Why we marched

This photo was taken a week ago with other amazing women at Tuff Girl Fitness where I build strength in my body and soul.

On Saturday, I spent the day in D.C. with hundreds of thousands others and several wonderful friends to support women, justice and human rights.  The D.C. Women’s march was amazing, inspiring and cathartic.

I returned this week to my reality.  After an event this week, a senior colleague said to me, “It looks like you are expecting”.  I said, “No, I am not” as a wave of shame washed over me.  This has happened to me so many times by both men and women after I present amazing science or just walk down the hall.

Even if I was pregnant, it is really none of their business.  I realize that MAYBE these people are excited for me that I might be bringing another person into this world.  But there are so many other possibilities like……

1. I have been working to get tenure at Yale and fix this lovely institution and raise my 2 daughters and keep my marriage afloat and fight against the rise of fascism in the US and not necessarily on what I eat……

2. I don’t like starving (and that is what I need to do to lose weight) because I can’t bring awesomeness to my everyday….

Melissa Willet suggested the following after a similar experience:

It took me a few moments to collect myself, and begin thinking of the comebacks I wish I’d been quick enough to spew at her before she tore off, such as:

1. No, but thanks for calling attention to the permanent bulge underneath my belly button after having three kids!

2. Yes, I’m due next week. Don’t I look great?

3. Well I don’t know. Do you happen to have a vaginal probe to do an ultrasound?

4. So, this dress does make me look fat! I knew it!

5. No, but are you by chance the devil?

6. I knew we had something in common!

7. I hate you.

8. Yes, I’m pregnant with a dozen babies actually! It’s a new world record.

9. Please hold on while I throw myself in front of this overloaded Smarte Cart.

10. Wait, is this an intervention? I know I said I might want to have more kids, but I swear, I’m not insane!

Meanwhile, I just want to add I would never ask another woman if she was pregnant – not even an acquaintance, let alone a total stranger – if I wasn’t sure.

And this is just one piece of what women go through in our society.  At the march, Ashley Judd presented a poem by 19 year old Nina Donovan ”Nasty woman” written after Trump used that phrase about Hillary Clinton during one of the presidential debates. 
Her words spoke to me:
“I’m nasty like the fight for wage equality.
Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned last year.  See, even when we do go into higher paying jobs are wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone.  
Why is the work of a black woman and Hispanic woman work only 63 and 54 cents of a white man’s privileged daughter?  
This is not a feminist myth.  This is inequality.
So we are not here to be debunked.
We are here to be nasty”.
The fight goes on.