The countdown begins. Tomorrow over a million women around the planet will be marching in solidarity towards a more equal future. I bought my plane ticket on November 12th to the then-nascent women’s protest in Washington DC, just four days after the presidential election results shocked (at least some parts) of the nation.
The decision to go to the march helped me during a moment of darkness. I needed to do something and, like thousands of other women, January 21st beckoned me. I need sisterhood now more than ever.
Since November the movement has grown in size, shape, color, and voice – a fantastic result of women from all backgrounds making the movement an inclusive and purposeful one. We will march in solidarity, but we are not a monolith. There have been heated online debates about privilege, white feminism, reproductive rights, and even pink pussy hats (for the record – I’m pro-pussy hat) as we tried to settle on the right way to march and what we are marching for.
Throughout my life I’ve had my share of angry feminist moments. I’ve also had my share of angry moments dealing with coming from a lower economic class. When I see and hear that type of anger in someone else I recognize it as a symptom of oppression. I understand when someone starts talking about white feminists that the response can’t be “well not all white feminists”; that doesn’t solve the problem. If #notallmen pissed you off, #notallwhitefeminists should piss you off too.
Read: “7 Things Feminists of Color Want White Feminist to Know” via Bustle
I’m glad that at the end of the day the Women’s March ended up creating “an unapologetically progressive platform”. We aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. I know I have my share of subconscious biases to fight, and I am prepared to stand down and listen to women who are speaking from a space of marginalization I don’t experience.
On Saturday we’ll march together.
To be honest, the prospect of flying to Washington DC, spending hours getting to the march, spending hours at the march, and spending hours getting away from the march and back to my flight (and making it on time to everything) is overwhelming. Estimates put attendance at 200,000, but security is prepared for up to 400,000. Considering that everyone I talk to knows someone else going to the march, it’s going to be crazy.
Not to mention the understandable restrictions for simply being at the march. We are only allowed to carry an 8x6x4 inch bag and a see-through gallon ziploc bag for food (unless you have a clear backpack on hand). Perhaps my biggest concern is staying hydrated and having access to restrooms. Is it TMI to confess I’m wearing Thinx to the march for extra security?
And then there is the real, if small, chance of the march being the target of an attack. The official FAQ reassures march-goers that they “have over 1000 trained marshals in place to help maintain order and to provide direction to marchers”. If someone has a bad idea there are going to be a lot of local law enforcement and private security around to squash it.
If I had to pick one word to describe how I feel on the eve of this journey it’s determined. Determined to be a part of this event, determined to vote with my presence the importance women’s rights, and determined to represent those who aren’t able to represent themselves.
We are all in this together.
Stay tuned for more diary entries on January 21st. I will be interviewing other marchers, taking photos, and making videos to document this historic event.
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