I got in a debate the other day (Of late there has been a lot of debating) about the Million Women’s March. The most surprising and sobering part of it was that the disdain was coming from another woman. She, like many critics of the march, said it was simply women complaining, “whining” as she called it about the fact that they didn’t like the result of the presidential election.
I have to admit, I was taken aback. I know there are critics out there, and I know the president elect received a large majority of his votes from white women, but it’s hard to stare at another woman in the face and have her fail to see the greater significance of such an event.
I suppose my question for those dissenting voices is, if the march didn’t resonate with you, as a woman (and I’m not sure how it doesn’t), doesn’t it make you question who did it speak to? What human being that shares your gender felt it necessary to take to the streets to be heard? Do you know any? And were you really listening to what they were saying?
For those of you that didn’t march, and dare label us with such derogatory language as "moaners, whiners, victims, and sore losers." My response to you is this… we are not victims. That march was not about victimhood.... That march was about power.. those daring to speak up and challenge and not accept what is going on in today’s world, in our country, in the election; it was a reaction to the grave affront on our civil liberties (if you think you are immune to this, wake up, because attack on our rights affects us all) and the glaring religious persecution that is happening before our very eyes (again, it might not be you this time, but who will speak up for you when it does). The march was the beginning of a movement, an awakening, a reminder of our first amendment rights to speak, be heard, and not lie down anymore. (And btw, the women’s march did not just involve women, it involved men, children and spanned countries all over the world). This movement is bigger than just a group of people unhappy with a result. It was a worldwide statement that our leaders have to be accountable for how they speak and act. The words they use to discriminate and subjugate women or the handicapped, people of colour, creeds, and so on.
And on that day, we were the voice for the voiceless.
As I see it, isn’t that the one bridge that links us (those that voted against the President elect) with those that voted for the him – That fact that we demand to be heard, we won’t be silent, we want change. Moreover, if Trump ran a platform on the forgotten, the apparent voiceless, then aren’t those 3 million women marching part of that group? Or because we didn’t vote for the President elect, does our voice somehow not matter anymore?
If the march showed those in power anything it was the fact that we can galvanize quickly and we are not going away quietly. We will stand up for our environment, for our education, for our children; we will stand up for our rights to be paid equally, treated equally and to say loud and clear, language of assault, objectification and oppression is NOT okay. You may not agree with it, but it is our first amendment right to protest peacefully, so deal with it. Moreover, the world is rife with women, perhaps not yourselves, who are paid less, objectified, assaulted and have lived lives of hardship because of their gender. So if you don’t know any, open your eyes and understand that you do not live on an island.
Most importantly, any woman out there that condemns peaceful protest is forgetting a very essential thing: you obtained your very rights through protest. You can vote because women marched. You can drive…marry (anyone of any ethnicity or gender) because people marched. You can hold political office because people marched. There is advancement in the workplace because people marched. It didn’t come for free. People put their lives on the line so you are now able to sit in your comfortable home and enjoy those hard fought for rights.
So, instead of mocking your fellow woman, THANK HER.
And if it doesn’t resonate with you and you still don’t understand it, ask the woman next to you at work, or in line at the coffee place, the quiet one that may have a different skin color than you, or come from a different financial background, or different religion, ask her if that march represented her voice.
You may be enlightened that not everyone sits in the same position that you do.