To the Women Who Shamed Me For Marching For Them

To the Women Who Shamed Me For Marching For Them

You have the right to your own opinion, but only because your fellow women marched for it.

Dear some of my teachers, colleagues, mentors, and friends, who made it clear that they disapprove of me,

Yesterday, I was privileged (and I mean that literally) to take part in one of the largest protest marches in American history, and to be in the center of the action in Washington D.C. It was an unbelievably overwhelming experience, that was both euphoric and extremely difficult. I stood for so long that my legs were shaking by the end, and I endured a lot of sass and feeling like a sardine on a very crowded metro. I have lost my voice and almost my sanity after being trapped on a bus for 16 hours. And I did it for me, an assault survivor, a catcall victim, an oppression sufferer, and I did it for you, my fellow women.

I recognize, of course, that none of these hardships are even close to what some women experience on a day to day basis; some women are living under an oppressive patriarchal society that takes away many of the rights women have in America, including the right to protest. However, I am not marching because I am whining about the rights I don't have as an American; I am marching for all those women who cannot, and also for my rights as an American. I am marching to keep the rights I have, which women before me gained by marching, and I am using my privilege as a straight, white, American woman to speak and walk for those who can't, because I recognize that they are much worse off than I.

However, you would not have a voice to speak your opinion, a platform on which to speak it, the job in which you hold so much pride, the business you own, or right to have your voice count in this country if women like me hadn't marched for you. And, like me, those women didn't get any thanks either. I was so disappointed to come back after feeling like this country was really moving forward, to see women for whom I had spent all day on my aching feet telling me I was nothing but a whiny, stupid, fat girl. I supported you. I marched for you. I yelled for you. I fought for your right to be able to speak your mind, and it is your prerogative to use it to speak against me. However, don't forget from whence you came, and don't forget the people who helped get you there. Support your fellow women, because no one else will.

Icing my aching feet,


Cover Image Credit: Angelica Puzio

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.


The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.


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