The year 2016 was one for the record books, and it's evident that not everyone in the nation is feeling particularly hopeful for 2017, either. It makes me wonder whether Americans heading into 1917 felt the same.
It was in January of that year that the first picketers from the National Woman's Party first appeared at the gates of the White House with the now iconic banners "Mr. President, what will you do for woman suffrage?" and "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?"
One hundred years later, as a mom of three kids, including one daughter, in the Greater Philadelphia area, it's disappointing to start the year having to ask those same questions of our president-elect.
The Obama administration brought us one of the most feminist presidencies to date, packaged with an article penned by the president himself in the pages of Glamour magazine this past summer.
"Of course they want their dad to be a feminist," Obama declared, referring to his daughters. "Because that's what they expect of all men."
This is what we expect of all men. These words couldn't be truer today.
Significant strides were made over the past eight years in the fight for women's equality, but I'll give it to the outgoing president that he had a lot on his plate, from an economic and military standpoint, by the time he took office. It's times like those when I can understand putting women's rights on the backburner because we had to dig out of a recession, catch the mastermind behind 9/11, and so much more.
But what I can't table for later, especially as a survivor of sexual assault, are the words of the future leader of our country dismissing crude discussions of women as "locker room talk."
With such words from our president-elect, how can we, as a nation, be a partner in standing up to global women's issues like genital mutilation, stoning, and other grotesque humanitarian crimes against women around the world?
How can we put an end to our nation's own issues, such as young men like Brock Turner thinking it's OK to take advantage of women when they're barely conscious?
How do we explain to young women that their worth is more than their looks and how many children they bear?
And how do we encourage young girls to enroll in STEM programs if that's what is of interest to them?
This is why I will march - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - and why I am proud to serve as one of the founding members of Philly Women Rally, the nonprofit organization spearheading the Women's March on Philadelphia, a sister event to that day's Women's March on Washington.
We're marching in a positive show of solidarity and in unity, to show that women are no longer content sitting back and waiting for equality to come to us. We want our voices heard and we want President Donald Trump, his administration, and our male-oriented society in general to know that we want the rights to our own bodies, to a paycheck equal to that of men, to paid family leave for men and women, for continued access to affordable health care and so much more.
This is why we march, and why women will be marching in more than 300 cities worldwide.
We are empowering each other and invite all Philadelphians, no matter the gender, to join us and let their voices be heard.
Remember, women's equality - across all races, religions, abilities, and sexual orientations - benefits all members of society.