As everyone is aware, there's been a whole lot of talk recently about the legislative "War On Women" that's been ramping up across America. In state after state, court after court, and in the hallowed halls of the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, we have seen seen economic, civil, and reproductive rights rolled back for women. It hardly seems like this could really be happening in a sane, civil, and thinking world, but it is. Far-right legislators have made it their cause to ensure that women are prevented from or at least are hideously harassed if they choose to have a pregnancy termination, to make contraceptives for women less available, to refuse or repeal Equal Pay laws, and to vote against laws protecting women from violence. There are so many of these instances and they are so widespread that the term "War On Women" is frighteningly, sickeningly accurate. What these reprehensible and misguided politicians refuse to understand is that when you attack the well-being of women, you attack men and children as well, causing a domino-effect of misery and chaos. Know the old phrase, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy?" How true this is, folks! A woman who is healthy, able to earn a fair living, is free from fear of violence, and is able to choose if and when she has a family is a powerful asset to the world. Destruct this, and as it is in so many repressive nations in the world, you destroy the true potential of everyone.

With this in mind, I was very excited and honored to attend the "We Are Women" rally at Seattle's Westlake Park yesterday afternoon, sponsored by the grassroots organization Unite Against the War On Women. It was inspiring to see all the people that turned out from all walks of life, from babies in front packs to elders with canes, long-time activists to first-time rally-goers, city dwellers to those who traveled hundreds of miles to be there, rich and poor, straight and gay, women AND men. My goal was to photograph the event to show you just that -- the great diversity and strength in all of the people across the country who understand that our rights are not to be battered about in political games. They are inalienable, human rights.

My photos are now up on Seattle Weekly, so please click HERE to go see and Like, Tweet, Pin, Google+, or otherwise share them! (The full set from the day is over on my Flickr HERE if you'd like to see some more.) Thank you thank you thank you, and thank you to all the Unite Women organizers for their warm and helpful hospitality, the kickass speakers, and every single person who turned out. Heroes, all.

(photo: Marianne Spellman/Seattle Weekly, Westlake Park, Seattle WA., 4/28/12)