Last week I marched. It was empowering, faith-restoring, and a testament to the crazy power of a group of people united. Hell hath no fury, right?
I would like to say the main reasons I marched were for equal pay, reproductive rights, and intersectional feminism, or that I marched against casual sexism and the rape culture that's so prevalent it has reached the White House. And I did march for all those things, and the countless other injustices perpetrated by those in power. However, I mainly marched because I wanted to feel angry. This isn't noble. It was a perversion of a nationalized movement that was saying something that needed to be heard. Protest is not a selfish word and I disrespected that. I wanted to carry a sign and yell 'Fuck Trump!' and not have to feel sorry about it because I was tired of sitting on my bed in the morning, remembering again for the first time that this self-proclaimed superpower of a country chose a man who does not even respect my existence, let alone wants to represent it. I figured this would be the place to get off the mat and do something, anything, to stop feeling this way.
It was, and I'm glad I went. I am proud to be able to say I marched. I am proud because on a dingy, cold Saturday morning in St. Paul, MN 100,000 people came out to say they matter. I am proud because I stood beside a woman at her college's 50 year reunion who told me in 50 years she hoped I wouldn't have to march but that if I did I had an obligation to be there, and I stood beside parents pushing the strollers and holding hands of kids that might have a chance to live in America when America is truly great.
This is what democracy looks like. This is what history looks like. The world heard us, and I'm not naïve enough to think that whether I was there or not matters in the grand scheme of things. I know this movement shouldn't be just for me. It should be for women of color, children of immigrants, survivors of sexual assault, and women who are strong enough to openly declare that they are women without the convenience of a body to 'match'. I refuse to have this revolution be white washed with the rest of history and it's important to remember that women's rights don't just include the women that look like you. I refuse to settle for "better than it was". Too often someone telling you other people have it worse is just an excuse to try and dismiss your own struggles and not a way to address systematic injustices as the interconnected, widespread problem that they are.
I am angry, but marching helped me remember that this is so much bigger than me. That doesn't mean I don't have an obligation to try and do something about it. We need comprehensive reproductive health care for all women, and that includes freedom of choice. Women somehow still are getting paid less than their male counterparts. Feminism always, always must be intersectional. We cannot allow sexism and rape culture to become normalized, not in the White House and not on the street. We have such a long way to go but January 21st marked the first steps of a revolution. Write to your senators, your representatives, your governors, and the speaker of the house. They'll hear us. We have a lot to scream about, but lucky for me I have three million other voices yelling right there with me.