With every new year comes another national Women’s March in Washington D.C and throughout the country. On the surface, the event aims to unite women through the fight for equality. Underneath the surface, it is purely a progressive movement. It is worth noting that there is no right afforded to men that is not afforded to women today in the United States of America. There is no freer or better society in history for women’s opportunities than the U.S. in 2020. Every year, conservative women are nonetheless faced with the choice of bringing intellectual diversity to the event or forgoing altogether. Below I offer factual and anecdotal reasons why I will not be attending this year’s Women’s March.

Perhaps the primary “right” women march for at these rallies is “reproductive health,” which is a euphemism for killing unborn children at will. Planned Parenthood has major stakes in the rally, though it is responsible for terminating over 300,000 human lives per year, allegedly trafficking baby organs, and covering up cases of sexual abuse and human trafficking it knew about. To stand with Planned Parenthood is to stand against women and the value of human life.

Another major theme of the Women’s March is closing the gender wage gap. A common misconception is that a woman makes 79 cents for every dollar a man makes working the same job. However, it is already against the law in this country to discriminate against women in such a way. Furthermore, those numbers were determined only by taking the difference of the average annual income of both genders. What it fails to account for is differences in occupational choice, educational backgrounds, and hours worked. When these factors are considered, the gender wage gap almost entirely disappears. To perpetuate the lie that the gender wage gap is a result of systemic discrimination is to stand against equal opportunity and freedom of choice in pursuit of unwanted equal outcome.

Let’s also not forget about the Women’s March’s damning history of anti-Semitic leadership and its unpopular goal of erasing womanhood by insisting that biological men and women are interchangeable.

So what happens when women who disagree with the political agendas want to attend the march anyway for personal endeavors?

In January of 2017, before the #MeToo movement ignited, I attended a local Women’s March in Cincinnati, Ohio as a senior in college. My purpose was not political, nor was it provocative. Rather, I sought to stand in solidarity for women who had been victimized at the hands of sexual violence just like I had been. My intention was to use my voice to call attention to a toxic culture that over-sexualized women and created a breeding ground for predators.

I noticed immediately upon arrival that I was an outlier. Other women who were there for the same reason as I was took a different approach; I saw many topless or scantily-dressed girls and understood the message they were sending about the right to say “no” no matter how a woman chooses to dress. While I didn’t disagree with that message, I thought the delivery only added to the problem. To remedy a sexual violence epidemic, we needed to first target a cultural society that told us that sex is meaningless and that men and women view sex through the same lens.

My polite attempts at confronting these women with my ideas were met with hostility. I was told I was contributing to “rape culture” by saying that reclaiming the word “slut” as a compliment was a disservice to women. Then they targeted my political affiliations. “You probably voted for Trump too,” “I bet you’re not even pro-choice, so what are you doing here?” and “You’re not pro-woman, and you’re not welcome here” were some of my favorite responses, though I never specified any political viewpoints.

I left that March early in temporary defeat, but I was not ultimately deterred. I refused to believe that I was not pro-woman simply because I disagreed with the March’s politics, but the message was well-received: conservative women are not welcome. Thus, I resolved never to participate in such an event again, because any movement that radically excludes intellectually diverse women is not in the business of furthering women’s “equality” anyway.

Jennifer S