We marched together but we were marching for her.
Jun 27, 2022
We had started the pro-choice march but it was quiet where we were walking. Suddenly I heard her from way back in the crowd, a strong, sure voice—deep from her core called out, “MY BODY!” and the crowd behind us bellowed out, “MY CHOICE!” I needed to be near that power. I wondered who it was. I stepped to the side and pulled B-Rad and ManChild with me. They questioned me with their eyes and I said, “Just wait a minute.”
A moment later the powerhouse walked into view: tall, strong shoulders, dark hair pulled back into a messy bun with wavy blue tips. She looked straight ahead, walking quickly, calling out her fast chant, “MY BODY!” and the crowd would respond, “MY CHOICE!”
She was a child.
I thought high school but maybe early college. So much bravery and independence in her. She didn’t appear to be with anyone as I watched her, chanting along with her. As I responded to her call I realized that it was surprisingly hard to keep up the chant’s pace. She didn’t seem to be struggling at all—her power just radiated out into the crowd—so unusual for one so young. I settled in and the chant became almost meditative.
Occasionally her voice would crack—a tiny hitch, a bit of panic and despair in the tone, “MY BODY!” And tears would spring to my eyes and I’d think, “Yes baby. Yes it is.”
We marched together but we we were marching for her. For all the younglings coming into their sexuality with no control, no choice.
Older people sometimes struggle with younger generations since each new generation is so very different. We need the elders for their wisdom and we need the young for their fierce bravery and power. We need each other. If we were living in villages we would still be connected, young to old and could see the strengths and weaknesses in each generation and shore each other up. But now we are separate and alone. And it’s showing.
Watching this girl power her way through that march apparently on her own, I thought of how I, at 52 years old, needed to be near her to gather up the strength to speak up. I consider myself a strong woman but I needed her. And while she had the strength to start up the chant, she needed us to respond. We needed each other. When one falters or is unable to speak up, we need others to step in for us, shore us up, give us a helping hand until we are capable again. Hundreds of people in the back half of the march, needed this young woman to belt out, “MY BODY!” to be able to join in.
As an Equine Gestalt Coach I often work with women who have been trained by family (sometimes) and society (always) to push all emotions down—it’s too much. We are taught as women that we are too much. When I was marching I could feel what a Gestaltist calls an “implosion” building in my body. We’ve all felt it, it’s the feeling of a pot of water coming to a boil and boiling over—internally. In a session, that feeling might lead to what is called “cube work.” When a boiling over of repressed anger happens, we need to get it up and out of our physical body. So we verbalize the anger while beating a 3’x3’x3’ foam-stuffed cube with a tennis racket. Sounds a little odd but is wildly cathartic. Women usually have the hardest time getting to that point because we are taught to be quiet, never speak up, stuff it down. Maybe we can cry but never show anger. Our patriarchal society would much rather us deep dive into depression, stuff the whole of ourselves down, and become apathetic, than show what’s really inside.
As a matter of fact, they would prefer it.
You can take pretty much anything away from depressed and apathetic women.
Angry women are terrifying to a patriarchal society. Angry women make things happen for the good of the whole. We need our younger generation because that inner warrior hasn’t been pushed down as long. She’s right at the surface, and when she lifts her head to bellow, “NO!" the rest of us can lift ours as well.
So, to that young woman who was the powerhouse at the back of the Cary, NC pro-choice abortion march on Sunday thank you. I had the anger, you gave me the words.
If there was ever a time to feel and work through our emotions (despite what society says), clean up our unfinished business, stand up and speak out, it’s now.
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