United we stand strong. That was the overlying message I took away from yesterday’s Women’s March in Washington, which in actuality was a national and even global event with sister marches all over the world. Some people didn’t (and still don’t) understand why people were coming together in resistance. So let me break it down for you.
“Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. We are complete human beings.” –Janelle Monae
On November 8, 2016, an experienced and highly qualified woman was unable to break what some consider the highest glass ceiling: Presidency of the United States. Hillary Clinton’s loss in and of itself was disappointing. Yet, the fact that the person against whom she ran is unqualified, undignified, and unpredictable makes the entire situation disheartening. If her opponent was a man who wasn’t so unashamedly and brazenly misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic, white nationalistic, fill in the blank, I can bet there would NOT have been more than half a million scared, angry, and/or defiant people shutting down metro stations (metro stations were literally overcrowded to the point that they were nonfunctional!) to marching peacefully through the streets of Washington, DC and the world.
Donald Trump, or whatever he’s called these days, has been spewing hate and untruths a.k.a. lies for years. A prime example is his claim that the first black President of the United States couldn’t possibly be a ‘jus soli’ citizen. Then during the campaign trail he was the same man he’s always been and continued spewing nonsense and offenses directed at just about every marginalized group, not limited to the physically disabled, Blacks, Muslims, and immigrants. And since the day he lost the popular vote to become the U.S. President elect he has done NOTHING to address or bridge the divisions that have been so plainly brought to light, the divisions on which this great country was built.
So the day after the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President, citizens, immigrants, women, men, and children, people of all races and faiths, and the LGBTQIA community came together to protest those things, which DT has refused to address. We marched for those who are unable to march. We made our voices heard by letting the entire country know that we’re not satisfied and we will be watching and resisting nonsense over the next four years.
“This women’s march represents the promise of feminism…an inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join resistance to racism, islamophobia, anti-semitism, misogyny, capitalist exploitation, and state violence perpetuated by police and through the prison industrial complex…” –Angela Davis
And I’ll close with one of my favorite chants from yesterday, one that a close friend and I led: “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” The power of this call and response is that we can switch out the underlined words with the issue closest to our heart, the issues that the nation needs to address immediately. As my friend and I continued marching forward we heard someone behind us start their own chant inserting “immigrant rights” and then one close to my heart “black lives.” What will you use your voice to fight for?