I know that many people are tired of hearing about the Women’s March that happened on Saturday, January 21, but I’m going to add my two cents because I am that kind of person.
First, I did not march. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was exhausted and am not good about planning ahead, so the logistics didn’t work out. I was keeping up with things throughout the day – from checking my friends’ posts on social media to looking at statistics on various news sites. Yesterday was a beautiful demonstration of peaceful protest. Yes, many of the women were angry, and harsh words were plastered on posterboards, but it was still a peaceful event; there were no violent, hateful acts committed, and it was a beautiful display of unity in an extremely broken and divided world.
This is one of many historic photos from the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963. So many people put this event upon a pedestal (as we should) because of the awareness it brought to the suffering and victimization of so many people. But even today, I can hear the criticism they got:
“Black people still have jobs.”
“They still have restrooms.”
“They still make their own choices.”
People were justifying racism just fifty years ago. The Civil Rights March did so much good. It was a peaceful event that allowed history to move forward in love and acceptance of people who were viewed as different.
That’s what the Women’s March was (and is) all about. It’s about people taking charge of their own voices and saying, “This isn’t right.” Today I have heard so much criticism as people have processed the event:
“Women still get paid.”
“They can vote.”
“No one is stopping them from __________.”
In 2017, people are justifying sexism. If women didn’t feel oppressed, the march would not have been organized on such a large scale. Something that so many people seem unable to understand that this isn’t just a bunch of entitled, white, middle-class women (one post I read today claimed that this was a “vacation” for entitled white women) – this is a group of diverse, oppressed, frustrated women who are tired of feeling like they are something less because of the way so many men (and even women) speak and behave.
Personally, I am tired. I am tired of being reduced to certain body parts or certain roles in life. I am tired of hearing that I can’t do x or y in the church because of my gender. I am tired of feeling like I have to justify myself for being angry, when the same is not expected of men. I am tired for being judged more harshly for the words I use or the things I choose to accept. But yesterday proved I am not alone.
I know there are so many people who still think (and will continue to think) yesterday was worthless, but look what the Civil Rights March did. Why can’t this be the newest manifestation of what was started in 1963?