This past Saturday, I attended the Women’s March here in Georgia. I’ve never protested or been part of any kind of march before, so I had no idea what to expect. It rained and stormed on us for the first two hours or so, but the march itself was clear and bright. It was amazing. It was so incredibly wonderful to see so many people come together. I was both surprised and inspired by how many people of different ages were there. Everyone was so courteous and warm, it didn’t feel like a protest at all.
Here are some of my notes, thoughts, and take aways from that day.
Why I March
We’ve come a long way since the days of women stuck in the kitchen. We can vote now, we can hold jobs, we can push to become people with authority and power. And yet, there’s still so far to go. We’re still fighting for the right to do what we want with our bodies. We’re fighting to be able to become sexually empowered without being slut shamed or being told that, because we are sexually empowered, we “want it” all the time, from anyone. We fight to love who we want to love and break the mold of what it means to be “a woman.” We fight with our identities, and we fight others who tell us that because we were born with one set of genitals, we must fit into the box that the genitals dictate for us. We fight for people of color who are still being profiled and judged simply based on the shade of our skin.
There is still so much that we have to fight for. This recent presidential election has been especially daunting. Up until now, I’ve rarely discussed politics. But I’m scared. I’m scared for the poor women who can’t afford healthcare to lose places like Planned Parenthood that offered them affordable options. I’m scared for my trans friends who may not be able to feel safe to be themselves. I’m scared for young people who are not given proper education on sex, consent, and safety. I am scared for black people who are profiled as “thugs” without ever doing or saying anything, and Hispanic people who are profiled as “illegal” despite being hard working members of society. I am scared for the decline of education, and for the kids who can’t afford to pay for a good education being left behind. I fear for the women who were raped, who are still being asked questions like, “are you sure it was rape?”, “what were you wearing that night?”, and “why were you there in the first place?”
For all those things, and many more, I march.
Things to Remember
The march itself seemed very white-leaning and protested a lot more white-facing issues than anything else. As such, there have been (valid) criticism coming from people of color. Intersectionalism is so important. It is important to recognize that feminism works to benefit everyone. Women of color, trans women, poor women, etc. etc. It even needs to include discussions about how feminist issues effect men (things like how men are expected to hold their emotions, go back to work after the birth of their babies, etc.) Here is a nice article about why feminism needs to be intersectional. Just because it isn’t an issue that we face or have witnessed personally doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue that we shouldn’t be fighting for.
I hope that nobody went home from the march thinking, “we did good. That solved that problem.” The march was incredible, and it definitely got people talking, but it is not the end. It’s only the beginning.