On January 21, women of every age, color, religion, sexual orientation, ability and immigration status took part in the Women’s March on Washington – the largest protest in United States history.
For someone who has been struggling with the aftermath of this election, this protest gave me a sense of strength and solidarity I have not been able to muster in months.
In the age of women like Kellyanne Conway and Tomi Larson, not everything a woman does is feminist and empowering for other women. Fifty-three percent of white women voted for a demagogic pig that now occupies the highest office in the United States. That was the hard slap in the face white feminists needed. White women can’t be satisfied that they’re not one of those women, because we still benefit from a system that got Donald Trump elected. This march faced the danger of becoming just another white feminist rallying point, but it was so much more than that. The March on Washington was the kick-start to a bigger, more inclusive movement. So throw out your white scarves and suffragette rhetoric and start listening to the women and femmes around you.
The Women’s March on Washington was not just about people with vaginas or women who vote Democrat. The march did what it could to have all women’s voices be heard, but it was made up of people, and people are imperfect. Now, we as people have to fulfill the promise the March on Washington made. This march is about finding your voice, but also shutting the hell up sometimes and hearing what other people have to say. The majority of the people in the crowd adamantly yelled, “Say her name” when Alicia Keys voiced her concern over the violence against black women like Sandra Bland. But some women in the crowd were apprehensive, and some did not know who Sandra Bland was. It made some people uncomfortable, and it’s about time. White feminist complacency played a key role in getting Trump elected, and the only way for this pattern to break is for people of all genders to recognize the oppressive intersection of sex, gender, and race.
Honoring the lives of just a few of the black people in the United States to police brutality, listening to women like Angela Davis and young Sophie Cruz, and following the lead of Water Protectors during the march itself, women of all walks of life had something to say and something to learn. Women everywhere who attended marches across the seven (!) continents must remember not to let the dust settle after this birth of a movement. Marches are the easiest way to go out and meet someone that looks/believes/loves differently than you. So carry that for the next four years and make America great by breaking down walls instead of building them.
This was the biggest protest in United States history, and it made me proud to be an American. While we as women, femmes, and feminists of all genders can appreciate that we won a battle on January 21, we cannot become complacent in the war.