It’s been a few days since I got home from Washington DC, and it’s taken probably taken me this long to figure out what to say. The March was life changing, encouraging, empowering and nothing short of amazing. From the moment we left with a van full of like minded women, half I hadn’t met before they got in the vehicle (which as a woman, the safety part didn’t dawn on me until later), to the moment we returned it was an amazing trip. Each stop along the way the service stations were filled with people heading to DC, and on the way back men and women cheering fellow travelers on the way. The positive energy was contagious, and amazing. Several times I was almost moved to tears by the energy and experience.
When I got home, I was still on the after-glow from the positive energy. I felt empowered, and ready to take on the world. But when I turned on my computer, I was greeted with hate and rudeness. I have a friend who said she didn’t see why we marched and we were a bunch of whiners. Another friend was “over feminists” because she had all the rights she wanted – so there was no point. Then a cis man who runs a business and makes his money off of women in the blogging industry, that we are the cause of our problems and that he refuses to teach his daughter about the marches. I was emotionally beat down on Monday, I was raw, I was over tired from traveling and needed to step away for a bit.
But here’s the thing – the Women’s March on Washington and all of the Sister marches matter. They were the largest peaceful protest in history. They took place all over the country and around the world. We stood together for several different reasons and found solidarity. We found friendships we didn’t know we needed. We found family we didn’t know we had before. But most of all, we found a support network that we are all going to need over the next few years. Let’s be clear here – we made history and the world is still responding.
No one told the Suffragette’s their marching didn’t matter – ok, at the time maybe, but at least we’re taught about it in school now. This is a pivotal point in history, and there are many things we need to continue to fight for, and support each other with.
By saying that the Women’s Marches didn’t make an impact, is the same as saying Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Sojourner Truth, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton don’t matter and the roads they paved for all of us.
- Yes, we have the the right to vote – if you’re not restricted by other things like transportation issues, poll time restrictions etc
- Yes, You can get married – if you’re straight, and in an area that isn’t fighting against LGBTQ rights
- Yes, you can get divorced – if you’re able to afford it, if you’re not in an abusive relationship, or in a religiously restricted relationship
- Yes, you can get an education – if you can afford it, were given a good enough basic education in your community
- Yes, you can practice the religion you want – well, if you’re Christian you can that is.
- Yes, you have clean water – unless you live in Flint, or thousands of other cities across the nation
- Yes, you can own your own land – unless you’re Native American … but that’s a whole nother mess…
- Yes, you can control your own medical decisions – oh wait… not the the way things are going
The Women’s March is just a starting point for us. I’ve sat in fear most of the week watching as the president signs new documents that are filled with problems and could be problematic for our future. I have friends who fear for their lives because of their religions. I have friends who are fear for their family because their marriage may become invalid. I have friends who actually fear for their lives because their healthcare may go away and they’re battling cancer. I have friends who are more afraid for their lives than ever because they’re not white – and that makes them even more of a target. And I have friends who fear for their children because their rights to their own bodies, their education and everything else is currently up in the air. These are the reason we marched, for all of these reasons and so many many more.
The Women’s March on Washington was only our first step. We are going to be marching a lot more until our voices are heard, and we reach our goals. Don’t let anyone silence you or tell you what we did doesn’t matter. We wont go back, and we wont be silent.