By Mindy GorinThe Women’s March on Washington and its 200+ sister marches will occur on Saturday, Jan. 21–and I will be there, head and hand-made sign held high, probably barely holding in all of my emotions as I watch the thousands upon thousands of people marching in solidarity with me and other women (click here to read the march’s inclusive principles). Recently, though, I’ve been forced to field question after question about why I’m choosing to wake up at 4 AM on a Saturday and spend the day walking in the cold, why I’m choosing to put myself and my political leanings out there instead of keeping my image neutral, why I become so passionate when I discuss the march.

Well, here’s #whyimarch…

I march to achieve the gender equality that should have existed in this country in the first place.

I march so I can feel comfortable raising daughters–and sons–in this world if I ever so choose.

I march because, on a personal level, 2017 is the year of establishing myself as an individual and never backing down from the fight for what I believe in.

I march because the men I’ve been involved with throughout my young adulthood would probably not march with me, and this needs to change within my own relationships and relationships in general.

I march in solidarity with the other women who feel betrayed and threatened by their fellow Americans.

I march in solidarity with the men who are coming out to support their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and, above all, women as human beings.

I march because I am devoting my life to combatting gender inequality.

I march because people scream and scream about not being told what to do, and yet blink no eyes when gender roles and expectations restrict their choices.

I march to remind those who try to silence us that we have loud voices, and we’re not going anywhere.

I march so that my LGBTQIA+ and non-white friends know they have an ally in me if they wish for me to be.

I march to create a more understanding world for my two baby sisters with special needs.

I march because “each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women” (Audre Lorde).

I march because I am constantly reminded of my societal status as a woman, whether it is through outright sexism, jokes about my feminism from friends, casual scenes in TV and movies, or my own family members telling me I am not a “natural woman” because I want more than cooking, cleaning, and popping out babies for a husband.

I march because it is time to take real action rather than simply tweeting my thoughts.

I march because people tell me that I would be a much happier person if I just ignored all of the problems and kept to myself. I’m very happy, thank you, and also ready to tackle the problems.

I march because Leslie Knope would not stand for this.

I march for Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Lucy Burns, Ida B. Wells, Victoria Woodhull, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, and the countless other activists who helped establish the movement for women’s rights in various capacities but didn’t live to see the advancements we’ve reached today.

I march for control over my own body and my own life, and for every woman to have control over her own body and life.

I march to defend Planned Parenthood and the essential services it provides to women throughout the U.S.

I march because I’m sick of men attempting to use me as a dick receptacle for themselves or their friends.

I march in support of survivors of sexual assault who feel dehumanized by the incoming administration.

I march to be on the right side of history, the arc of which bends towards justice.

I march to destroy gender expectations, which hurt men along with women.

I march because I cannot accept the way things are.

I march because people die as a result of gender expectations and discrimination.

I march because you should “never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be” (Clementine Paddleford).

I march to be seen as a human being first.

I march because women’s rights are human rights.

About The Author

Mindy Gorin #whyimarchMindy Gorin is currently a senior at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she studies writing and gender studies. She has always been passionate about gender issues and plans to pursue a career in law to combat gender inequality. She is also passionate about fitness as a Zumba instructor.