don’t agree with. The fact remains is there is strength in numbers and women from all walks of life were involved.

    Doing nothing will not change anything. The march was a start. We each must do what we can in our families and communities to bring about the needed changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz Smith says:

    I would just like to put out there that, while I understand the disapproval of the constant use of the word “pussy” pussy hats, etc etc. I would argue that that was completely inspired by Donald Trump’s “I can just grab them by the pussy” statement. While not polite and not something I shouted, carried on my sign, or on my head (just as Tiana said she didn’t) you have to at least see the connection with the use of “pussy.” It would be interesting to know how much of that would have come about had it not been a reaction to those statements. Also, it is possible that people wanted to see who would be upset by it…. I saw so many people who defended the “grab them by the pussy” statement. Arguing “boys will be boys, locker room talk, etc etc” turn around and say “wow what crude behavior throwing the word “pussy” everywhere.” Do you see the contradiction there? When a man used that word to discuss what he could just “do” to women people defended him. When women used it to “shout” a “we do not accept that” message they were judged. I am not saying the vulgarity should be completely pardoned, nor am I saying that everyone here offended by the vulgar actions fall under that example. I am simply saying it does point out a cause and effect and some disconnect.

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  7. Phil Gibbons says:

    It seems to me your argument distills to approximately, “I support a group which doesn’t sympathize with my moral values because I can regurgitate the phrases and invented axioms I hear from leftist media.”

    Not to be rude, and I don’t necessarily contend with your conclusions, but about halfway through reading I had to stop because I felt I was being lectured rather than informed. If you want to march, I suppose that’s your right, but your reasons for doing so appear completely unrelated to the purpose of the march itself.

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