If you dam a river it stagnates. On the steps of the Maine State House in Augusta on January 21, 2017, the dam was broken and we all witnessed the beautiful flow of running water. Throughout many cities around the country and around the world, the Women’s March on Maine epitomized the fact that 21st Century women are not going back to the 20th Century, no way, no how. Piscataquis County, as well as every county in Maine was well represented with vocal and energetic contingents. It was a glorious and beautiful day with multiple impassioned and inspiring speeches that ignited a movement, a grassroots movement, that boldly and bravely encompassed so many issues that we all should be concerned about. The presence of at least 10,000 women and men on the same page was indeed a sight to behold.
The totality of this event reminded me of several passages spoken by the late Barbara Jordan, the keynote speaker at my high school commencement and the first African American to be elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. Her words resonate with me today: “Life is too large to hang out a sign ‘For Men Only’. I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it. I felt for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in ‘We the People’”.
So, this grassroots movement has sprouted its roots, led by the women of Maine and many, many other women around the country. There will be no turning back. My wife and I have a blended family of 2 daughters and 6 grand-daughters. On which side of this equation do you think we fall? For all of those who purport to support equal justice, equal pay, human rights (which are women’s rights), civil rights, voting rights, clean water and clean air and non-discrimination, I suggest that you get on board, heed the voice of the people, and recognize their common sense. This revolutionary movement has taken off, and yes, this one will be televised!