This weekend I participated in what has become the biggest protest in US history. With the news of the marches and the number of people who attended, people have started asking “why?” Though I’m not here to answer every misconception or accusation, I am here to inform as much as I can. So to all those people who asked “why”, here are your answers.

Why Are You Marching?

This was the simple and straightforward question I asked some of the people I interacted with at the Women’s March in San Diego.

“My number one reason for marching is to show solidarity with all the women who are here and all of the functions of feminity. Like creativity and harmony that have pushed to the side. I don’t care if we have a male or female president but we need to instill the feminine properties of life that have been lost in politics for so long.”

“We don’t want to go back.”

“To show solidarity women all over the world. We’re standing together.”

“I’m marching for all women out there and for my mom and her girlfriend.”

“For equality…for my mom because she brought me here for a better life. She’s been fighting her whole life for her kids and for us to have a better life. “

“Because it’s the right thing to do.”

“To raise awareness about the normalization of sexism and violence in the media.”

I also asked this question to many of my friends who participated in marches all over our great country.

“I marched because I want to make it clear that sexism and misogyny have NO place in our country or our world! I march to show that our voices are powerful as individuals, but even more powerful as a unified whole. I march for equality, for women, for minorities, for the state of our world and for common decency!” – Maurie, Charlotte

“I marched in San Francisco because I was brought up being taught to stand up for people regardless of their gender, religion, sexuality, or nationality. Also because it was the right f—ing thing to do!” – Sean, San Francisco

“Today I marched for my mom who raised me to be a proud ‘nasty woman’. I marched for my Bad Hombre boyfriend & his legal resident but non-citizen madre. I marched for every immigrant, disabled, Muslim, female, LGBT, and non-white student I have ever taught. And I marched because I’m sad. Sad for those among my friends and family who I know have good hearts but are so angry or afraid or disillusioned that they somehow justified voting for someone who is just a plain bad person.” – Tonya, Riverside

“It shouldn’t take a ‘daughter’ or ‘wife’ or ‘niece’ or ‘sister’ to know that the way politicians refer to women is disgusting. And I am disgusted not as a brother, son, or uncle, but as a man, and as a human being.” – Chris, San Diego

“I marched in the Women’s March today because I am a latina woman and because it was a political statement to show a much greater concern for ALL issues within this country. I wanted to march in solidarity with all who are truly disappointed with our new president and with those in leadership roles around the nation who have overlooked injustices among our black brothers and sisters, women, our native peoples, the environment, children within the education system, the disabled, immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, the LGBTQ community and others. We are ALL in this fight together. We ALL want Equal rights. And we ALL deserve to have our voices heard.” – Ruth, Denver

“I march because it takes a village. I march because this country was not built on single issues. I march because we are stronger together. I march because I have been born into privilege and it is my responsibility to give a voice to those that are struggling to be heard. I march for diversity. I march for unity. I march so I can be proud of the future I create. I march to stay active and feel supported. I march because not moving forward isn’t an option.” – Avery, San Diego

“I marched because it was the right thing to do. This administration needs to know that they have a wide variety of people that they need to take care of equally.” – Jared, Seattle

“I wanted to add to the chorus of voices who say that bigotry, and hatred, and lies are not an acceptable foundation upon which to run a country. I wanted to stand up for science, and people of color, and of course, for women. I wanted my son to know that no matter what happens in the future, his mother does not agree with the policies put forth by this administration. And I wanted him to see that I did more than sit around a complain. I wanted to see who else would show up. I wanted to know that we would stand together, peacefully, and support each other. I wanted to see the possibility of a new way forward. Maybe our march can be a metaphor. They expected 20-25k people to show up, and got 40,000. We were spilling out into the streets. And for an hour, those of us in the side streets and intersections couldn’t move. We sang and chanted and cheered, but there were too many of us up ahead–it was a traffic jam. Eventually we turned, and took side streets and cut through parking garages. We had to rejoin the march further down the planned route. But we got there. We took a different path than we planned, but we got there.” – Calandra, San Diego

“We can’t stand by and allow delusion to have a place in how society is formed and progresses. We must seek out truth at all costs and ensure that human life and rights are at the forefront of our future. Acting on beliefs and values forces you to put what actually matters in life into perspective. #RageOn” -Juan, Los Angeles

“I have many reasons why I marched on Saturday. A little back story on my upbringing. My mother was pivotal in shaping my ideas about a woman in the work place. I heard about and felt the consequences of the glass ceiling way before that idea was and saying was in the mainstream. My mom graduated magnum cumlaude in chemistry back in the 70s and worked(s) in the aerospace industry. If you’ve seen a stealth bomber or used a satellite for GPS, my mom was a critical part of it’s engineering. With that, she was consistently underpaid and undervalued simply because she was a woman. This is still true today as she plans to retire. It had a direct impact on my family, especially in tougher financial and familial times. Now, when it comes to Trump, he supports in many ways of undermining the value, the importance, and the ability of women. We know this from his speeches, his actions, and his appointments that he dies not support equality in the work place. As well, I do not support VP Pence and his support of laws against the LGBTQ community. He bases his anti-gay ideas based on trivial, archaic, outdated, religious beliefs. We have a separation of church and state for a reason. Basing laws that negatively impact regular, law abiding citizens off of religious beliefs is illogical and unconstitutional. As a teacher, an artist, and as a person, I cannot look my neighbors, friends, and students in the eye and think to myself that I am better than they are based solely on the luck of how I was born. I could go on and on, but those are the bug ones for me. Oh, and the anti-science stance on climate change, gender, pregnancy is mind numbingly backwards. So yeah, I marched on Saturday.” – Steven, Chico (photo credit: Jen Ballintine)

“I marched…to protest this administration, the sexism (that somehow ceased to be a story after he won), the Racism, homophobia, attacks on the ACA, planned parenthood, immigrants, the nepotism, lack of divestiture, and general attempt to strip away hard won rights. This list is staggeringly long! We can’t let this happen to our country.” – Hope, New York City

“I am so thankful to share this passion with so many incredible people around that nation and the world from so many backgrounds, nationalities, religions, orientations, and identities. I think that without people in my life who are minorities I would not empathize as deeply with their lifelong struggle for acceptance and inclusion. Women, although they are not a minority in number, also share that struggle. They are perceived as a minority in society and are just as strictly controlled by stereotypes. If this march showed us anything it is that women are not a numerical minority and that they are tired of being prohibited and prescribed their attitudes, behaviors, and access to healthcare.” – James, San Francisco

“I marched because I want this to be ONE piece of the continuum I want to partake in to make my community, and America for that matter, a safe place to live for all. I wanted to be a peaceful part of making my voice heard and letting South Dakota and the world know I will not be silent against the injustices of our current culture/climate.” – Andrea, Sioux Falls

Did you participate in a women’s march? Let me know in the comments below where you marched and why.