Millions of women, men and children around the world gathered on January 21st in the Women's March. We marched for women's right, we marched to make the voices of the oppressed heard, we marched for equality for our fellow sisters and brothers. I've never personally felt so under attack until this election cycle. I'm a child of immigrants, a woman, a mother of a mixed race daughter. I felt as if half the nation felt the same. Outraged and fired-up, we hit the streets in unity. The day started out exceptionally frustrating, with major delays on all the trains, buses and even ride sharing. When we finally made it onto a bus, a collective cheer and clapping erupted. I've never seen so much palpable energy on a bus, and I've been to theater camp! The Metro driver was so helpful and navigated us through the whole process. She told us what bus to get on next and seemed truly touched when we all thanked her individually. We hit the pavement and my favorite woman from the bus announced, "I've got my comfy shoes on, and I'm ready to do some ass kicking." HELL YES.
That day was filled with nothing but positivity and hope. As I looked around the massive crowd, I saw people of all races and of all ages. I chatted with grandmothers with their knit pink pussycat hats on. One told me that her daughter was there with her 2 week old baby while she cooed at our 18 month old. I heard men start rousing chants with "her body her choice." I saw sweet kids, with tiny handmade signs, perfectly sized for their itty bitty protest arms. People trapped in their cars from the deluge of people thunderously applauded us, they high fived us out their windows, they honked their horns joyously. I was so moved that my own chanting voice was frequently caught in my throat. Tears clung to the corners of my eyes for hours. That day restored my faith in humanity, it made me proud of my city and made me realize that I wasn't alone.
Sign up with 10 actions/100 days. Volunteer, donate money, donate time. I'm starting small here, and resurrecting my book club. I invite you to join us and read along. We're vowing to read a female centric, female authored book every month. The first book (starting February) is Shrill by Lindy West. The Washington Post describes it as "an eloquent chronicle of the costs of activism."
I want to hear and experience the stories of other women. I want to feel and understand them so that I can fight for them. It is so important now more than ever to understand and empathize with others. We need compassion, and we need our voices to be heard. The world I saw at the march is the world I want to live in.
We are a force to be reckoned with.