This Saturday, people will take to to march and create a visible symbol of the power of women. I will be part of that march.
I became acquainted with feminism in my early twenties. I was in a very oppressive relationship although I didn’t recognize it at the time. The brother of my boyfriend gave me a book titled “Fire with Fire:The New Female Power and How to Use It” by Naomi Wolf. Wolf explained how women make up 51% of the population- a majority at the time equal to seven million additional votes. Wolf wrote “If there is to be a gender war in politics, a 2 percent advantage, nationally, and a bonus of seven million votes, means that the side that best represented the spectrum of women’s wishes would win” (p. 14).
I was CHARGED by this number. I still am when I think about it in a raw, numbers-only scenario. How is it that with that POWER we are still having to stage marches to make our voices heard?
At first, I was not going to march. I came out of this election cycle completely disillusioned with the political system. I’m sorry to say that has not changed. I can’t even really follow the news right now because it just makes me so disheartened when I see the latest round of bullshit promoted as progress. But this is not about Trump or Hillary for me. I may not have faith in politics, but I do believe in the goodness of people.
When I finally decided I was going, just yesterday, I was all in. If I was marching, I was going to rally friends to walk with me, make a sign, the whole works. When I contacted friends to join, I was met with a lot of hesitation. One friend told me something along the lines of, “I’m not much of a marcher. They are usually a lot of work and don’t really offer much pay off.”
I couldn’t argue with her. Just figuring out where to park for the march is turning out to be a nightmare. Trump will be officially inaugurated the day before the Women’s March. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the leader of our country looking out for women when he says things like “grab them by the pussy.” Am I just wasting a perfectly good Saturday by attending this rally?
No. Resounding NO! Not that I fault my friends who opt not to go because we all have limited free time and have a right to spend it doing the things we deem most important. But there are two things that reaffirmed the choice for me.
First, I read an article from my favorite magazine, BUST, talking about how marches will occur in 600+ cities around the world.
600+ cities around the world!!!! That means on a global level, people are coming together to say women matter! I will not consider my Saturday wasted to be a part of that.
I can’t imagine being within a group that is coming together to seek change, to support each other, to acknowledge our power will leave me feeling anything less than inspired.I don’t know about you, but my life could use a little inspiration.
I found the second item when I was searching for a message for a sign. I looked up some posters people had already made. I searched for famous quotes on feminism and hope, but I just couldn’t find the thing that spoke to me. I wanted my sign to be personal.
I’ve been painting scenes on rocks from famous children’s stories. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Ramona Quimby as she was my childhood hero. On a whim, I googled Ramona quotes. I came across this picture and quote and found my perfect sign inspiration:
“Say it loud, make them hear you.”
What better way to say it loud, to make them hear us, than to shout from more than 600 cities across the globe.
Even if nothing comes from this other than me connecting with other women who feel passionate about speaking up for ourselves, that’s considered a win in my book.
To leave you with another quote, “We can not all succeed when half of us are held back,” Malala Yousafzai.
Women still do not earn the same wage for the same work as men. We still have to fight to make choices about our own bodies. Across the globe, girls are still not being educated alongside boys. The list goes on and on. I march to show these issues matter to me, a visible symbol of my alliance.
Whether you march or not, do not be afraid to speak. We still live in an age where polite people don’t talk about politics. Where good girls don’t cause trouble. I’m sorry, but fuck that.
Say it loud, make them hear you.