An Open Letter To My Conservative Father About the Women’s March

Dear Dad,
Moses Reilly…  I saw what you’ve been saying about myself and the millions of women who decided to go out and defend our rights (peacefully) on Saturday. It seems as though your kind Christian heart could not seem to find any empathy for the women standing up for ourselves…But given your history, you’ve never really been a fan of women standing up for themselves to begin with, have you?

I thought you might need a little refresher as to why so many women (and men) took part in this movement, because it seems as though you may have been misinformed by all your conservative “fans” on Facebook.

First of all I marched for my daughter
(one of the many grandchildren you don’t give shit about), so hopefully one day she wont have to march for her rights. I marched for her future voice. 
(My amazing little girl that will learn to scream as loud as she can to make her voice heard. I will not raise her in fear, like you raised me. I will not make her seek validation, like you did. I will not make her put her feelings last, like you did.)

We marched for unity. I wanted all of my fellow sisters to know that I stood by them. That I had their backs regardless of skin color, religion, sexual preference, physical ability, age, political party, or profession. 

(I know this solidarity is intimidating for you because it’s opposite of what you raised me to believe in. It’s also the opposite of what you scared most of the women in your life into believing. Keep a woman alone, she may never be strong enough to leave, right?)

We marched for reproductive rights. Access to birth control and the ability to get an abortion if we so please due to whatever circumstances that make us feel we’re not ready for (or ever will be ready for) motherhood. We marched for the rights to our bodies. 

(The same rights that helped you and your former girlfriend to obtain an abortion years ago when you both were in agreement that you weren’t wanting to have a child together. There were already far too many you couldn’t properly take care of.)

We marched to let the world know we will not remain silent any longer.

(You or anyone else will no longer be able to keep me or any other woman’s mouth shut, and I can imagine that that makes you fairly upset. After all, where would you be in this world without guilt & manipulation as your best friend?)

We marched for strength & empowerment.

(The thing that I think you hate the most out of all of this. Had my own mother known her own strength or had some support earlier in her life, maybe you wouldn’t have been able to beat the shit out of her for as long as you did, or make her feel like less of a person by mentally, emotionally, sexually and physically abusing her. Maybe you wouldn’t have been able to monitor her phone calls, fuck up her credit, or use her daughter as leverage against her. Maybe she would have left long before you put a gun up against her head, or took her children away, or let her believe that she was anything but a saint of a woman. You took away her dignity, her concept of self-worth and her opportunity to be a mother. You took those things… And to this day, you’ve never apologized or made amends to her for stealing such a huge part of her life. No wonder you’re so against this women’s movement. )

So dad, I marched for her. I marched for all women who don’t think they’re strong enough. I marched for the women at home not able or ALLOWED to march. I marched for the women not even allowed to turn on their televisions to see how many of us showed up. The number so astounding that it’s hard to ignore. I marched to send a message to men like you that we will no longer remain silent. We will no longer feel less than or put down because of who we are. If any single woman at home felt empowered by the march, it was worth me going. If any single woman felt their voice now be heard, it was worth me chanting. If any single woman were waiting for a sign to start believing in their strength and saw it that day, it was worth me marching. 

And it was worth YOU shutting the fuck about it.

 You have enough to preach about, much I don’t agree with. I’ve remained respectful towards you and your reputation my entire life, but now enough is enough. You have had enough time in this life to be the voice for women, WE DON’T NEED YOU TO BE OUR VOICE ANYMORE. 

Although you’ve mailed back my letter, you cannot mail back this one. You cannot silence me any longer. I will not be ignored.

Your feminist daughter, Alyssa