I typically do not write in response to political issues but felt compelled after viewing the women’s march in Washington, DC. I have to say the majority of women that spoke do not represent me as a woman. I was raised in a traditional family with a strong male influence at the head. My mother was a stay at home mother who cherished raising her ten children along with others that occasionally came to live with us. At eighty-six years old, she still lives alone and voices quite frequently after some call her ‘stubborn’ that she is an independent woman!

So I come by it naturally to have a strong mind about that which I can accomplish in life. I may not have started out that way since I typically did not say much in the midst of seven brothers who often let me know my place. Yet I emerged as a woman with a voice, often independent and determined to accomplish big dreams that exist within me!

What disturbed me the most about this march was the crude, hateful message that erupted toward men, leadership, and anyone who disagreed with their philosophy for living life. They claim to love but yet their words and actions revealed the opposite. This message does not represent me or the many women who are in my life that I have met across this nation.

Perhaps we need to take another look at love and acceptance. Working as a therapist, I counsel people from every type of background, color, gender preference, religious choice, sexual preference, and behavioral choices. As a woman I can look beyond the differences that exist and treat each one with respect. I often begin to understand, appreciate, and accept them in the midst of horrific circumstances. Rudeness, hatred, violence, or vulgarity can never be an option.

I believe we need to stand up for our rights as women but implement them appropriately. Our message of strength and confidence voiced with love and respect results in much greater progress. As a Christian woman with strong morals and values, I will be even more determined to represent my gender with words of kindness instead of judgment, actions that unite instead of divide, and instill love where hatred exists. It is my prayers that all women stand strong and represent our gender in the same way.