What a wonderful day it was! An incredible turnout of marchers, all over the world! A couple of pics:
And this! Check out the Disability March page.
– – – – –
I am marching today in the Women’s March on Washington DC – along with sister marches in Chicago and San Francisco – thanks to Suffering the Silence. Their marchers have volunteered to carry pictures of those who are unable to march, and I ended up being matched with 3 different women. Neysa, Amelia, and Ana will be allowing me to use their legs so I can join in. (My legs would never hold out long enough for a march!) Thank you, Suffering the Silence! And thank you, ladies, for taking my picture with you! Because of lupus, I get to do so few things, and it’s really wonderful to be able to take part in this march.
I will also be participating in the online Disability March, which is a great place for those of us who cannot physically march to stand up and be heard.
As to why I’m marching, there are lots of reason, but I will go with women’s healthcare – specifically, lupus.
Too often, women’s health concerns are dismissed. Men call us whiners. They accuse us of making things up. Our issues get pushed to the back burner in favor of… well, I’m not sure what. Men don’t seem to spend time or money researching men’s diseases. But that’s another issue for another day.
I march for women who have lupus, who’ve been told too many times that they’re imagining things. Making up symptoms. There’s nothing wrong, it’s all in your head. I march for women who’s loved ones have told them “just get off your fat butt and exercise, you’ll be fine.” I march for women who have been ignored too long, until their symptoms are deadly serious and it’s too late to do anything about them. Women whose unborn babies suffer because no one takes lupus seriously. I march for women who are afraid to mention their discomfort, their pain, the parts of their bodies that don’t work right, because they know they’ll be shamed even for saying it.
I march for men, for they can get lupus, too. It’s not nearly as common, but it happens. Declaring lupus a woman’s disease makes it that much harder for men to get treatment. What man wants to be accused of having a “woman’s disease”? Only weak men could end up with a woman’s disease. Man up and get over it. Stop whining.
I march for the children who have lupus. Many of them are too young to even know what’s going on. They only know they can’t run and play like the other kids.
I march for all of us who have lupus. We’re sick, we’re tired, we’re in pain, but our problems are shrugged off. Why allocate research money for a nearly imaginary disease when it could be used to cure something “real”, like cancer, which men get more often than women do? (Half of men vs. one-third of women, according to the American Cancer Society.)
I march because gender shouldn’t matter. Men and women get sick. Children get sick. All our diseases should matter. None of our symptoms should be brushed aside.
I march as pixels on a screen, as pixels on a piece of paper, pinned to someone else’s jacket, because I have a “woman’s disease”. I have a hard time with my legs – my knees, my feet. Doctors have told me there’s nothing wrong with my legs, but I know differently. I march because every minute of every day, I’m tired. Every thing I do is an uphill battle. And I know I’m not the only one.
I march because I want to be seen, to be heard. No one sees a woman alone. But when we band together, no one can ignore us.