By now we all know that history was made on January 21, 2017. What an awe-inspiring sight to see millions of women in this country and around the world, marching in unity. Epic in Proportion. Powerful.
To my amazement, I read comments on-line and on social media from people who could not understand what the Women’s March on Washington was about. One guy on my Facebook page pejoratively referred to it as “your so-called” march. When I read that I thought, “there, that is it exactly. That is why women march.” “So-called” is such a put down, such an attempt to belittle and invalidate. Women are sick and tired of having their accomplishments demeaned. Too often our voices, concerns, and issues are ignored or bullied into silence.
To not understand why women marched in solidarity on January 21st is to not understand why Alcoholics Anonymous exists, or other support groups like cancer survivors, veterans, or MADD. There is hope and healing when you discover that you are not alone. Now imagine how it feels when you discover that millions of people around the world feel the same way. The Women’s March on Washington, in all its forms and in all its places, was the tangible reality of that fact. It’s like never having seen the ocean but being told how expansive, powerful, and majestic it is. And then one day you see the ocean for yourself, you witness its grandeur with your own eyes.
To be sure, women marched with many agendas and for a wide range of issues that day. Each woman came with a personal life experience or story that motivated them. You cannot have a gathering of that magnitude and not expect that to be the case. After all, each woman is still an individual! The point is that in our current political environment, and around the world, groups of every kind, under the larger umbrella of women’s rights, are being marginalized, ignored, abused, and discriminated against. Thus the mantra, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”
Finally, we acknowledge all of the men and boys; fathers, partners, brothers, sons and male friends, who marched alongside the women.
Their presence affirmed that the march was in fact bigger than just about a bunch of bitchy women with an axe to grind. The multitude of voices who used the March for their platform were speaking for the (here-to-fore) silent majority of humanity, not the minority as detractors would like us to believe. It is imperative that we keep raising our voices and remembering that while there are those with money to buy political power, there is another form of political power, Power in Numbers.
Dear Readers, did any of you participate in a March on January 21st, or have a story about someone who did?
This march was not unlike the Civil Rights marches of the 1960’s (a couple of which I participated in). Those who were not personally affected by the injustices that were being “marched against” simply didn’t understand what “all the fuss was about.” “Those people” had no business taking to the streets and disrupting everyone else’s tidy little world. Well, they did. And we did. And we still do. And we will continue to do so as long as the promise of America doesn’t work for everyone.
Thanks for adding this insight Linda. You always make an excellent point that you articulate well!
I participated (even SANG) for the group in Raleigh. There were between 23,000 and 30,000 people there. ALL people must speak their minds and voice their opinions. This is our first and one of our most important amendments. This is one of the reasons our country was founded. This march was much more than women’s rights. It was about human rights! It was wonderful to see such a tremendous outpouring not only in Raleigh and Washington, DC, but around the world!
Thanks for sharing Bett. Go Raleigh!
Thanks for an excellent article. Of course freethinkers understand why people march! Snarky critics of the march ignore that the right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the first amendment. It was an amazing global peaceful protest!
I appreciate your comments Linda. Those who don’t understand the March, simply don’t want to and have probably never cared about anything enough in their lives to get them on their feet!