This past weekend, I witnessed history in Washington, DC during the Women’s March on Washington. Speaker after speaker spoke of the importance of unifying our communities, emphasizing the importance of women’s rights as human rights, and uniting together to ensure equal rights to all. Advocates of reproductive rights, the LGBTQIA+ community, and the black and brown communities spoke with conviction of the importance of uniting each community to create a force with such power that Washington could do nothing but listen. The Women’s March left me, along with thousands of others around the world, inspired and empowered to take on the uphill battle to reach universal equality for all women.
The rest of my Saturday was spent reflecting, both on the experience itself, but the words spoken, feelings felt, and messages sent. I thought about the logistics of organizing one million people, of the selection of the speakers, and the factions of society that they represented. More than anything, I asked myself, why does it all matter?
Aside from it being a demonstration occurring in the wake of the inauguration of the newest president and of its sheer scope, with over 600 sister marches worldwide, the Women’s March on Washington brought to light some of the most stratifying aspects of our society. It challenged one’s preconceived notions of privilege, inequality and intersectionality. It’s started a conversation about what it means to be a woman in the US that is marginalized due to their personal beliefs and practices.
The Women’s March on Washington shed light on the inequality that transcends gender, class, and race in our country and even more, the disparities between the experience of minorities and the white majority. One of the March’s national co-chairs, Tamika D. Mallory, said, “I stand here as a black woman, the descendent of slaves. My ancestors literally nursed our slave masters. Through the blood and tears of my people, we built this country. America cannot be great without me, you and all of us who are here today… We have a chance, brothers and sisters, to get this thing right. We can do it, if women rise up and take this nation back!”
So, as we move forward through these trying times, may we as Americans, we as humans, come together to combat the bigotry, hatred and nepotism that has divided our nation through consciousness, collective action, and most importantly, love.